JULIE: The Player

Julie is 16 years old and a sophomore in high school. She plays lacrosse with the Wildcats, a U-17 club team that practices twice a week and travels to games on weekends. She works hard in school while still making time for a social life, and takes pride in her athletic accomplishments. She and her best friends compete amongst themselves, constantly bragging about goals they scored or interceptions they made in the last big game. She has been working diligently throughout fall ball with the Wildcats in hopes of starting on her high school team this spring, and wants to play lacrosse in college after graduation.

Julie has been working extremely hard at practice in order to earn that starting midfield spot but can’t always tell if she’s making progress. She continues to log goals and assists as she has in the past, but has no way to quantify any progress she’s made in her defensive skills or in certain intangible contributions, such as getting back on defense, forcing turnovers, or maintaining possession of the ball. She asks the coach for feedback from time to time, but can’t get any objective data about her progress with which to strategize about how to keep improving.

1. Julie attaches the two unique RFID components for the Wildcats’ new stat tracking system to her stick and goggles so that the sensors can detect ball possession and track her position and movement on the field.

2. Later that day, Julie and her teammates try them out at practice. While they are working on their fitness and skills, the system tracks Julie’s running speed, shot and pass speed, shot placement, and defensive performance.

3. That weekend, the team uses the sensors to track the same statistics that they did during practice, as well as others like ball possession, forced and unforced errors, draw controls, and other hard-to-measure statistics.

4. After the game, Julie goes home and looks up her performance on her laptop, analyzing her progress througout the season so far, thinking about ways she can work harder in a couple areas that aren’t improving as quickly as she would like, and patting herself on the back for her great defensive recovery times that afternoon.

5. While celebrating her greatly improved hustle on defense, Julie decides to check the stats of her best friends and compares their defensive recovery stats from that afternoon’s game to her own.

6. Once Julie has confirmed that she bested her friends in today’s game, she shares the comparison view of her stellar performance with her friends, successfully claiming bragging rights for the day.
Category : Fall 2011 / Process / Writing + Research