Soccer has experienced a style revolution over the past decade. The days of the midfield hockey-like bruisers are a thing of the past and the game is nowadays developed on speed, burst, and movement. Players today, like Messi or Ronaldo, almost magically contort their bodies after years of practicing specific dynamic movement again and again. This opens up the question of how can we harness technology to help us train and unearth the next superstar.

Israeli sports-tech startup Playform, which develops a computer vision and AI-driven training tool, announced a strategic partnership with Washington Youth Soccer (WYS), one of the top  U.S. youth systems with over 90,000 listed players.

All you need is a working smartphone to train

Playform provides players with high-level, customizable data-backed training techniques that can be easily accessed from their smartphones. The app measures various technical skills and provides instant, actionable feedback for both players and coaches, who can compare their team against others’ skill through the platform.. Players can set up a training session anywhere and anytime, and by using their smartphone camera, players can execute and record drills that the app will analyze and use to automatically build an overall player evaluation. As players use the app for training and move through the designed drills, the app will constantly customize the training to improve on areas of weakness so that a player can maximize their potential.

In discussing the power of data-driven athlete development, Shmulik Barel, CEO of Playform, said, "Data plays a crucial part in optimizing athlete development programs. In these days of remote training, access to player analytics is more relevant than ever before. However, only 2% of the athletes in the world have access to measurement and analytics technologies to support their development,"

WYS gets a super important tool for maintaining condition and skill, while kids are reluctantly training in backyards, balconies, and anywhere they can as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to limit youth sporting events and training. The partnership with the Israeli startup will provide the Washington state youth with a safe solution for training without compromising on quality or intensity, or as Playform states that they’re helping the kids “return to playing the game they love.”

Barel adds that, "Playform's unique technology brings player analytics into the mass market and hundreds of millions of athletes. We are thrilled to announce the partnership with WYS today."

In celebrating their new partnership, Washington Youth Soccer Director of Partnerships Tony Roberts said, "Playform is an innovative analytics tool for all players and coaches that will support their development journey. We believe that the partnership with Playform will provide incredible results for our players."