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My Newest Team Member: Watlicam

Today I want to introduce the newest member of my team, except there’s a catch. It’s not a person…it’s a camera. The camera, called Watlicam, will revolutionize the way I train and evaluate players at my clinics and tournaments.

Watlicam is the first camera that simultaneously films both above and below the waterline. These two views are integrated into a perfectly defined image that can be analyzed and recorded. Watlicam can also move along the pool’s edge and rotate 100% to follow a moving target. If you want to visualize what I’m taking about check out this awesome video created by the Watlicam company:

I first learned about Watlicam from my business partner Adam Wright (UCLA water polo). Adam and I are working together to run both the first-ever youth Aquatic Games, and a high-level training academy this June. At these and other related events, we are committed to leveraging the newest sports-based technologies. That’s because doing so allows us to train participants in ways that were previously difficult or impossible.

In water polo an athlete’s body is underwater about 90% of the time. With Watlicam, I can finally see exactly how a player’s body is moving during these periods. This means I can coach players on how to best move their legs. I can also evaluate how “efficient” a player is – when moving forward are they actually grabbing enough water, opening their legs correctly, and maximizing flexibility? At the end of the day, it’s these movements that determine how fast a player can move forward.

At both the Aquatic Games and the Summer Academy, Adam, myself, or other expert staff will use Watlicam to work one-on-one with players. In addition to providing direct feedback, we will use the camera to record videos of each participant. They will then be shown this video footage in a session geared at improving technique and positioning. Some of the data we collect using Watlicam will be added to our new Combine.

As far as we know, Adam and I are the first USA-based team to use Watlicam. But our friends at the Barcelona International Water Polo Academy say it’s awesome. I think so too, and hope the camera will play a serious role in helping me grow the sport of water polo in both the USA and abroad.