Flag football is the new trend sport at Berliner Adler

Susanne Laasch has won the German American Football Championship three times with the Berlin Kobra Ladies. The 45-year-old was invited by a friend to a trial session with Kobras in Wilmersdorf in the early 2000s and ended up staying there.

“The women’s team had just been formed from the Berlin Adler Girls in 2004 and gained fresh motivation from the reorganisation. This spirit attracted me directly, and so it happened that I quickly became a regular part of the team without the big competitive ambitions,’ says Laasch. “After that I found my place in defense and was able to celebrate some professional successes with the girls for five years.”

After her career, she became faithful to football and two years ago became the head coach of the juniors in the Bundesliga club Berlin Adler, the so-called champion team, where young people aged ten to 16 play. In addition, Laasch is also a coach for Bambinis, i.e. boys and girls between the ages of six and ten.

American football, a ball sport that originated in the United States, has established itself in Germany in recent years and has long ceased to be only a one-time event at the beginning of the year, when the Super Bowl is underway. With its high speed and frequent, sometimes hard tackles, football is a sport characterized by great physical effort. Although such an exercise is still conceivable for young people, it is somewhat difficult for the very young.

Flag football is the perfect supplement. “Flag football is the non-contact game variant for children and young people,” explains Laasch. She and her wife have already played on the senior team to get their own image of the sport. “At one point, a new coach was needed for my son’s team. From then on, another family man and I took over,” says Laasch.

Berlin Eagles head coach Susanne Laasch (Mid.) and her assistant coaches.
© promo/Jerome Brandt

Unlike the classic American variant, flag football is still relatively unknown, but interest has increased enormously in Berlin in recent years and was very popular after the last corona-related lockdown. “Like my son, soccer is no longer the holy grail,” says Laasch.

With Pixellot, the games can even be followed from Turkey

Although football has yet to reach the masses, the coach has observed a growing enthusiasm, especially in the youth team. “For a long time now, Bundesliga matches have not only been streamed here, but people are now also arranging to meet to watch football.” Where the former professional player still sees potential for expansion is the proportion of girls on the two teams she oversees. , which is only about ten percent a lie.

In her work as a trainer, the use of the streaming tool “Pixellot”, an AI-based camera system, is a special feature. She was made aware of it by the father of a child and was immediately enthusiastic about it: “The Pixellot camera system is specially developed for small clubs and amateur sports. We can use the camera to record and evaluate our training sessions and games and stream them live via Pixellot app.”

This means that even friends, family and fans who can’t make it to games can be there live. “This creates a whole new level of visibility and appreciation for the youth, but also for women and niche sports.” Laasch explains that there is a pair of grandparents on the older team who follow the match highlights from Turkey every week.

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The panoramic transmission also enables a highly professional game analysis – important for coaches and an advantage in particular for older teams: “The analysis function in Pixellot is even more relevant for the training of my teenagers. Here we work more intensively with the tactics of the game, looking more closely at how defense and attack is set up.”

According to Laasch, the pixellot camera follows suit and captures the entire playing field. “That way I can look back at the scenes of the game afterwards and selectively cut out highlights like a touchdown.” The most beautiful features then even enter the joint WhatsApp group with children and parents.

Charlotte Bruch

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