Game Stats for High School? The madness continues…

Basketball teams paying big bucks for ‘stats’ analysis from video footage is the norm for the pros, but high school? Sadly this is the case. 475 high schools paid $2,000 for game analysis from Krossover, a start-up company that analyzes game videos. As unbelievable as this sounds, the concept of our kids becoming ‘just a number’ takes on new meaning, our kids are now being ‘staticized’.

Sports Stats for High School Teams – Seriously?
The Wall Street Journal featured this story yesterday, “Game Film Goes to School: How one Stathead is Carving out a New Market: High-School Coaches.” and young entrepreneur Kulkarni puts his mathematical genius to work at his recently acquired company and analyzes video footage to produce voluminous data on young players.

He  [Kulkarni] began showing up at coaching clinics and scholastic sports conventions in 2010 to pitch his product. After testing it with 50 teams during the 2010-11 season, he capped orders at 475 this season. “I swear I had people offering to bake me cookies if they could get on the system,” he said. (WSJ)

Where’s the Fun?
There is something just not right with this. I guess the good old days of school sports for the purpose of team building, sportsmanship, exercise and dare I say, fun are long gone. 😦

After reading the endorsements on the website for Krossover, I was somewhat disturbed by the tone of these [high school] coaches’ testimonials. If it weren’t for the high school names associated with each, I’d think they were coaching at the professional level. I’ve included a selection below:

“Accurate statistics and video analysis are vital to our game planning and success. Krossover provides us with detailed statistics with a very quick turnaround time. We use these stats to analyze our players’ performances as we craft our game plan for our next contest”.  Coach Travis Hess, Langley High School, VA

“Krossover made an immediate impression on me with its quality, ease of use, ability to segment a player’s every touch in a game for individual film sessions where ever a computer can be found. I am sure it will make our entire team more efficient and better overall. … we are providing the best in video breakdown and training.” Coach Sean McInnis, King Philip High School, MA

“This is my first [time] using Krossover and I can’t imagine what it was like before we had the service. It has saved me a tremendous amount of time. I can watch clips and break down film in half the time it took to watch an entire tape. My players can watch the games at home and the highlight reels allow me to emphasize things from the film. And the stats part of the service is worth the price alone!” Coach Travis Hess, Langley High School, VA

Had these been testimonials by pro football or basketball coaches, it all sounds good. But again, these coaches are talking about kids, 9th through 12th graders.  Do you think the kids look forward to going to basketball practice and listening to this? Do the kids have the maturity to process and apply this information? Or do they even want to?  Where did the fun go?  That’s what I want to know.

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