Monday, April 26, 2004

High Tech Sharks

This has been brought up before on other sites but I just got reminded of it today and I thought it was pretty cool. The San Jose Sharks use a high-tech system to show video on the bench of the game as it's going on so the coaches can make adjustments where they're needed, when they're needed. They have a digital camera hooked up to a server which records the game and wirelessly feeds it into a tablet PC on the Sharks bench. The coaches can then use a stylus or remote to show the players what they want them to do and what they may have done wrong. This elimination of the middleman makes it much easier for the Sharks to make adjustments in-game then it is for a team relying on a video coach upstairs with a headset. They also can bring up old video and look at their opponent's tendencies in different situations. Ron Wilson used this system when in Washington coaching the Capitals but the Sharks only got it set up for the last two games of the regular season. They've had it throughout the playoffs, though, and it is having an obvious effect on their play (they lead the Colorado Avalanche 2-0 in their semifinal series). They are the only team to use such a system and hockey is the only sport that allows it so far. The Wings have a monitor on the bench but as far as I know, it is basically just the TV broadcast of the game and not something they control. They do have a video coach but I have no idea whether he communicates with Lewis, Smith or Kocur during the game. I haven't seen either of those three wearing a headset so I'm guessing not. I would really like to see the Wings get a system like this because it would help them immensely. It's expensive but if it is set up correctly, it would be well worth the money, I'm sure.


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