Nothing is safe from the hand of progress in the development of new technologies. The tools that appear as technology evolves become fundamental in facilitating and speeding up processes in every area of our lives. Sport, as we will see, is no exception. Football is a clear example, even though it tries to maintain its purity in practice. The introduction of new technologies in football, since you can’t turn your back on reality, is not a direct attack on the purity of sport. The reality is that programs are appearing that can help coaches, along with new formats (easy to use and quick to process data) to be able to use these applications in any situation. Rafa Benitez, former coach of Valencia, Liverpool and Inter Milan, is working with his technical staff on developing and perfecting an application for their own use, although putting it on the market is not ruled out, which will help them in training preparation, matches, patterns and set pieces… ”Football has an essence which makes it different and you have to try to maintain it. But at the same time you cannot turn your back on reality and technology is around. You have to adapt to change. I think you have take advantage of what’s good in technology, in this case as a coach, to teach, to explain, to show players a series of things so that it is easier for them to translate it on to the pitch,” explains the coach. The key to these tools is that they can facilitate, speed up and perfect the preparation planning. Benitez looks back and remembers his first steps as a coach.
When I was at Extremadura I had two video machines and I recall holding my daughter, feeding her with the bottle and watching videos. I used to prepare a montage, editing images, so that the players could see more easily what I was asking them to do. Now you have programs that can do it in an instant.
You can for example prepare a particular tactic and the player can see it immediately using an animation. And it only takes you 5 minutes to prepare all the tactics for the team,” he comments. The application has a very important advantage with its animated images as it allows you to connect with real game situations that you can see on video as well as the animations showing the desired movements of players, giving shape to what the coach wants them to do on the pitch. The tool can solve for example the problems a coach can have in communicating with his players in a foreign language. “When we went to Liverpool we couldn’t speak English as well as we can now.
There were 14 nationalities. It was difficult to make yourself clear amongst people who were not using their native tongue. Gradually we managed it. But the best thing now is that with this type of program you can get through to the player more easily” says the coach from Madrid. Benitez also comments on the application being developed with his technical staff, “we have developed this program for our technical staff. It is important that we can use it on an iPad with its versatility, dynamism, ease of use, the fact you can save everything, send the actions by email, export them… Imagine you are at a soccer school where there are 10 coaches. They can all have the same exercises and send them to each other by email. They can use it to analyse the systems of the teams in a few minutes. It is a massive help. For the future it is moving us forward” he adds about Globall Coach.