Young adults aspiring towards a career in sport have been experiencing the real-life processes of a professional footballer this term at Velocity Football.
Based at Oxford City FC, Velocity Football is a revamped full-time educational academy for male and female students that combines football and sport business with academia for 16 to 23-year-olds.
To enhance students’ learning experiences, the education provider has invested in the latest football technology available to help players establish a better understanding of the game while relating their classroom studies with performances on the pitch. The investment has seen three new pieces of tech introduced into the programmes to enhance its students’ development.
New to the programmes are GPS vests that track players’ movement in training and during matches to collect data such as distance travelled, player load, number of sprints, and a person’s heart rate.
A VEO Camera system that utilises artificial intelligence to track a football and provide tutors with a simple online platform to produce highlights packages and coaching points has also been installed.
Additionally, 360Player, a digital platform that helps tutors to communicate with students and parents and plan sessions has been introduced.
Justin Merritt, director of Velocity Football, said helping students develop a real-life understanding of modern technology used by professional sports clubs is a key factor in helping the students develop and graduate with relevant knowledge experience.
He added: “Technology is now a significant part of sport and football in multiple ways, particularly for player and team development. Our significant investment in modern technology at Velocity Football underlines our commitment to providing our students with the best environment to flourish.
“The use of tools like GPS Vests, VEO Camera, and 360Player will have a direct benefit to the performances of our students and colleagues. They not only helps us to establish a greater understanding of on-field activity but can also benefit individual health too.
“We use the data we collect from our daily training sessions to help students learn about their bodies and know when to rest to ensure everyone has the opportunity to reach their full potential.
“Most professional football clubs use the equipment we provide to our students. This means once our students graduate, they will be well-placed to flourish in a professional environment be it as a player, coach, physio, or member of an analysis team.”
Mickey Lewis, head coach of Velocity’s male programme and former Oxford United midfielder, added: “Velocity Football provides young people with the chance to excel as a student-athlete.
“By using the very latest equipment, we help students not only develop their game but also to understand the opportunities outside of being a professional footballer.
“Through analysing their own data with the support of GPS Vests, VEO Camera, and 360Player, students are subconsciously evolving their understanding of player load, developing their analytical skills, and coaching.”
To learn more about Velocity Football and the pathways it provides to students, visit www.velocityfootball.co.uk where information is available about the education provider’s upcoming Virtual Open Event.
Co-hosted by Justin Merritt and Lauren Haynes, head female coach, the evening will summarise Velocity Football via its video showpiece and provide prospective students and their parents or carers with the opportunity to ask any questions they may have.
The Zoom-based Virtual Open Event will take place on Wednesday, December 9, from 7pm.