In my previous iPad coaching apps review post, I mentioned some great apps to help coaches use an iPad to streamline their tasks. In this post, I would like to share another app with all of you that I found recently. First of all, I want to mention that I had a first generation iPad for my first iPad coaching app post. My wife got me a new iPad for my birthday recently, so now I have access to a camera on the device. What I’m inferring here is that if you coach with a 1st Generation iPad, this app isn’t compatible (unless you have a camera input device).
The app I’m reviewing today is called Excelade for iPad/iPhone. This is a great free app that allows coaches to video-analyze their athletes bio-mechanics. It includes great features that can rival even the great and really expensive Dartfish program, including but not limited to:
- Use simple and intuitive finger swipes to review performance using slow motion capability and simple drawing tools.
- Easily compare multiple performances against an athletes own attempts, others, or instructor videos
- View videos in full speed, slow motion, and pause for analysis and feedback
- Include audio/text memos so you can instantly record and share feedback
- Create an account on Excelade cloud drive to upload, archive, and share videos and feedback, all at the tap of a button!
- Share via Email, Facebook, Twitter.
Now that you have the marketing content for the app down. I’d like to write a basic rundown of the app and how it can be used to help you improve your team with immediate visual feedback.
- Video Library: The app comes with some sample videos for analysis on the main screen and I’ll use them in my screen shots since it’s easy. it allows you to sort videos by Date, Title or Athlete. You can open a video by touching it, which makes it pretty simple stuff. The camera on the bottom right allows you to record within the app itself, or you can import video from your own iPad library by touching the film strip on the bottom left.
TVT: What I like about this library feature is that each video preview is very large allowing you to clearly see which video it is. In other products, you might have to try 2 or 3 times to find the video you actually want. It also clearly states the video name, athlete and a small icon on the bottom left of each thumbnail to add information to the video for clear organization. A+ for this.
- Text, Visual and Audio Input: The ability to add all three of these items allows you to coach your players from afar. You can annotate things and assign them homework to watch the videos and breakdown their own work. It is a given that once athletes see themselves doing something wrong it becomes obvious, but being led along in doing so, tells them how to improve it too.
TVT: This is a great aspect if you plan to do a lot of work with this app. By that I mean recording several videos, overlaying them while at home and uploading them to a specific athlete’s page for an assignment. A neat little addition is a calculating angle notation. Simply plot 3 points with a finger and the app tells you the angle. (The light blue line in my included picture indicates that the golfer’s back swing comes to rest at 89.4 degrees (Just short of 90.)
- Side by Side Comparison: This feature is where the app begins to exceed the usual free value. When in single video view mode, you have an option to view two videos side by side by touching the scale icon. Once you choose a comparison video, the two videos show up side by side. You then set each video to a start point and synchronize them. All that’s left to do now is finger swipe and both videos will advance or rewind together.
TVT: Not only is this feature useful for an athlete to see two repetitions of their own skill, but you can also make the comparison video from a professional or college athlete so that your player can compare and see what they need to do differently. A+ for this and the next feature.
- Overlay Comparison: Simply rotate the iPad to see both videos overlaid on each other. I know, as I write this I can see your jaw opening saying, “This app is Free?” You can change the transparency of each video at will and finger swipes allow you to reverse and fast forward, pinpointing a specific moment for needed instruction.
TVT: When I saw this capability, I could immediately foresee several useful ways to take advantage of it. This stuff is what makes Dartfish so special, and at the same time, so expensive. Since this is just a rotated view of side by side comparison, all the options and positives remain the same.
Overview: Of course, there are still some things that Dartfish does above and beyond for coaches, but this app can be extremely useful to a volleyball program with limited funds and/or staff members.
There are tons of tutorial videos for Excelade on YouTube too, something you might want to check out before downloading, just in case I’m not being clear, on what this app can do for you, in this review. You can find the catalog of tutorials here: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL05B70A5291DD6F00
Along with downloading the app, you can sign up on Excelade.com. The website is also free and is a resource that the users of the Excelade app can use to upload, share, analyze, and discuss their videos. All you need to do is download the app from the AppStore, create an account using Facebook or your email address, and join in.
About Excelade: Excelade is a mobile app that is used by athletes and coaches to video-analyze their biomechanics; visit http://www.excelade.com for more information. It is developed by UberSense Inc.