Colleges use drones to help football players In this drones eye view, Miami quarterback Brad Kaaya, front center, gestures before a play begins during an NCAA college practice in Coral Gables, Florida (AP Photo / Miami Athletics)
Colleges use drones to help football players
Lexile

From a camera perched atop a sideline tower on the University of Miami football 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. They study footage gleaned from its unusual vantage points along with what's filmed from traditional locations 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. 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 ordered a drone and the Hurricanes put the drone into regular use in late September, and it's perhaps not a coincidence that Kaaya the team's new 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."

The drone, which gets moved to show numerous angles in each practice, has also led to some interesting moments.

Players have been known to gesture wildly at the drone after making a big play. Kaaya had to learn to get used to having a machine buzzing "it's like rabid bees," he said not far from his helmet. And during the week where Miami prepped for Duke, a higher-powered drone than what Miami uses was spotted at practice; ultimately, it was deemed to be a fraternity prank.

"I was thinking it was Duke," Kaaya said. "They're pretty smart over there."

It wasn't Duke, and spying isn't permitted under NCAA rules. Teams can use it at their own practices only, not games.

"It's close enough to the action, but you can see what's going on in the whole field," Kaaya said. "Every year, every college is looking to reinvent the wheel. You always have to come up with new ways, new technology. It's good to keep up with the times. And it helps."

Critical thinking challenge: What is the drones point of view and how is it different from other points of view?

Filed Under:  
Assigned 80 times


COMMENTS (31)
  • TaylorHartman-Ste
    11/06/2014 - 09:59 a.m.

    I feel like the best way to perfect a play, is to be able to watch your mistakes and see what you need to improve on. I wish all schools were given this opportunity.

  • MJade-Sti
    11/06/2014 - 11:00 a.m.

    I think it's pretty cool they did that! Were the football players okay with him doing that or not? Does that team win often? How is there "track" record of winning?

  • Christian881
    11/06/2014 - 11:31 a.m.

    I think that the idea of using a drone to look at different perspectives is smart. I think that it would help them because when you're on the field there is a completely different perspective. When I read this storm I was surprised to see how many teams used these drones. It says that it's making the team better so that's good. If I were a coach I would use one of these.

  • SAlexander-Sti
    11/06/2014 - 03:51 p.m.

    A $500 dollar drone with a camera hooked up to it, to record the players at practice to see the way they play and where they should play. I think this was a great idea and can help to win more games in the future.

  • DBenjamin-Cas
    11/06/2014 - 06:48 p.m.

    I think it is a good idea to use a drone. It would allow coaches to watch the play and the entire field at the same time. Also, it allows the coaches to figure out if the play is good and to figure out if they need to make any changes or not.

  • ARany-Cas
    11/06/2014 - 07:28 p.m.

    I think it's a good idea to use a drone for football. It helps coaches to see the plays and watch the field at the same time and helps them tell if that was a good play and if not what do they need to fix.

  • DRontarin-Cas
    11/07/2014 - 10:26 a.m.

    I think that it is first person point of view because you are seeing everything at a better angle and more high up over everybody. Its different because you can see everything that is going on instead from far away getting something recorded in the bleachers.

  • AndrewL-Gli
    11/07/2014 - 02:21 p.m.

    the story is making it easy for the football players remember their plays more easier so the can win the game and be defeated because some of the players canr rememmber the plays like they suppose to.

  • CeslinaA-Gli
    11/07/2014 - 02:28 p.m.

    I think it is a good idea to use a drone. It would allow coaches to watch the play and the entire field at the same time. Also, it allows the coaches to figure out if the play is good and to figure out if they need to make any changes or not.

  • BelyndaW-Gli
    11/07/2014 - 02:30 p.m.

    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. It will soon be part of Miami's recruiting pitches.

Take the Quiz Leave a comment
ADVERTISEMENT