Dartfish Conference 2014

Dartfish Conference

Do you:

  • Want to improve how quickly you analyse a game?
  • Want to improve how you share your video with players and coaches?
  • Want to learn more about live tagging?

Dartfish has changed, what started as a desktop only software has now turned into a complete video solution. There are now 3 different apps available, which allow you tag live and share more easily with coaches and players. Dartfish TV and the software has improved each year and now offer a much easier way to share your analysis with more people.

This event is a great opportunity to learn how these apps can improve your video analysis process, how the improvement in Dartfish TV will save you time and how it can be used by the whole coaching staff.

The event is FREE – Regardless of whether you use the software at it’s most basic level or you currently use Dartfish TV – the Conference will show you ways to improve in all areas of your analysis.

If you would like to book on to this FREE conference please click on the link below to register:


Sports Performance Analysts Professional Network Meeting

IMG_2152Rob and Stephen Carroll from Toca Sports attended the very first Sports Performance Analysts Professional Network Meeting on the 5th of June.  It was hosted by The Institute of Technology, Blanchardstown and it was attended by a host of Dartfish users from all corners of Ireland.  It was run by Johnny Bradley, Denise Martin and Alan Swanton.

Alan Swanton, lead analyst with the Irish Boxing Team, opened the workshop and outlined how Performance Analysis is a very young discipline in sports science and how there is a need to build a community of expertise in Ireland. He highlighted that despite the many differences between sports, the process for each analyst is generally similar and that there is a lot to be learned from each other.

Professor in Analytics Bill Gerrard, delivered an excellent keynote address where he outlined his work with Billy Beane of ‘Moneyball’ fame. Gerrard also shared the process of his work with Saracens Rugby Club for the last four years. He revealed how after winning the Premiership in the UK they began to benchmark themselves against the best club sides in Europe and how he spent a whole summer studying Leinster – much to the amusement of Leinster analysts Emmet Farrell and John Buckley who were in attendance.

The recommendations from the report were also distributed to delegates for feedback on how to move the discipline forward in the coming years. Some of the comments from delegates included the following:

‘There is consensus among the group that we are prepared to mentor young analysts and give them placement opportunities’Richard Malone, Irish Hockey

‘There is a need to highlight to the national governing bodies that 86% of their coaches want more information and training in performance analysis and put strategies in place to address this’Robert Carroll ‘thevideoanalyst.com’

Performance Analysis lecturers from UCD, WIT, IT Carlow, Leeds Met, UCC, Athlone IT and ITB received a resounding message from the analysts working in the field that they need graduates to have practical experience and knowledge. There was a recognition that many graduates would have to ‘serve their time’ through unpaid internships to get into positions but the general feeling was that when sports find someone competent, they certainly try and hold on to them.

Dr Denise McGrath of UCD made the point that the community need to produce case studies of examples for coaches and students showing how performance analysis makes a difference to performance. The key message of the day is that the group needs to start selling the value of performance analysis and what it can add to the coaching process.

Online Video Analysis Course

performance-profiling-screen-shot-300x168We are delighted to announce that Robert Carroll from Toca Sports has developed an Online Performance Analysis Course after almost 10 years working as an Analyst.  There are so many coaches and analysts who are starting out and want to learn more about analysis but can’t afford the money or time to go back to full time education. At present there are very few education opportunities available outside the UK & Ireland and even fewer online options.

Rather than build an off-line course that forced you to get to a certain venue on a certain day Robert wanted to build something that coaches could ‘attend’ from anywhere in the world. Online offers the chance to share his experience with as many people as possible.  He has also enlisted the expertise of Stuart Lierich and Ben Alamar who are both specialists in their areas and have a wealth of experience to share with you.

The course is broken into a series of video lectures (over 400 mins of video) lasting between 5 and 15 mins and you can log in and watch them whenever and wherever you want. They key is that you can continue your learning and you won’t have to leave your house! There’s a strong community around the course so it’s filled with opportunities to ask questions and chat with other coaches (and Robert also) from around the world.

We really hope you will check the course out and get involved. You can see all the details here…


Vantage Point

Case Full WidthIt’s exciting times here at Toca Sports as we have just launched an amazing new product which we designed.  The product is called Vantage Point and it is the most cost effective and easy to use portable video tower on the market today.  It’s unique design makes it convenient to transport and so simple to use.  You can begin shooting high quality video footage from Vantage Point straight away, wherever you are.

It was designed as a response to 20 years of coaching experience using expensive hard to transport video towers, IMG_2774ladders and platforms.  We decided to design a simple, inexpensive touch line camera support, to gather excellent usable footage for great analysis and improved performance.

Vantage Point gives you the best seat in the house allowing for better post-game analysis and ultimately better team performance.It might be lightweight but its loaded with great features to help you produce fantastic video footage in all weathers and locations.  Turning up to away games and finding nowhere to shoot from is a thing of the past with Vantage Point.

What makes it unique I hear you say?  Well, Vantage Point is lightweight, compact, simple to use and can be used no matter what the weather conditions are.

Say goodbye to the days of perching on unsuitable ledges or shaky scaffolding.  Vantage Point allows you to safely and effectively capture game footage without risking injury from falling.

For full details on Vantage Point and what it can do for you click on the link here

If you have any queries on the product please contact us on the contact form provided on the website and we will get right back to you.



Waterproof Notational Analysis

We had such a great response to our post a few weeks ago on Video Analysis on a Budget which included Notational Analysis that I decided to do a quick blog on waterproof notational analysis!  It still plays a big part in sport, especially in amateur sport. The weather can play a big part in your note taking and for those based in Ireland and the UK at the moment will understand how bad the weather can get. So recently I went looking for a solution.

I found waterproof paper and waterproof pens;







Notational Analysis Pen







The notepads you can get in many different sizes as the one pictured here only cost $4. The pen, which will also write upside down as well as in the rain is only $8. Check out their site here

I think that’s a bit of a bargain, especially if notational analysis is something you do week in week out and live in one of the worlds wetter climates.

Robert Carroll’s GAA Conference Presentation

As I’m sure you’re aware our very own Robert Carroll was chosen to be part of the Researchers Forum as part of the GAA National Games Development Conference 2014 which took place at the start of January.

Robert’s presentation was based on the Performance Characteristics of Senior Inter County Gaelic Football Games.  In short Robert’s research looked at the average football performance and what the main differences between top and bottom teams were.

To watch the full presentation click on the video below.


GAA Inaugural Researchers Forum


As an opening to the GAA National Coaching Conference, the first Researchers Forum was held at Croke Park. Some of Ireland’s top researchers presented their work covering topics from participation, drop-out rates, high intensity interval training v’s endurance training and I presented on the playing characteristics of Inter-County Football Matches.

The session worked really well with presentations grouped into similar interest areas with a short Q&A after each group. There was also a great turnout with close to 300 people attending on the evening.  The researchers all got together at 6pm that evening and when we saw the size of the room we would be presenting we were a bit afraid we could be talking to ourselves but it really was great to see so many people interested in the research topics. Each presenter had only 5 minutes and while it was hard to do it really kept it moving and the reaction from all the coaches was great.

My Presentation

Liberty Insurance Coaching Development Conference - Friday 10th January 2014

I was presenting on my recently published paper “Team Performance Indicators in Gaelic Football and Opposition Effects”. Basically I was trying to get an overview of the characteristics of an ‘average’ football performance and wanted to examine what (if any) were the main differences between Top and Bottom teams. If you are interested in reading the full paper you can contact me here. Below is the main table of results that I presented on the night. The first column lists the median value for Top Teams when they play Bottom Teams and the Second column is the reverse.

Two other key findings from the paper were;

•Bottom Team performed Better in EVERY Performance Indicator when playing teams of the same standard.
•Top Teams performed better in 9 but WORSE in 2 (% Own Kickouts Won & Shot Efficiency)

Saturdays Conference

TOCA-Stand-Conference-2014The main event was Saturday with close to 700 coaches being present on the day. We were the only Performance Analysis company present on the day and have now been an ever present at the conference since 2004. The day went brilliantly and as always was great to chat to knowledgeable and interested coaches. We also launched a brand-new product.  Stay tuned for the grand unveiling on the site here soon.

International Rules Training Camp

Last weekend was training weekend number 5 and some of the Dublin and Mayo players joined the camp which is obviously a big ask following their heroics at the All Ireland Final on the previous Sunday.

On Friday we had a full scale match in the Ashbourne GAA club.  The session was videoed using the telescopic tower and as you can see from the image it gives you a fabulous view of the pitch.

Comp Rules Picture

The game was played at a frantic pace as we edge closer to the final panel being chosen.  The team played 3/4 on Friday night and it was back to the hotel for recovery and dinner while I went off and analysed the footage.  It wasn’t as late as other nights preparing the video presentation for the following morning and I was in bed by 1am!!

I sat down with Paul Earley (manager) to show him the good and bad clips from the game on Friday night and he selected what to show to the players.  When presenting to the players at this time in the training there’s still a small emphasis on the rules of the game as well as the tactical aspect.

Because of the effort put in on Friday night, Saturday’s training had a greater emphasis on the skills of the game.

There’s a big weekend ahead for the panel as it’s getting closer to selection time.

Keep your eyes on the website for next weeks installment.