first_img Published on October 10, 2018 at 10:52 pm Contact Danny: [email protected] | @DannyEmerman Comments The Apple AirPod lodged in Syracuse head coach Phil Wheddon’s right ear during games isn’t blasting rock music.Wheddon receives information from assistant coach Kelly Lawrence, who is stationed atop the SU Soccer Stadium bleachers and sees the game from a bird’s-eye view. This is common procedure for Syracuse (3-11, 0-6 Atlantic Coast), Wheddon said.SU doesn’t use the communication strategy every game. It depends on how the stands are set up. When applicable, Wheddon will send a member of his coaching staff to the bleachers to be his “eyes in the sky” and observe, at least to start the match, the tactics and formations of the opposing team.Wheddon typically sends Lawrence. In the Orange’s 6-3 loss to North Carolina State last Thursday, Lawrence spent the first 18 minutes of the match in the stands, feeding information into Wheddon’s ear. Against North Carolina, she returned to the bench after 25 minutes perched above the video cameras, in the bleachers.“It’s not really a timing thing,” Wheddon said. “I think, as a staff, it’s always good to have a set of eyes upstairs to really identify what the other team is doing.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textLaura Angle | Digital Design EditorGetting input from assistant coaches in elevated vantage points has been helpful, Wheddon said, adding that he trusts his coaching staff and the relaying of information. The game can look different from the sideline than from above.“I think it does paint a different picture because as a coach, sometimes you feel something from the sideline,” Wheddon said. “You may feel like there’s a certain space or people are taking advantage of a certain area of the field. And yet, from above, it might actually appear to be different.”Against NC State, the Orange was tasked with bottling up junior forward Tziarra King, who has registered 21 points, second most in the ACC. From the start, SU’s game plan wasfor Clarke Brown to shadow King, but when Lawrence noticed King occasionally drifting toward midfield, the Orange had to adjust. Since Wheddon didn’t want Brown sucked too far away from her net, SU had to pass King to a midfielder when King retreated to patrol the midfield. Early in the Orange’s 7-1 loss to No. 3 UNC, Lawrence observed that the Tar Heels were sticking a midfielder on Brown when they possessed the ball, creating a “numbers up” advantage, Wheddon said. Instead of forcing Brown to cover two attackers, midfielder Sydney Brackett often had to drop back on defense so Brown could mark the more dangerous offensive Tar Heel.Many teams have used the “eye in the sky” tactic against SU, Wheddon said. According to the 2018 NCAA soccer rule book, members of coaching staffs who are listed on the game roster, and are on site, are permitted to communicate with each other via electronic devices. Teams cannot use electronics to dispute a call during the game, and they cannot use drones.While technology has helped SU make in-game adjustments and given another perspective to Wheddon, it has not translated to wins in the ACC.“Against a team like UNC, they have so many different tools, so many different weapons,” Wheddon said. “You know, Kelly stayed up there a little bit longer just to make sure that we were seeing the right thing and they weren’t doing anything else. … Even though we identified it, it was very difficult to stop.”center_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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