IASI Canberra 2009 : Day 2: Josep Escoda

Josep Escoda presented the fourth keynote of the IASI conference: Barcelona to London: A Broadcast Science and Training Experience



Josep identified the three high performance centres in Spain and four single sport centres. Josep is based at the Centre d’Alt Rendiment CAR . CAR aims to provide and integrate services to high performance sport. CAR was established in 1987 in time for the Barcelona Olympics. It was established as a public company that used existing facilities. The public nature of the company gave advantages leading into preparations for Barcelona.

Josep noted that the workflow at CAR was focussed on integration. CAR has a 12 million euro budget that is sourced from the Catalan Government, the Spannish governments and income generated by CAR’s own income. There are over 200 staff at CAR. There are 400 athletes and 600 students at CAR. They participate in 26 Olympic and non-Olympic sports. The most recent inclusion has been sport dance.


Work at CAR

CAR is the host of the International Association of High Performance Sports Training Centres (IAHPSTC). Josep outlined the development of forums to share experience. One example has been collaboration with the International Council for Coach Education ICCE.

International Projects at CAR have included:

  • 3D Motion Capture
  • Long Jump Technology Development
  • Muscle Atrophy Research and Exercise System
  • Speed Glues
  • 3D animations of jumps at Barcelona.
  • Atlanta 1996 digital motion capture.
  • 2003 FINA Championships and Image System for Swimming Events.  (This system included a four-camera, real time autotracking system to produce average velocity, turns, stroke length and frequency.)
  • Beijing 2008: interactive tracking of Catalan athletes. (Web links, digital TV recording and data stream, SMS platform for results and sharing information.) Note that TV recordings were geolocalised to comply with IOC rights.

Future Plans at Sant Cugat

Josep discussed the new facility being developed at Sant Cugat. He outlined a new technological approach to inform the building process. There is a 36 million euro investment to deliver a facility in 2011. This new facility will be state of the art and built upon principles that include: health and life balance, modularity, integration, non-invasive, instant feedback, control, quality, and ecology. There will be generic technology requirements that include.

  • Ubiquitous access
  • 10G technology
  • Integration of IP V6, Advanced XML sport standards and Mpeg7, full HD High Speed IP Cam.
  • Videoconferencing

Josep indicated that this system will be housed in a unified system with one interface. He demonstrated the concept of the hand held control room for the new facility. The new facility will involve a partnership with CISCO and Dell with a 10 years’ expected life cycle. All this within secure control access.

Josep concluded his presentation with a video animation of the new facility at Sant Cugat.

IASI Canberra 2009: Day 1: John Bales

John Bales is the CEO of the Coaching Association of Canada.


His keynote address at IASI was entitled The Use of Web Based Technologies by Coaches

John initiated his presentation with the suggestion that learning faster than the opposition is fundamental to competitive advantage. He developed this suggestion with a discussion of learning organisations. His talk explored two themes in relation to coach education and development: How are coaches using web based technologies? What are the implications of these challenges?

John identified five challenges:
1. Communicating training and team information to athletes: (logistics, planning, monitoring, analysis of results). John discussed customised web sites as a solution to this challenge and used an example of a web site used by a Modern Pentathlon coach in the United Kingdom. The site had public domains for announcements, tasks, competitions, training, and team issues. The site has a private domain for coach-athlete interaction around training data.
2. Synthesising input from multiple sources and individualising it. John introduced this challenge with a Ric Charlesworth quote from  Murray Phillips’ From Sidelines to Centre Field. John discussed web sites and web meeting software as a solution to this challenge and shared examples of athlete centred coach led systems. John discussed knowledge transfer and noted Ian Reade et al’s (2006) work. He used a British Volleyball web site as an example of this process of sharing knowledge and shared the use of Elluminate in Canada as meeting software to link coaches and players.
3.    Competency based coach education programs. In this third challenge, John explored how to track large amounts of information and collecting evidence to demonstrate practice. He discussed in detail the use of an E-portfolio as a solution to this challenge. John used examples from Canada to illustrate the use of e-portfolios.
4. John considered two parts to this fourth challenge: (a) Accessibility and effectiveness of coach education. He explored web based learning. and ePreparation for face-to-face contexts. John shared an example of Canadian Ski Coaches’ e-preparation and the use made of video within the e-preparation phase. (b) Retaining effective learning methods in an e-learning environment. John noted the importance of experiential and problem based learning environments. He used Jennifer Moon’s (2001) Short courses and workshops: improving the impact of learning, training and professional development): nature of current practice principles to explore learning:

  • identify current practice
  • clarify new learning and how it relates to current understandings and practice
  • integrate new learning and current understandings of practice;
  • anticipate or imagine the nature of improved practice.

John used an example of Virtual 3D resources to discuss learning facilitation. He shared work underway on a pilot program to link winter sport coaches in Canada.
5. Lifelong learning: create environments encouraging ongoing interaction and daily learning. John explored the opportunities available to social networks and illustrated his discussion with an example of a Global Coach Social Network.

John concluded his keynote address with a consideration of the implications of these challenges and solutions for sports organisations.