Friday, December 25, 2009

A late Christmas present for coaches

A little while back I was asked to test out a product called Sports Performance Analyzer. It's a terrific tool for hockey teams who want an extra edge when it comes to their club tendencies and those of their opponents.

SPA allows coaches to track a variety of different stats from shots on goal to turnovers. But unlike other stat programs available, SPA goes deeper than just the surface.

For example, when it comes to shots on goal, you not only can easily track who took a shot, but where it came from on the ice, and where it ended up, by a simple click of the mouse. By using this method you can start to realize trends for your shooters or opposing goalies. You can track whether a shot went high glove side, hit the post, or missed the net entirely. Stats are divided into colors. Red for goals, blue for saves, black for missed shots and green for blocked shots. Power play and shorthanded situations can be used and stats are kept period by period.

Face offs are followed by more than just wins and losses. There are clean wins and losses, but also if a player wins the draw but his team doesn't gain control of the puck.

Turnovers, hits blocked shots and plus/minus are also easily recordable. All of this can be done by just one person, and while I was a little intimidated at first, after trying it for a couple of games it became pretty easy.

What is also a neat feature is the white board, where coaches can explain set plays or the statistical story being told during the game.

Sports Performance Analyzer is an interesting tool. One that is suited for high calibre teams or leagues. All past games are kept for future research, and information can be easily looked at in between periods for up to the minute game preparation.

Starting in January, The Pipeline Show will be giving listeners a chance to win a free Sports Performance Analyzer software package, so keep listening, and for more information on the program, check out their website for a few new wrinkles to the program.

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