NCHS Athletic teams step into the world of new technology

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Eileen Flynn, Story Editor
@eileen_courant

The rapid advance of technology in recent years has seemingly made an impact on every aspect of life from social media to the education system, and now, it seems to have made its way into the execution of sports.

Junior Elaina Tiller practices her form while Coach Brentson uses “Coach’s Eye” to correct errors. Photo by Eileen Flynn

NCHS is a school known for its successful sports teams, so it’s no surprise that many of these teams have taken advantage of the new technology available today. In the past few years, NCHS has worked to incorporate the use of everything from iPads to drones to train their athletes in the most effective way possible.

One sports team that has begun to use technology in their practices is the NCHS cross country team. Head Coach Brentson uses an iPad app, “Coach’s Eye” in order to improve the runners’ times and reduce risk of injury. “Coach’s Eye allows me to video the runners and draw and animate it on the video, and also slow the video down,” Coach Brentson said. “Usually we go through what their stride looks like and compare it to examples of what a good stride looks like so that we can determine what fixes need to be made to their form.”

Junior Elaina Tiller is an athlete on the cross country team that has used the app throughout the season to improve issues in her form. “Personally, as a runner, I really struggle with my form and this impacts my running  a lot,” Elaina said. “But with this app, I’m able to compare videos from each month and examine my stride and form in order to see my progress and where I need to improve.”

The NCHS Swim & Dive team has implemented a similar system in order to address issues with their diving form. The team has installed cameras around the diving boards,

NCSD diving coach gives a diver corrections on her form before she goes to watch the footage. Photo by Eileen Flynn

and has a TV on on deck that plays back the dives a few seconds later. This helps the athletes see their errors for themselves. Junior Claire Ross, an athlete on the diving

team and uses the playback system daily. “I’m a very visual learner, so I need to actually see the errors in order to know what i’m doing wrong,” Claire said. “The fact that I’m able to see my own dives has really helped me be able to fix my mistakes and get better every day.”

One of the teams at NCHS that uses some of the most advanced technology available is the NCHS Football Team. The team has hired sophomore Pablo Villa to film their practices from a drone to view their plays more clearly. “Basically, I take aerial shots from directly above the players,” Pablo said. “This allows them to see their plays completely and figure out where they can improve.”

Pablo, who has his commercial droning license, comes to football practices a few times a week to take footage of their plays, which the team then watches at a later practice. “When I get here, Coach gives me a schedule and highlights when he needs me to film the practice,” Pablo said. “To film, I go up to the press box and fly the drone, which gives a unique perspective.”

Although the NCHS Athletics Department has made great strides in the advancement of technology use for their teams, there are plans to further the use of technology available. Principal Egan has seen this growth over the past few years. “The use of technology in our athletics has definitely become more prevalent over the past few years, but i think that it will become even greater down the road,” Mr. Egan said. “The better technology gets, the more you’re going to see it around. I definitely think that in this high school you’ll see it before most other places.”

 

 

 

The man behind the drone

Pablo poses with his drone equipment before filming the football team at practice. Photo by Eileen Flynn

NCHS sophomore Pablo Villa has an interest in the arts of cinematics and photography and uses his skills with drones to further these talents. Pablo first became interested in drones when he was only eight years old, and now has his commercial license in droning.

Pablo practices droning as a unique and practical skill. “I like the different perspective that it allows in terms of photography. Also, since I’m into cinematics, I like droning because it provides really useful shots,” Pablo said.

Pablo’s recent accomplishment of getting his commercial license has allowed him to explore his interest further, which he has used to help the NCHS Football team. When Pablo enjoys filming the football team, he isn’t exploring droning in other ways as well. “I’ve never been really good at sports,” Pablo said. “My favorite things to film are treetops and the tops of buildings, particularly in New York City. What you can do there- it’s really amazing.”

Pablo plans on sticking with this field in the future. “I want to get a job doing this and maybe start my own company,” Pablo said. “Droning is a big thing in the film industry right now, and I want to work with that.”

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