I have recently purchased a drone, and I have decided to use it for some of my football coaching sessions. Why? because I can and I want to.
Football and Drones, do they go together? Let’s be clear from the start – A drone is a coach’s tool, the same as a camera or a whiteboard and marker pen.
It will not improve a player’s skill development or help them play better in games and it certainly will not develop them as an overall athlete. The drone is there simply to gather data from other angles and from a different perspective.
There has been a huge rise in the popularity of drones over the last few years. Getting those aerial shots of some fantastic scenery that was very difficult to obtain by your average everyday Joe can now be achieved with minimal practice and a drone.
Let’s be honest, a drone is a luxury that not everybody will be able to afford, but the good news is you don’t have to break the bank to be able to buy one, depending on what you will use it for.
As I mentioned previously a drone is a tool that can be utilised by a coach to see a different perspective of the pitch or training session. It will not improve them as athletes but it will give you a wider perspective of the pitch and players
A coach will normally only have a grounds eye view of their session (depending on their team’s level – grassroots/professional) which is very narrow, so may not see all the angles, spaces and distances between players, units or the whole team.
- They are fun to fly
- A drone’s aerial view of the pitch, operated by the coaching staff, gives you a much clearer overall picture of the team’s movement and positioning.
- Object tracking and autopilot offer limitless, hands-off filming potential.
- A birdseye view gives a clearer understanding of where each player is in different training scenarios.
- Drones can reach anywhere on the pitch, which is very difficult for coaches to reach.
- FAA Rules & Regulations – Anybody looking to take drone photography will need to complete a multiple-choice basic flying test to obtain a flyer ID and must register their drone for an operator ID.
- There are strict regulations all pilots must adhere to during the flight of their drone. The drone cannot be flown any lower than 50 feet above the pitch and must not fly higher than 400ft.
- Battery life lasts around 30 minutes (my drone – DJI Mavic mini 2) but could be more or less depending on the quality of the drone.
- Weather Dependency – Drones are reliable as long as the weather is clear and wind-free.
If you are a modern innovative and forward-thinking coach along with other coaching techniques, then using a drone to look analyse your coaching practices from a different perspective is for you.
I believe this will be adopted more and more in the game as time goes on, with further technological advances and an increase in battery life will add further to their popularity, especially in professional football. That’s not to say it cannot be used in grassroots football, as it can and I am certain the players would love to see aerial footage of themselves in a variety of training scenarios that they could use to self analyse themselves.
However, with this new technology entering the world of football, there will always be some confusion around legislation and the fear of breaking the law, but if the drone is piloted safely and in good conditions there should be little or no problems.