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Gloucester Rugby make the #SmartMove to Nacsport (Part 2)

Gloucester Rugby make the #SmartMove to Nacsport (Part 2)

In Part 1, we let you know that Gloucester Rugby are moving to Nacsport and Darren Lewis revealed the video analysis processes used at Gloucester Rugby. This part of the blog will reveal some more of the reasons as to why Gloucester are choosing to use Nacsport.
(continued from Part 1)…

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Obviously one of the big considerations for you moving over to Nacsport was moving from the Mac platform to Windows. We’ve found that a lot of people have been apprehensive and sometimes worried about this move, which can be surprising to us, but how have your experiences been so far?

I’m the first to admit that was a hugely daunting aspect having used a Mac for work and as my own personal machine. Thinking about it now and having sat on Windows 10 for a period of time, it’s embarrassing to think that the operating system the program runs on could have been a reason for Nacsport not to be considered. It is actually refreshing to work on something different and is no more complicated than Mac OSx which is simple. It’s different yes, not that different but it’s just as easy to use and after a month of working on it day in day out, it will be second nature … it’s just going to take a bit of getting used to shortcuts and keystrokes so that under the pressure of meetings etc., you can navigate anything you’re working in quickly and easily before you start to get “one job” calls from the players when you’ve pressed the wrong button in the middle of a team meeting!

When you understand the reasons for Nacsport being built on Windows, it becomes even more apparent that it’s a smart environment to be working in because of its flexibility and customisation ability. Windows is not what it was when I used it before, so anyone using that as a reason not to look into this type of change needs to really think about what is important.

We’ve personally worked together on different projects over the years, but a couple months back we bought over the Nacsport co-founder and Head Developer, Alberto Rodriguez, to observe your current workflows both at the training ground and at one of your matches in Gloucester. We all really enjoyed this opportunity to see the inner workings of the team and your video analysis processes, especially as it was Alberto’s first live Rugby game! But from your side, how have you found communicating with the Nacsport team and seeing the way that they work with you?

Alberto, the Gandalf of the programming world ha! It has been remarkable to be honest. The open mindedness to look at things we were trying to achieve and then find the easiest and most effective way to get it done is exceptional. He and the rest of his team have done a great job putting the program where it is, of course yourself and AnalysisPro have been huge parts of that too. We’ve worked together on a lot of stuff yeah, so I know that with AnalysisPro when you say you’re going to do something, it’s going to happen and it’s the same with Nacsport and Alberto, which as a customer making a significant change is totally refreshing.

What I was hugely impressed with and also respected hugely is that everything we looked at and discussed with Alberto when he visited and in our chats is his ability to just ask “why?”. He wants to know why we do things the way we do, which puts pressure on you to think “I need a good reason for this” and also keeps you thinking about what you are trying to achieve with whatever tools you’re working with and whether you are doing that the most effective way. As well as looking forward to working with the actual product, its hugely exciting for me to be working with AnalysisPro and Alberto and his team because he is going to challenge us and that in turn is going to make us better as a department, which for me is massively important.

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In another one of our regular Nacsport updates that came out recently, we integrated the KlipDraw tools into the software. How have you found using this so far with Nacsport and what impression do you think that will have around the team?

So many features to use haha, yeah its brilliant. The players who I’ve shown want more of things like that and the coaches loved it too as I mentioned, but I think It’s going to have a great impact on delivery of messages. Being able to make things nice and clear and also make the content that we put on our online platform alive and easy for our players to understand what messages are being delivered will be fantastic, so it’s a super addition. One of the lads wants to dress up as Gary Neville and do his own Monday night football bit … he’s a Prop so probably has two left feet haha, but it’s been received extremely well so far and we haven’t even shown anything to the squad as a whole yet.

When you started exploring what is possible in Nacsport and whether it could match up to your existing SportsCode workflows, you were keen on talking to some of our existing Nacsport users from different sports. I put you in touch with Kieron Purtill and Ste Mills from Super League side Leigh Centurions, as they have been using Nacsport for a few years with Huddersfield Giants and now Leigh. Do you think that there are good video analysis processes which can be learned from other sports and users and how open do you find people are to sharing their workflows?

100%. It was great to meet those guys and see how they work to try and get a flavour of how Nacsport fits into their day to day operations, but also how highly they spoke of the system. They hadn’t really seen SportsCode so they were interested to see what we do and what they do was developed organically in Nacsport which was great to see. It’s something I am extremely conscious of, I don’t want to do something just because I’ve always done it in a particular way, that just doesn’t make sense to me. So visiting the guys was very valuable to understand how they look at things when Nacsport was put in front of them. It was also great to hear other coaches say how easy they found the system to use, which gave me great confidence that the coaches at Gloucester would have no problems.

I actually think sharing is something that doesn’t happen often enough, likely due to busy seasons and schedules, but meeting different coaches and analysts to share ideas and talk all things analysis is only going to make everyone better and improve the value of the work they do within their organisations and what they can provide. It’s not about copying what people do at all, it’s about a community of practice where people are happy to share ideas in the hope they snowball and evolve into something different, hopefully we can get some stuff going in the future. Hopefully Ste and Kieron are going to be able to visit us before the end of the season which will be good and in the future, we can get a user’s conference going which would be great, in Gran Canaria of course (wink wink nudge nudge).

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Hopefully you’ve seen from working with ourselves and Nacsport so far that we always try to make our user’s lives easier, by taking on board feedback and requests from all different sports and levels of competition. If there was one thing you could think of now that would make your analysis life easier, apart from a pre-paid Starbucks card, what would that be?

Most definitely, as I mentioned before, it’s so refreshing to have conversations where you know something good will come out of it. Chances are that the ideas that begin with initial seeds of thought often blossom into things you wouldn’t think possible or wouldn’t even have thought of to begin with, or Alberto has already taken steps to develop. That’s all to do with the operating system that Nacsport is built on, the wizardry and un blinkered vision of Alberto and his team who aren’t satisfied unless the program isn’t doing smart, simple and effective things. The fact that working together on this project has been so easy, so productive and ever evolving has been great to experience as an end user, it’s such a positive for me.

It’s a really exciting time for us now and I know Tom and James feel the same way, which is great for me to have their support as the department really doesn’t function the way it does without all three of us and their hard work. The support from David Humphreys (Director of Rugby) to allow me to make the decision to transition the club to Nacsport is hugely appreciated. But I’d really like to extend a huge thank you to yourself and AnalysisPro and Alberto and the Nacsport team for everything you have done so far for us. It’s a pleasure to be working with you guys and it is unbelievably stimulating to be working with such a passionate group of people, I feel like this is just the beginning and have no idea where things will be in the next six to twelve months but am excited about the ride!

Apart from a pre-paid coffee card … uh … two or three more hours in the day would be great!

Once again, we would really like to thank Darren for his detailed insight to the video analysis processes at Gloucester Rugby and sharing how making the move to Nacsport is going to impact the club. We are really looking forward to seeing you guys make the most out of the possibilities in Nacsport!
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