IASI Canberra 2009: Days 1 and 2

The opportunities to chat and discuss ideas at the IASI Congress overtook blogging about the Congress! I was not able to attend Day 3 but hope to write more about events. This post is a wrap of some of the other events at the Congress on Day 1 and 2.

Wayne Goldsmith concluded Day 1 of the Congress with his workshop Creating Effective Online Learning Communities in High Performance Sport He started Day 2 with his plenary session Sport Information Blogging – Getting Your Message Out There Fast!

wayne Photo credit: Moregold Consulting

Both of Wayne’s presentations drew on his career-long interest in and fascination with innovative ideas and practice in high performance sport. He is the author of a much-read blog sportscoachingbrain and the principal in Moregold Consulting

Wayne introduced his talk on Day 1 with the suggestion that “Knowledge is power … only when it is hard to get!” Wayne discussed the geographical isolation of Australia in late 1980s and how hard it was then to get material about high performance sport innovation. Twenty years later it is a digitally rich time when successful coaches and teams are able to accelerate their change in performance faster than their competitors. This accelerated changed is linked closely to the ability to learn.

Wayne indicated that the on-line community offers opportunities to learn faster about WHAT is available. Since everyone can access the WHAT, Wayne suggests that it is the HOW knowledge that will transform learning and performance. Wayne explored how this HOW learning might move from an academic setting to the risk practiced high performance environment.

Wayne made a very strong case for future perspectives and argued passionately about the role high performance contexts will play in this approach. He concluded the Day 1 workshop with the exhortation to “get excited, interested, and do it differently.”
This requires the recognition that the past is a platform upon which to create knowledge and stimulate individuality.

On the afternoon of Day 2 there were a number of paper presentations in the Theme 4 strand of the Congress: Sport Performance Analysis Applications and Broadcast Technology Solutions.

The program included:

Fumito Yoshikawa, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Japan

Automated Video Indexing System for Badminton Game Analysis [abstract]

Fumito provided an account of the automated video indexing system he had developed using a single ceiling camera.
His methodology included: segmentation, detection of players, and detection of rally segments.
He demonstrated how in the segment process white court lines were extracted using Otsu’s (1979) automatic threshold selection method. He shared the detection formula used to track players and the process for detecting and tracking the shuttlecock

Fumito shared his experimental findings in relation to 344 rallies over 5 matches. Video was captured at 30fps. The computational speed of the process was 7msec/frame (144fps). The experiment yielded good results and Fumito gave examples of data visualisation that enables immediate feedback. He concluded that a rule based, player and shuttlecock, single camera system yielded promising results, fast processing time, and immediate feedback. He identified the potential of this work for other net games.

Keane Wheeler, University of Canberra and University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia

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Notational Analysis of Agility Skill Execution in Rugby Union [abstract]

Keane presented findings from his use of lapsed-time notational analysis to examine agility skill execution in rugby union. He discussed Time Motion studies, Technical studies (Focus for today’s paper)and Tactical studies.  Keane’s work focussed on tackle outcome in rugby union. He identified the characteristics of agility and tackle outcome: 60% tackle win (15% includes a tackle break) and noted that in the top 4 teams in his study 19% of runs lead to tackle breaks. The middle 5 teams have 16%, and the bottom 5 teams have 12%. Keane then discussed what needs to happen in a tackle break. He suggested that the ball carrier should receive the ball two body lengths from the defence and execute a change of direction at 1-2 body lengths at 20/60 degrees and then straighten through the hole created. His study exemplified the coaching maxim “beat the defence, advance the ball, score tries.”

Claire Short, Australian Sports Commission

Digital Video Applications in High Performance Sport [abstract]

Claire provided a comprehensive overview of digital video in her presentation:

  • Why digital? (Fast, quality, performance analysis, communication, historical record)
  • Equipment (field and office): capturing, accessories, storing
  • Viewing. (Noted trade off between size of projection and illuminations. Smaller projectors have shorter run time.)
  • Editing and dubbing: copying towers and Blu-Ray developments
  • Storing and archiving: note the move to Blu-Ray

She encouarged the audience to consider:

  • Ease of operation
  • Upgradability
  • Maintenance
  • Training

Alexis Lebedew, Australian Institute of Sport

Hyperconnectivity [abstract]

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Alexis introduced his talk on Hyperconnectivity with a discussion of the proliferation of connected and connectable devices. He provided a case study example of supporting coach in the field. He suggested that this quadrennium (2009-2012) will be characterised by: high speeed wireless, geotagging, semantic technologies, cloud computing. He identified Wireless availability as the key driver. He noted the role cloud computing will play and the increasing importance of Software as a Service (SaaS). Alexis concluded his presentation with a consideration of how hyperconnectivity might work: ensure ecologically valid, change habits, and personalise. He asserted that throughout this process a key maxim will be “Usability is more important than functionality”.

The Theme session ended with a panel discussion of Video and Digital Asset Repositories in Sport using case studies from Japan, Germany, and Australia.

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

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Introduction

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.

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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.

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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.