Germantown Friends School partnering with PlaySight

Image of Cobham training ground

Germantown Friends School (Philadelphia, PA) is set to become the latest prep school athletic program to add PlaySight’s Smart AI and connected camera sports video technology to its campus and athletic facilities. GFS coaches and student-athletes across their sports programs will soon benefit from PlaySight’s pro-level video and performance tools, and parents, alumni and the community will be able to follow along with PlaySight’s live streaming and on demand video platform – the PlaySight Sports Network.

GFS Athletic Director Katie Bergstrom Mark discussed why her program looked to PlaySight for video and live streaming,.

We can share our competitions with parents, siblings in college, and alumni, no matter where they live. It provides a feeling of connection and community.

Why did you decide to make the investment in PlaySight?

“We are focused on sharing our high-level athleticism and coaching with a wider audience. We are proud of our program and want people beyond our campus to see the talent and commitment of the GFS athletes! Today people are able to be in several places at once, thanks to streaming becoming a platform that is available to schools like ours.  We can share our competitions with parents, siblings in college, and alumni, no matter where they live. It provides a feeling of connection and community. We are an urban school and a global school, being able to bring people into Scattergood Gym and to Konover Field regularly is exciting!”

How do you anticipate using PlaySight? What are the features that interest you the most?

“Our aim is to stream one competition per day, and having the portable GO kit makes it possible for us to stream from any of our three gyms, our outdoor fields, or even from one of our satellite facilities.  Over time we hope to be able to support the expansion to having fixed cameras in our gyms so that we can stream multiple events and still have the portable unit for covering venues all over the city!”

How do you plan to use live streaming? For recruiting? Alumni and parent engagement?

“Throughout my 19 years at Germantown Friends, I have learned that GFS really does “embrace the city!” Our facilities span multiple locations across the great city of Philadelphia, from Fairmount Park to the historic Belmont Plateau, so live streaming is a way to make connections!  We feel it’s critical to connect with alumni, current parents, and parents of alumni, and watching live sports is one of the most direct, immediate, and exciting ways to do it!  These audiences are critical to the school’s mission as they are one of the primary sources of future support for our work as educators both within and outside of our athletic spaces.  We also seek to bring new talent to our program. We want the most academic and athletic students coming to GFS!”

What role does video play for your athletic programs?

As a philosophy, I promote using video technology in a positive way. I remember as a collegiate athlete going to watch film and cringing at the constant criticism I would get even after a win and a competition where our team played really well. I know today’s athletes are even more sensitive to this criticism. I believe that video work is a tool to “catch” athletes being amazing and “catch” them getting it right. Creating a highlight reel for an athlete can be a powerful teaching tool.  So many sports psychologist talk about mental imaging, what if each of our students could watch themselves having real success the week before, the night before, the moment before they step onto the field or court for a championship game. It would be a huge advantage! Go Tigers!”

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