Professional clubs
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Revolution
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Virtual Reality, Cognitive Skills and Benchmarking

The SoccerBot360 in Overview

Umbrella Software builds and develops one of the most innovative football training devices in the world. In the area of cognitive drills, the SoccerBot360 sets the standard for high-tech football training at professional clubs. Therefore, it is a highly valuable tool to understand the untapped potentials of professionals and their talents.

Our innovative benchmarking-procedure provides clubs for the first time the opportunity to measure objectively the cognitive abilities of their players in an environment, which mirrors the conditions they encounter on the actual football pitch.

Moreover, the self-developed 3D-visualization of sports movement data creates entirely new perspectives and tools for the tactical analysis of games.

Reviews and Opinions

I have been working intensively with the SoccerBot360 for a year and am fully convinced of its practicality. For the first time, we as coaches have the opportunity to train the cognitive skills of players in isolation. The device provides a multitude of possibilities to trigger several stimuli and the players go to training focused while still having fun.

Tom Stuckey

RB Leipzig U16 Coach and project manager of task group SoccerBot

After my first contact with the SoccerBot360, I realized that in a simple but brilliant way it trains and improves innovatively the player’s cognitive abilities, which are becoming more and more important on today’s football field.
At it, the secondary improvement of technical skills is a welcoming side effect.
The intelligent software provides a large variety of drills and makes players smarter. The device promotes the decision-making skills of players in many ways, especially as the players have a lot of fun while training inside the bot and are highly motivated by the challenges of ever-increasing tasks and stimuli.

Helmut Groß

Football visionary and management consultant for RB Leipzig

The SoccerBot360 fascinates with its simple construction in connection with its technical innovation. Especially in light of the holistic development of the players of tomorrow, it gives us new impulses and will effectively change the training or rather the methods of cognitive drills in football.

Ernst Tanner

Academy Director and Head of Youth Development at the Red Bull Academy Salzburg

The SoccerBot360 is an innovative tool for game-specific training of tactics in a professional football context. From a scientific view, I expect exciting studies with the device, which will continue to exploit new potentials for the development of test procedures and training methods.

Prof. Dr. Daniel Memmert

Managing director of institute German Sports University Cologne

“I consider the SoccerBot360 as an amazing opportunity to improve the individual performance of players, especially their cognitive abilities. By using the SoccerBot360, you can train game-decisive factors like orientation, concentration, decision-making, and mental processing speed as well as examine them under constant conditions.”

Frank Engel

Long-time professional coach and sporting director of youth development for the German Football Association (DFB)

The SoccerBot360 offers a unique way of cognitive training and diagnostics in a movement specific context. The possible opportunities are limitless. The SoccerBot360 is the football lab of the future!

Dr. Christian Kennel

Sports scientists working for RB Leipzig

Working Principle

The SoccerBot360 is a circular training device with a perimeter of 10 meters, providing the space for a 90qm large field on its inside. The edges of the fields contain of 32 segments, 1m wide and 2.5m high, which simultaneously serve as a projection area for the training contents and walls for played passes.

Due to the circular shape played balls bounce back to the player. The 80qm large area of the walls displays 3D rendered contents for the player in sixfold Full-HD.

A high-speed camera detects how fast, sharp, and with which foot one or more players solve the posted assignments through pass or shot. Moreover, the system analyzes the ball processing time and the ball controlling foot.

The combination of live-rendered training contents and 360° ball recognition makes it possible to play a broad spectrum of training drills. The currently available drills vary from abstract modii like “Find and hit the shown target” or “Hit as fast as possible a flashing square” to a realistic depiction of game scenes, which are based on movement data of all Bundesliga games and can be replayed at the user’s leisure.

Cognitive Skills

Football starts inside the mind

The training and fostering of cognitive skills were the focus of many studies and discussions during the past few years, which dealt with the development of professional football players and young talents. Most of them concluded that, especially, the speed of execution plays a vital role as a core competence of a modern football player.

The German professional coach Christoph Daum, who trained teams like Bayer Leverkusen, VfB Stuttgart, or Fenerbahce Istanbul, defined the speed of execution, as follows:

“In football, we identify the speed of execution as the ability to act very rapidly and effectively in complex situations due to visual, mental, technical, and tactical capacities.”

Measuring and training all parts of cognitive abilities, therefore, also means to know the strengths and weaknesses of a player and to be able to react to them specifically.

Training cognitive skills

The SoccerBot360 gives professional clubs an effective tool to develop the mental abilities of their players in a football-specific context. But the device does not only train those skills, it also measures them objectively. The mix of visual stimuli with mental tasks and regulatable stress exposure makes the training inside the SoccerBot360  a unique and diversified experience. The player solves all posed assignments with a ball at his/her feet to keep the difference between performances inside the bot and the real football pitch as small as possible.

The 360°-surrounding graphic projection enables a variety of training forms from abstract drills to game-like situations with realistic football graphics. The distinction between real football and the virtual world is, thereby, blurred, which permits an immense scope of possibilities for the conception of prospective training contents.

  • Sports scientists see enormous potential in the mental training of professional athletes.
  • Training inside the SoccerBot360 promotes the speed of execution, peripheral vision, and the spatial orientation
  • The bot provides novel training stimuli with adaptive difficulty levels and a large pool of exercises
  • Players are confronted with freely changeable situations and solve them always with a ball at their feet
  • Cognitive deficits are rectified, and talents can be further strengthened

Benchmarking

Due to its unique construction, the SoccerBot360 offers lab-like and standardised conditions. Together with sports scientists and psychologists, we are currently developing a benchmark procedure to measure the cognitive abilities of football players.

Similar to blood tests and performance diagnostics, this enables us to make reliable statements about the strengths and weaknesses of an athlete. Moreover, because of the standardisation of the test procedure, measured abilities can be compared with other athletes anytime.

  • A scientific benchmark procedure allows the assessment of players with respect to their cognitive abilities and possible improvement potential.

Game Analysis

Virtual Reality as a game analysation tool 

In addition to its training and measurement possibilities, the virtual world of SoccerBot360 also permits the simulation of games of the Bundesliga or second German league with the help of movement data that the Deutsche Fußball Liga (DFL/German League Association) makes available for all clubs. This data is currently used to create statistics and movement profiles (heat maps, for example); however, the SoccerBot360 processes these resources in a completely new way.

The device computes in real time the simulation of any desired game situation in a 1:1 scale from an any given point of view. While classic game analysation tools like cross-fading or control function are still available, this innovation makes it possible to analyse and evaluate game-decisive moments from a player’s perspective.

  • The 3D-simulation of all Bundesliga/Champions League games from a player’s perspective enables a new form of analysing situations for coaches and players
  • Already familiar video analysation tools for graphical editing are still available; contrary to the classical video analysis, the point of view can be chosen freely.
  • All scenes can be re-played with a ball as often as one like
  • In the near future, position-specific playbooks could be designed to prepare players for specific games or to assist in the integration of new players
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