Play Analyzer Turns Football Coaching and Programs Into Winners -- Without the Technological Hurdles

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Experienced coaches who have influenced their win-loss records when coaching football have been using the Landro play analyzer - now available at reduced, annual subscription rate.

Successful high school and college football coaching includes one mandate: win games.

As part of his preparation for coaching football, he and his team will spend many hours studying game and practice film to prepare for each opponent. Yet some coaches shrink the minute you mention video editing equipment.

The last thing a coach wants to deal with is the technological jungle that is video editing. Even trying to navigate using forward and rewind on videotape, or DVD, can be a challenge to find the right play, player or formation. The coach just wants to get to the good stuff that translates into winning: teaching and improving the execution and technique of his players. Not working the damn equipment.

On top of that, the playing field is decidedly uneven for the many schools that cannot afford such equipment, which can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Forget about the systems the pros use, that'll run 6 figures. However, the popular Landro play analyzer (don't you dare call it a video editor, says the company) works without a lick of editing and with the ease of navigation more along the lines of the TiVo™ system used to record your favorite TV programs.

But the news here is not that such a system exists - the Landro Play Analyzer is already known within football coaching circles. However IRIS Technologies, the privately held company that manufactures the product has recently revamped the way it brings the product to high schools and universities. Instead of the usual flat rate cost to purchase the system that could run up to $5,000 dollars, the play analyzer is now available at an annual subscription rate of less than a thousand dollars.

At the same time, the company has opened up the technology in such as way that it can now be used any time, anywhere by not only the head coach, but every assistant coach and player on the team. Even parents and boosters can have access to game or practice footage.

"It's the single most important piece of equipment we have in our program - outside of the players," says high school football coach Kevin Pettis.

Pettis already knows how effective the Landro Play Analyzer is for coaching football. The year before he took over the high school football program in Orlando the varsity squad had suffered through a 0-10 season. In his second year calling the shots, the team won 10 games. To the casual observer, this turn of events might seem like a streak of luck. But Pettis had done the same thing in Georgia, where he transformed a 0-10 pushover into a dynasty with a 30-game winning streak. According to Pettis, the lucky part was that in both situations he had boosters who were willing to pay for the Landro Play Analyzer.

Pettis is now preparing for his first season with Deland High School. Last year their record was - guess what? - 0-10. But he thinks his chances for another turnaround are good, because although his school can afford the play analyzer, this time he'll be taking full advantage of the subscription-based version.

"On Monday I put together a quick highlight tape of Friday's game and send it out by email to boosters, colleges, coaches and parents," says Pettis. "Everybody wants to see the highlights, but who has time to sit through a three-hour tape? It really helps colleges recruit our players. I have college coaches say nobody does it like we do."

The easy-to-use analyzer not only saves enormous chunks of time for coaches, who must organize the tapes, it improves the lives of the athletes - another reason parents are embracing the technology. Pettis says in the old days a coach would hand a player a video tape or DVD and say, go home and watch this over and over. But that demand cut into family and homework time. "Now you give them a link with just the key plays and they can watch it online at home before they go to bed, or watch it when they get up in the morning."

The Bradshaw Mountain High School football team in Arizona had won championships in the past. But when they stepped up to a new division, they failed to make the play-offs for 10 years. Three years ago coach Chuck Apap came to town. Since then the Bears have made the play-offs each year, won the regional championship, and were runner-ups for the trophy the following year. Just luck? Maybe, except that Apap enjoyed similar success at his previous job in Walled Lake, Michigan. The lucky part, he says, was having boosters and parents who understood the value of such a system for football coaching.

"It's very easy to use. We get to put over 80 games in. When we put games in we can break it down. We can get so many different reports. For example, when we play an opponent I can tell you the number one passing and running plays they like to run. I can organize by plays, formations, and when I do it by formations I can print out all the plays they can run in that formation. The nice part is I can make copies of their plays so my players can study them," says Apap.

Apap is proud of his teams' trophies and win-loss ratios. But he sounds most happy when talking about the academic rewards the play analyzer has helped some players reap. One student-athlete who set a record kicking field goals won a scholarship to an excellent college where tuition is $45,000 per year. "We were able to hook him up with that school after they looked at his tape. It used to take 12 hours to make a highlights video tape. Now organizing all the plays during the season saves lots of time. Besides making us better coaches, it will definitely help your son - if he has the ability - to play college football." (The scholarship student will play on a team that is quarterbacked by an athlete Apap coached in Michigan).

But won't boosters, who raise funds for blocking sleds and shoulder pads, balk when asked to shell out another $995 for the system? Apap says the system was easy to sell parents and boosters after they saw the benefits for [football coaching - and his schools purchased the original $5,000 version. "You've got to get people to believe in what you do. This system makes that so easy."

For more information about IRIS Technologies, Inc., contact RobFirment at rfirment(at)iristech.com; write 104 Industrial Park Road
Greensburg, PA 15601, call (866) 354-4747, fax 724-832-8999 or visit the website: http://www.landro.com

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HEATHER METCALFE

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