Are you a small school coach hoping turn things around for your team, or a big-time coach looking for an edge?
A company called Krossover offers a service for coaches and athletes that catalogs, organizes, and—most importantly—analyzes your game film. Within 24 hours, Krossover will break down your game tape into data you can search by category, player, or type of play, and share it all with friends and teammates, potential recruiters and other coaches.
The brainchild of basketball junkie and aficionado, 27-year-old Vasu Kulkarni, Krossover currently handles video for lacrosse, basketball, volleyball and football. Their football product has been recently revamped. Services for soccer and hockey are currently in the works, scheduled for some time next year. "What [coaches] get back from us the next day is the equivalent of what an NBA or NFL team gets from their ocean of video coordinators," CEO Vasu Kulkarni told Mashable.com.
Watching film to get to know your opponents is an important resource for any coach or athlete. Numerous high schools and colleges across the country use Krossover to their advantage, cutting back on the amount of time spent analyzing (and replaying) hours and hours of footage.
"We watch film now for 30 minutes a session rather than two hours," said Chuck Wilbur, head lacrosse coach at Onondaga Community College, whose team has won seven NJCAA championships since 2006 and went on a 70-game winning streak.
Originally from Bangalore, India, Kulkarni played for a year as a walk-on for the JV team in his senior year at the University of Pennsylvania. He knew he wasn't going to make it to the pros, but he also noticed how much time and effort his coaches spent going through film. So Kulkarni aimed his data-minded brain at developing Krossover, which has grown from a single client in 2010 to more than 2,000 at the beginning of 2014—including the University of Kentucky, Georgetown, Princeton, the Arena Football League and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
In 2013, the Amherst College basketball team used Krossover to get the detailed scoop on its upcoming opponents for the NCAA Division III men's championship. Amherst won. "It was almost sinister, completely unfair, what they did with that knowledge," wrote the Boston Globe at the time.
Most of Krossover's business comes from high school basketball teams, which have accepted statistics as a verifiable decision-making resource. But Krossover is not simply an analytics tool; it quantifies dozens of other visual data points. For example, "location data" can tell you from which side of the court your players are more accurate. "Assist distribution location" tells you where the assists come from and the areas on the court from which your players are more likely to pass the ball. The data and organized video will tell you a story—highlights and lowlights, game recap, and play-by-play rundown.
Kulkarni is taking it even further, now aiming to quantify variables that were not thought quantifiable, such as sports IQ and "hustle factor."
In an interview with NBC, Kulkarni said, "A lot of coaches who go by this gut feel, they like to talk about hustle. Sometimes that's the answer to their statistics. It's 'oh well, you can't really measure the intangibles. And that's what I look at when I'm talking about my team.' So we try to look at some of those things as well. So we measure deflections. Deflections are a good indicator of how active your hands are, and how active your team is as a whole on defense. So if you can measure deflections, winning 50/50 balls on the floor, steals and rebounds, now you have the potential to put some sort of weighted average on these things and come up with a metric around hustle, which is one of those intangibles that coaches really like to see."
In terms of IQ, Krossover created a game out of it and developed sIQ, an app that tests your perceptual ability. It freezes the action halfway through a play and reveals how the play finishes. The user guesses how the pseudo team arrived at that result. The game grades your answer and records how long it took you to respond.
In addition, the company has joined forces with the TRIA Orthopaedic Center to broaden its analytics platform to include data about injuries.
Director of Operations Amyn Bandali told STACK about their new "tendency reports," a field chart specifically for football, where you're able to look at multiple scenarios to see how you perform against certain defenses.
Coming in 2015 (or so) will be a program for individual athletes, in which they will be able to upload and archive all of their game film and create and customize their own highlight reel to share with friends, family and potential coaches and recruiters.
"You can show your kids 20 years from now all your made shots, your best plays," said Bandali. "our goal is to catalog and analyze all your film from when you're in middle school through the last game you ever play."
Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock