The power of technology in sports

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 I am a bit biased with the use of technology, in particular data and statistics since in my day-to-day life outside of sports I work in such a field. Working with technology to drive business and to get the information needed to improve and enhance a business is something I do daily, whether it’s to improve their ability to treat more patients or a way to predict key factors for disease control and prevention. When working with data we can create a lot of interesting outcomes that can help and improve business and quality of life, when using technology in a good way at least. There are improper uses of technology just like any tool at our disposal, a bat can be used as a weapon or for playing and creating entertainment. Here are my response to technology in sports, its benefits, the negatives, and the between.

Technology has played a significant role in the recruitment of student athletes. Social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram have become increasingly popular among college coaches to communicate with potential recruits. Coaches can use social media to evaluate a student athlete’s personality and interests [3].

Social media has transformed the way college coaches recruit athletes. With today’s generation spending much of their time on social media, coaches have evolved to communicate with recruits on the platforms they are most comfortable and likely to engage with[2]. It’s easier to reach out to athletes but there must be proper guard rails so that it doesn’t violate the NCAA policies for recruitment and communication with prospective athletes.

The rise in technological advancements in recruiting has brought both challenges and benefits. Some of the benefits include increased efficiency in communication between coaches and recruits, while some of the challenges include the potential for NCAA violations when communicating with recruits through social media [5]. I would say it’s a fine line as usually as a scout you would want to watch a player in their good, bad, and in between moments. Yet platforms like Hudl can have highlights of players’ good moments only. This showcases the talent and skill of the player, which is great, but it won’t showcase the moment when character, personality and willpower is needed. On the other hand. Hudl does help as now the scout doesn’t need to be physically in all the matches to be able to gauge the skills and talent of a player, rather they can find such platform to see the highlights and determine if the player is at an acceptable level to their program. In soccer, there’s a platform called Wyscout which provides ready-to-use player tracking statistics and team statics that can be used by the scout to create data analysis and create Key Performance Indicators for teams and players to start creating a store for recruitment, performance, and more outcomes to improve the team. There are more platforms like the two mentioned above, hence why I say it’s a fine line but that there are benefits, and I believe they outweigh the negatives.

Collegiate coaches need to consider several factors with respect to the rise in technology in recruiting to best manage their recruiting processes and develop efficient and effective communicating strategies with potential recruits. They need to be aware of NCAA rules regarding communication with recruits through social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram [2]. They also need to be aware of the potential for NCAA violations when communicating with recruits through social media [5].

Even AI is changing the way soccer teams scout players. For example, several clubs including Chelsea, Nottingham Forest, and Olympiacos are using a mobile application called AiSCOUT to help them search for new players. The app gives scouts data on soccer players’ athletic, cognitive, and technical skills so that they can refine their search [6].

In addition to improving scouting, this type of technology is also helping youth clubs improve their own standards. In Côte d’Ivoire, for example, it can be used to help improve training and coaching sessions and get players used to the sort of data analysis of their game that is commonplace at top tier clubs in Europe [7].

References:

(1) Eyes on You: A student-athlete’s guide to recruiting on social media. https://usatodayhss.com/2017/eyes-on-you-a-student-athletes-guide-to-recruiting-on-social-media Accessed 5/13/2023.

(2) How to Use Social Media for Recruiting – NCSA College Recruiting. https://www.ncsasports.org/recruiting/contacting-college-coaches/social-media Accessed 5/13/2023.

(3) How Social Media is Changing College Recruiting – Khoros. https://khoros.com/blog/how-social-media-changing-college-recruiting Accessed 5/13/2023.

(4) What Is the Role of Social Media in Student Recruitment? – QS. https://www.qs.com/what-is-the-role-of-social-media-in-student-recruitment/ Accessed 5/13/2023.

(5) How to Use Twitter for College Recruiting. https://www.ncsasports.org/recruiting/contacting-college-coaches/how-to-use-twitter Accessed 5/13/2023.

(6) Artificial Intelligence Could Be About to Change Soccer Player Scouting. https://www.forbes.com/sites/steveprice/2022/06/21/artificial-intelligence-could-be-about-to-change-soccer-player-scouting/ Accessed 5/13/2023.

(7) How Artificial Intelligence is Making it Easier to Scout Soccer Players. https://www.forbes.com/sites/steveprice/2023/03/03/how-artificial-intelligence-is-making-it-easier-to-scout-soccer-players/ Accessed 5/13/2023.

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