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Great feature on success of @gbboxing with contributions from @eis2win's Ian Gatt and @Con1000 #TeamBehindGBBoxing http://t.co/tZpEJDmSPP

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iboxer System Allowing World Leading Analysis

iboxer System Allowing World Leading Analysis

The 'iboxer' analysis software at EIS Sheffield

by James Skitt - 02.04.12

Performance Analysis services have become a crucial part of the support network behind many sports in recent years, with the English Institute of Sport (EIS) employing 16 practitioners alone, helping athletes and coaches across a range of sports analyse both their own and opponents strengths and weaknesses.

One sport governing body that has embraced this technological approach is GB Boxing, which has installed a world leading video system dubbed ‘iboxer’ at its training base in Sheffield.

The system was the subject of a recent programme on the BBC World Service and featured contributions from boxers and coaches from the Olympic programme along with EIS Performance Analyst, Rob Gibson, who works with GB Boxing.

Gibson explained: “There are two screens (pictured), a large one and a small one.   The small screen is a computer which is networked to a whole series of cameras trained on the three rings we’ve got in the gym.  We can control these cameras to see what we’re interested in, record particular sparring and feedback on what makes the biggest performance impact.

“As soon as a session is finished we can very quickly pull up a list of all the videos that have been recorded during the session so they can be reviewed by the coach and athlete.

“We also have a birdseye camera which allows us to look a little more specifically at the movement patterns of the boxer.”

The system is supplemented by footage from tournaments collected by Gibson and his EIS colleague Kathryn Stuart, who between them travelled with GB Boxing to 10 international tournaments in 2011.

“When we go to tournaments generally I’ll have a handheld camera, so I’ll just sit in the stand somewhere and film. At competitions we’ll film the boxers we need to look at and then what we can do is synchronise all the analysis back to the database, or we take the database away with us on hard drives” he adds.

The support provided by the Performance Analysts is highly regarded by both boxers and coaches on the GB Boxing programme as it enables them to analyse opponents and get a more detailed insight into their own strengths and weaknesses.

GB Boxing Podium coach Dave Alloway said: “The iboxer is massively important to us as it enables us to look at boxers from around the world.

“We also tend to debrief our boxers once a week as they spar.  (Having it on tape means) you can see areas of weakness where they need to make improvements and also the positive stuff so it’s invaluable to us.

“What happens in a split second in a ring is easy to miss so what we can do is go back to the screen and Rob can slow things down and we can look at it in depth. It will make a difference and does make a difference.”

Gibson believes the technology allows around a 25-30% improvement in the quality of the information that can be fed back to the boxer and coach.

GB Boxer and World Championship silver medallist, Luke Campbell, said: “It has made a lot of difference because it means we can analyse opponents and get our tactics right going into fights. Not only that but we can analyse our sparring all the time and pick things up so it’s really useful.”
 

Audio The full feature is still available to listen to on BBC iplayer here

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