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    Taking football to the edge

    Teaching the coaches

    Photo By Spc. Travis Terreo | Thomas Morris, Army Game Studio team member, demonstrates how to use the new Go Army...... read more read more



    Story by Pvt. Travis Terreo 

    205th Theater Public Affairs Support Element

    SAN ANTONIO - As Tony Donatelli speaks, a man sitting on the stage, his face illuminated by the soft glow of the laptop in front of him, presses keys and clicks his mouse. Those gathered in the room watch as the football players on the screen spring to life; quarterback receiving the snap, lineman coming together in a bone crushing mass, and receivers streaking down the sidelines. And so the Go Army Edge Football Application was introduced, in spectacular fashion, to a room full of 2015 Army All-American Bowl coaches.

    Donatelli, Army Game Studio Lead Designer, is the man in charge of the team that has worked for more than one year to create this one-of-a-kind application. The app allows the user to view the play from the first person perspective of any position on the field, as well as being able to program specific plays, formations and routes.

    “What this does is let the coaches draw on the app, just like on a whiteboard, except now the app can flip it and run it in 3D,” Donatelli said. “They can see actual players running those routes, doing those motions, checking those calls, changing those coverages, and things like that.”

    In addition to the abilities that this application gives the coaches, it is fully customizable. The app enables users to replicate any existing uniform, or, if they wish, to use one of their own design. On top of that, the opposing team can be customized to show specific names and numbers of opponents that they will be playing in real life.

    “Being able to go from drawing on a board to putting it in 3D is pretty cool,” said Coach Gino Mariani, Highland Highschool, Pocatello, Idaho. “These kids eat that stuff up.”

    A need for training is something that both the Army and football players have in common. In both cases, the individuals involved have to train their minds and bodies to react to specific situations naturally so that their reaction times will be quicker. This is most often accomplished by repetition like that offered by the app.

    “This is what our special forces operators do,” said Mark Davis, Director of the Army Marketing Research Group. “This is that same technology. They never go somewhere they haven't visited virtually at least one or two or twenty times.”

    The app has already been provided to the coaches who attended the presentation at the Grand Hyatt San Antonio hotel on Jan. 2, 2015, but will soon be available to all for free.

    There is one catch to obtaining the app, though. The downloadable app will not have every aspect available unless the user contacts their local recruiting office to have the inaccessible portions unlocked. Though the contact is required to access the full version, no commitment is required.

    “We are trying to facilitate a phone call from a football coach to a U.S. Army recruiter,” Donatelli said. “That's not to say the coach has to invite the recruiter out or anything, we just want them to make that phone call.”

    While the app is a gift from the Army to football players and coaches, it is also a way to further the link between these athletes and Army recruiters. Not every high school football player will have the opportunity to play college or professional sports; they do all, however, acquire skills from the sport that are sought out by, and valued within, the Army.

    “The Army loves football,” Davis said. “They love football players because the values of a football team are very, very similar to the values of the Army and of it's Soldiers.”



    Date Taken: 01.02.2015
    Date Posted: 01.03.2015 00:48
    Story ID: 151323
    Location: SAN ANTONIO, TX, US 

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