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There is an old TV show from the 70s called Family. In one episode, one of the main characters correctly calls an opponent's play in a high school football game. Everybody thinks he followed his gut; he knows it was pure luck. The thing about it is that it doesn't have to be either. Using analytics can help football teams, players, and coaches call plays with high accuracy!
The NFL was behind baseball and basketball in adopting analytics. It fell behind in actualizing better organizational policies for player recruitment and scouting. Instead, relying on the traditional means of using scouts and GMs. At the time, GMS relied on getting renowned players instead of focusing on players with whom a coach could build a team.
This is one of the powers of adopting AI in football. Data can tell what a player is doing wrong in their positions and movement and improve defensive stances and in-field decision-making. Analytics can help in training, games, diet, injury patterns, opponents, and coaches.
The time is now to adopt analytics in high school football. Adapting analytics at this stage will enable schools to scout and recruit the right talents, improve their training, and aid in making on-field decisions.
Analytics and technology have revolutionized how professional teams play in just a few years, and fans enjoy the game. Teams have real-time play-by-play and game-changing statistics for individual players and teams. With this information, coaches can make data-backed tactical decisions that increase their winning percentages.
This technology has been slowly making its way into high school football. It’s not uncommon to see coaches and staff with a tablet on the sidelines of their games, but there is still a long way to go until high school teams can use analytics like the pros.
The use of analytics in football is diverse. It varies from examining personal and team stats, shaping recruitment decisions, and analyzing opponents.
So, in which areas can high school football use analytics?
Every professional football team employs a team of statisticians and analysts who use numbers to help the team unlock its potential. They track what happens during practices, in the weight room, dining hall, and even how much they sleep. They know, through the data, that everything that goes on during an athlete's game impacts how they perform during games.
Coaches use these analytics to tailor training and practice for their team and individual athletes. It’ll let them know things like that which players are more prone to injury than others. This calculation is possible by analyzing the athletes' information and activities to identify potential risky exercises and thus help recommend alternatives.
Additionally, with real-time data collection in group dynamics, coaches try out their tactics and make adjustments on the spot. They can use this to determine which of their players are the best fit for specific plays and situations or to modify plays until they know which routes work the best.
For most teams, success is determined by wins.
Head coach George Mahoney at Mater Dei HS, one of the top high school football teams, utilizes analytics during their games, which has played a role in their team's success in recent years. According to Coach George Mahoney, analytics is essential to a team's success.
High school football teams can use analytical tools to guide in-game plays and decision-making. Using analytics and AI can help coaches predict an opponent’s team selection. These predictive models can help coaches improve their game plans and team selection.
College football recruiters today use more than the in-game stats when analyzing potential recruits.
Using AI when recruiting students helps create a team with the potential to gel, play, and win together. Recruiters today use more than the in-game stats when analyzing potential recruits.
Now, scouts look for more than individual game numbers in identifying players. They look at their contribution to their teams. They also look at temperament, how well they could gel with potential teammates, areas they need to improve, their potential, and their off-field lifestyle.
While many recruiters use their gut to judge the potential of a high school recruit, data is critical to validate their decisions.
Despite what the skeptics say, analytics in high school football is here to stay. Analytics isn't a luxury for teams looking to remain competitive and win games. It’s a necessity. Coaches that are the first to take advantage of analytics in their game are seeing huge benefits.
It improves the performance of players and teams, helps keeps athletes healthy, and helps teams win.
If your team isn’t sure how to start using analytics, Athlogic is a free app available on iOS that makes it possible to record stats. Download it on the App Store today and see how professional analytics will change your game.