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The Information Technology Services group that provides tech support to the Athletics Department has introduced new technology to the volleyball program that saves coaches several hours of work a day and strengthens teaching and learning.

OSS Athletics video camera equipmentIn September, ITS On Site Support Athletics rolled out IP cameras that simplify and automate the process of capturing practices and games. The six-camera system in Carmichael Arena automatically uploads video to a server and works in conjunction with a video-clipping service.

The new technology enables the coaches to immediately access the video clips they need to better – and visually – instruct their players.

The new video cameras serve as an extra motivational tool for players and as an additional teaching tool for coaches, said Joe Sagula, UNC-Chapel Hill Women’s Head Volleyball Coach.

“It reinforces what the coaches are saying,” he said.

The team, he added, has built in time during practice to watch video from these cameras.

Willie Nelson of ITS OSS
Willie Nelson

Accessible while also secure

OSS Athletics set up six cameras encompassing the entire arena, said Willie Nelson, OSS Athletics Support Technician. Each camera has a card slot that records any movement overnight for security purposes and can record any section of practice or a game.

“The video is very high quality,” Nelson said. Coaches can “check it in their offices or down in the new locker room or wherever. It’s pretty accessible but it’s also very secure at the same time.”

Automation and multiple cameras ensure coverage

Before Carmichael had these IP cameras, volleyball coaches or work-study students dragged out a camcorder and set it up on a tripod. Sometimes someone would forget to turn it on. The single camera also could not record the variety of angles the coaches and players wanted for optimal instructional analysis. Later, a coach might have to spend two hours to find the desired one-minute clip, Sagula said.

Now coaches can review the video live or delay the recording, as groups of players rotate practicing and watching. Sagula compared that functionality to TiVo.

“We don’t miss anything,” he said.

Clips immediately available

Joe Sagula 2015 headshot
Joe Sagula
Courtesy: Carolina Athletics

Cameras can focus on an individual player or multiple players. A coach can decide to show 10 seconds of video to a player and then have her work on a particular skill. Before, a coach might have tried to explain through words alone or with an iPad. “A lot of our kids are visual learners,” Sagula said. Instead of a coach telling a player something and having to wait a day to retrieve the desired clip to show the player, the coach can show it immediately.

Players “can make the corrections that much quicker,” Sagula said. That improves comprehension and retention, he added.

OSS Athletics researched, purchased and installed this system and then taught the volleyball coaches how to use it. OSS Athletics plans to introduce the technology to tennis and other sports as well, Nelson said.

The OSS Athletics group understands and is attentive to volleyball organization’s needs, Sagula said. “They are driven to help us do our jobs better,” he said. “They want to see us be successful.”






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