(Source: Boston Herald)
From a camera perched atop a sideline tower on the Miami practice field, it seemed like Hurricanes quarterback Brad Kaaya misread a particular play.
The camera hovering five feet over his head showed otherwise.
With the help of an affordable $500 toy, Miami coaches and players are studying film like never before. The Hurricanes are using a drone with a camera attached to capture their practices, now studying footage gleaned from its unusual vantage points along with what’s collected from more traditional places like sidelines and end zones.
“It’s all about getting the players information they need so they can play fast and execute,” Miami coach Al Golden said. “This drone, in terms of quarterback play, I don’t know if there’s any other way to do it anymore.”
Miami isn’t the first to bring a drone into practices. UCLA made headlines last spring when it revealed it has embraced the drone point of view, and Tennessee and Louisville are among the few other schools who are known to have tinkered with the technology.
Miami isn’t just tinkering. The drone is necessary equipment now for the Hurricanes, who are planning to acquire more and better ones soon, and it will soon be part of Miami’s recruiting pitches.
“We’ve always been behind in sports when it comes to technology,” Miami offensive coordinator James Coley said. “Coaches don’t like change. Nobody does this, not the way we do this.”
Coley said he started seriously thinking about bringing a drone into practice this summer. He was on vacation in the British Virgin Islands and noticed one of the small devices hovering about.
He eventually ordered a drone and five battery packs, since the flying time on each battery was only about eight minutes per charge. The Hurricanes put the drone into regular use starting around late September, and it’s perhaps not a coincidence that Kaaya — the team’s true freshman quarterback — has been making better decisions ever since.
“When you see from the drone’s point of view, you get a complete panoramic view of the field,” Kaaya told The Associated Press. “You see what I’m seeing. You see the whole field better and then it’s easier to show coaches what I was thinking at any given moment.”
Alan is serial entrepreneur, active angel investor, and a drone enthusiast. He co-founded DRONELIFE.com to address the emerging commercial market for drones and drone technology. Prior to DRONELIFE.com, Alan co-founded Where.com, ThinkingScreen Media, and Nurse.com. Recently, Alan has co-founded Crowditz.com, a leader in Equity Crowdfunding Data, Analytics, and Insights. Alan can be reached at alan(at)dronelife.com