Dartfish Tagging

Dartfish has two functions:  technical (biomechanical analysis) analysis and tagging (performance or notational analysis).

Except for the most technical of sports (e.g., diving or gymnastics) or high performance sport where the tiniest of edges can have a significant impact on world ranking (e.g., pro tennis serve), the tagging function is most useful to team or dual/combat sports to analyze the tactical (or technical/tactical) aspects.  (Personally, Dartfish technical analysis only slows me down – I can quickly make technical changes with my athletes, perhaps only briefly referring to a few seconds of video.)

Unfortunately, due mostly to the high degree of attention to the technical analysis of the software, very few coaches are aware of the advantages of the tagging function.  For example, my Dartish tagging example is the only squash example available through a Google search.

Also, despite the fact that Dartfish has published a number of guides and instructional videos, the learning curve is steep and initial use of the software is extremely challenging – especially for coaches who may do little analysis out-of-season (so up to six months may elapse between uses).

The frequent updates (four since 2007) to the software are also costly.

Other barriers to it’s use by Smith varsity Head Coaches:

  • ESS, not Athletics owns the software and it is installed on ESS computers in the graduate student lab, not the most encouraging scenario for frequent use;
  • Although ESS graduate students receive Dartfish training, Athletics Department coaches do not (except for the small training I ran in 2007?) – the software is unusable without significant training (not intuitive – difficult to self-teach);
  • High coach turnover in the last several years – few were around when the initial purchase was made (time of highest interest);
  • Lack of official encouragement/coordination of its use – for example a dedicated Athletic’s lab or multiple licenses (or coach partnerships to share licenses) – I believe the Athletics Department bought a competing software this past year “Gamebreaker”?
  • As mentioned above, lack of use in general by fellow and other coaches – so little general knowledge of its advantages.

The ESS Department is considering spending $3,000 in the the next fiscal year (2011-12) on “renewing” (obtaining an updated version – 5.5 from 4.5 Team Pro edition? perhaps with some support?).

Your comments and feedback would be very useful in determining if this would be a wise acquisition:

  1. Have you ever used the Dartfish software?
  2. Were you aware that the College owned multiple licenses and that the software was available for you to use?
  3. Do you personally know any coaches who use a tagging software for their college team?
  4. Are you aware of any other (or a better or cheaper) software?
  5. After viewing the example of a tagging analysis below (Gaelic Football – it is almost St. Paddy’s) would you be interested in being able to use this software?
  6. How large a priority would this (#5) be: low, medium, high.

Please leave you comments (by March 24) in the comment box below this post and I will collect the circulate the comments to the ESS and Athletic Department.


11 Responses to Dartfish Tagging

  1. rhemif says:

    1. I have only used Dartfish as a requirement for a class in my first year in the ESS program (microcomputers class)

    2. I did not know that Smith owned multiple licenses, but I knew that Dartfish was available for my use

    3. I think a couple of the teams at Smith use tagging software (I think I saw the soccer and field hockey grad assistants using them last year)

    4. I know nothing about other types of software like Dartfish

    5. I wouldn’t use software like this unless it was a requirement—too complex and time consuming for what I feel like I need as a coach

    6. Don’t really understand this question… How large a priority would it be for me to use tagging software? Very low…

  2. Kristina Latta-Landefeld says:

    1. Yes; for class- never outside of class
    2. Yes; because of class
    3. Yes; they use Gamebreaker
    4. I do not use tagging. I take video, upload to YouTube and leave a comment for my rowers. This works well.
    5. The software doesn’t seem particularly applicable for rowing coaches.
    6. Low priority for me. I think that the ESS students find it cumbersome, even after getting several tutorials and submitting assignments using Dartfish.

  3. Sam Allen says:

    1. No, I have never used Dartfish.
    2. Yes
    3. Yes, we use Gamebreaker
    4. No
    5. Not sure, probably though
    6. low

  4. Devin says:

    1. I have used it and think it could be helpful if I had more time to use it.

    2. I was aware that we were licensed to have 5 copies and have used a couple different versions.

    3. I do not know coaches who use tagging, but I do know coaches that use other parts of the dartfish software.

    4. I am not aware of other cheaper software.

    5. It would be interesting to use the software if there was a better way to let the athletes view it. I have not had much luck with the dartfish channels.

    6. I think it is low for the ess students, although it could be very beneficial to coaches who invest the time to learn the software.

  5. elisa says:

    1. Yes- as a player we used it.
    2. No
    3. No
    4. Yes, Right View Pro.
    5. No
    6. Low

  6. Krystyn says:

    1. No
    2. I was under the impression that some of the teams used it, but I wasn’t sure it was available to me. I have always wanted to use it because it would be perfect for rugby, but I didn’t know where or how to obtain training…or if it was even an option.
    3. Yes, my coach used the tagging system for hockey and it worked well to isolate things for video sessions.
    4. I’ve heard of Geambreaker but don’t know much about either program.
    5. YES YES YES. The technical body positioning is one of the heardest things to break down to a rugby player, and this programs would be incredible for that.
    6. Medium to High.

  7. KGB says:

    I have used Dartfish for both swimming and diving and find it a great tool when I have the time to use it. I do not use the team tagging aspects of it. I use it for individual technical corrections and comparisons.

  8. Coree says:

    1. Yes, for Don’s computer class last year.
    2. Yes.
    3. I do not know any coaches who use the software in any capacity.
    4. No, but I have not looked into it.
    5. I think the software can do great things that it would provide a coach and team with interesting and useful information. However I think the program is not user friendly and is quite time consuming- not sure how practical it is for most coaches who do not have a large staff.
    6. Low. The fact that I’m leaving Smith in May is not a factor. If I were staying I don’t think this would be the best investment for the department.

  9. Lily says:

    1. No
    2. Yes
    3. No
    4. No
    5. I would be interested in using this software, but more likely for biomechanical analysis for a specific study vs using consistently for game analysis.
    6. High – I look forward to using this program when I take biomechanics next year

  10. 1.Yes, in class
    3.Yes, both the women’s soccer and women’s basketball coach used tagging at Kenyon. It seemed to help immensely with the breakdown of the games
    5.Not really
    6.Low, I think the money could be used elsewhere

  11. beth says:

    1. yes
    2. yes.
    3. No college coaches, but it is used in a coaching DVD series with Mike Teti and the men’s US national team. It is not a very good DVD.
    4. imovie. ANY video software that is mac compatible. PC + video = headache.
    5. Maybe for sports other than rowing
    6. Low. There are easier/simpler ways to use video for my sport.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: