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Gameplanner, which has made a name for itself with its unique rugby coaching software, has launched a new soccer version. Soccer SessionPlanner v1 will emulate many of the successful features of the rugby version, which was developed out of the professional game.
Like its rugby predecessor, the new software allows users to create animated plans on a virtual pitch, as well as on grids. You create coaching plans by drawing on-screen lines of running, passes, crosses and shots. By clicking on "Action", you can see the effect of your plan in animated play.
The user - teacher or pupil - has complete control over player and ball speed, and can plan where the players should be at any phase in the game. The coach can then video the game plan in action and attach the clip to the animation.
Gameplanner was launched by David Day in 1997. "My first target was the plethora of rugby clubs who could use this as a strong coaching tool," he says, adding that the product is now used at international level by England and Ireland.
"Soccer SessionPlanner is a step on the way to creating a series of similar products. This new software offers teachers, coaches and students the chance to create moves in animation."
The software also acts as a handy storehouse of team information, coaching tips and advice, and a library of video clips which can be used to demonstrate good practice. The software is simple to use and has many interactive features, such as the ability to add names to players on the virtual pitch. "Users can create the ideal fantasy team," says David.
All plans can be printed or emailed, with video clips attached. "We have also included ready-made tactical plans on the CD-Rom and on our website," adds David.
"The best way to use it is for the youngsters to try out different scenarios and tactics and see how they work in an animated simulation. That way they get a real buzz out of talking tactics."