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New software giving women’s team edge

Patrick Higgins

Posted on November 11, 2013 in Sports, Sports Feature, Uncategorized
By adamkennedy

Members of the women’s basketball held a shooting clinic for junior high students last week, passing their knowledge to a younger generation.
Justicia Barreiros
Members of the women’s basketball held a shooting clinic for junior high students last week, passing their knowledge to a younger generation.

Film editing allows women’s basketball to improve practice

With a successful season behind them, the women’s basketball team is ready for another season. For the third year in a row they’re going to be improving their game and looking to the  NCAA tournament with the aid of some interesting software.

Three years back, the team raised $7,000 through fundraising efforts to acquire software called Gamebreaker said head women’s head basketball coach Gary Fifield. The software allows him to cut and reorganize the content of the film of the upcoming opponent’s games and tag different scenes that he wants to highlight based on whatever criteria he is looking for, such as certain players, different kinds of defenses the other team runs and how they primarily play offense, said Fifield.

“I love it. It makes everything much easier because there are categories they can break things down into,” said Abby Hasson, an undeclared junior and center for the team. If he wants to tag every time a certain player gets the ball during that team’s game, Fifield said, with the program, he can. He also said that it allows him to set up a kind of playlist with each of the scenes he has selected to play for the team. He said that the product, when shown to the team, serves as a series of short videos on whatever he specifically wants to talk about,  instead of having to break down the entire game play-by-play.

The Huskies’ team usually receives about 3-to-5 game tapes from their opponent. Teams are mandated to share the game footage with each other. The film often adds up to approximately 60 to 10 hours total. Hasson said that the team usually watches the film the day before a match to scout their opponents playing styles.

Using this software, the team can tag the scenes from past games that they want to use, and organize those scenes so that they’re each set up into different playlists based on whatever Coach Fifield is looking for. The software can also compress the scenes so that they play twice as fast as normal, if Fifield desires. The combination of the file compression and editing often totals out to only about 10-to-20 minutes worth of footage, a drastic difference from the 6-to-10 hours that they started with.

“Another good thing about Gamebreaker is he can draw on the film and circle who he’s talking about and what he wants us to look at” Hasson said, when asked about other benefits of the program. These different elements make the Gamebreaker software a very valuable tool for the team according to coach Fifield, because all that saved time can provide plenty of extra opportunity for live practice and workouts.

While all the university teams incorporate opponent game footage into their practice routine, the women’s basketball team is the only one who uses this specific kind of video editing software to increase the efficiency of their film sessions. This software, or some variant on it, is used by every major college sports program in the country, so it’s a step in the right direction for the team, said Fifield.

According to Fifield, the software is a big step for helping the team continue to be a dominant force in division III, and the players are excited. “We’re pretty good, and we’ve got a pretty deep bench,” said Hasson. “Always the goal is to get to the NCAA [championships] and do our best.”

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