Football's High-Tech Revolution

Coaches embrace new technology advances in football preparation.

ByABC News
November 10, 2008, 4:48 PM

Nov. 24, 2008— -- Football may be one of America's most treasured sports, but this traditional pastime is getting a high-tech makeover that is moving the game from the gridiron to the Internet and even video game consoles.

For many college and pro coaches, technology is a necessary tool to connect with players in the digital age. Some coaches acknowledge that there can be a digital divide between player and coach, and say that it has become increasingly important to engage their players online.

Kevin Morris, the offensive coordinator of the University of Massachusetts football team, has recently started using OnePlaybook, an interactive online playbook that helps coaches manage teams and communicate with their players. Morris says the program, which allows him to upload opponent video and other coaching materials to a secure Web site, has encouraged his players to plug in and spend more time reviewing plays before game day.

"What it allows us to do in this day of the instant access is get our kids to get online and watch video of the opponents from their rooms," Morris said. "They're all online these days. They have Internet on their phones. It's ridiculous. Now they can just sit in their rooms and click to view game material ... and they are better prepared for Saturday."

Brian Manning, the creator of OnePlaybook, says the program offers coaches another teaching tool.

"[The Internet is] a medium that players are really used to. They get information that way all the time, so it makes sense for coaches to leverage that," Manning said. "People learn a lot of different ways. Putting coaching material online is another way for players to learn."

XOS Technologies, one of the leading providers of sports technology to professional and college teams, not only hopes to leverage the Internet, but is also trying to teach players through another medium they may be familiar with -- video games.