This article was written by Upper Hand CEO Kevin MacCauley and originally published in the January magazine issue of Coach and Athletic Director
Technology continues to revolutionize every aspect of our daily lives and has bled its way into the sports industry — especially for coaches.
Fortunately, the integration of technology provides a new lens on the advancement of coaching while greatly impacting the job from virtually every angle. This makes it imperative for coaches to learn how to leverage technology the right way to maximize efficiency, complete communication, improve athlete performance and optimize health standards for athletes nationwide.
How New Technologies Can Increase Performance
Coaching is stressful, no matter the circumstances. It takes time, commitment and passion to be successful in this role. Thankfully, various coach management platforms now available within the sports industry has helped further maximize time by putting many administrative duties on autopilot. This includes playbook organization, event registration and attendance, payment processing, information consolidation and organization, and much more. In fact, coaches leveraging these solutions to eliminate mundane tasks save on average of 14 hours a week.
Being an effective communicator is a critical skill. Thankfully, there are many mobile-optimized tools and applications that allow coaches to communicate with everyone at a moment’s notice. In addition, these tools have incredible automation capabilities such as push notifications, which help increase the speed of daily communication.
By leveraging this technology, coaches can communicate to players, parents and assistant coaches on everything from training and practices to meetings and games. As a result, coaches can expect more accurate expectations, faster results, safer decision making and winning outcomes.
Improving Player Development & Safety
Player development and safety is a key topic among parents. Thankfully, video technology is one approach that’s truly revolutionizing the concept of coaching and helping tackle this concern.
By leveraging this solution, every practice, workout and game has the ability to provide new insights on player performance and development. It also offers a mirrored view that allows coaches to show players a reference to affirm various tactics and decisions. As a result, coaches can view a player’s form, decision making and mistakes to determine areas of improvement while calculating strategies to enhance performance.
More than 3.5 million young athletes suffer sport injuries every year because of poor technique. Video technology allows coaches to capture, edit, organize and review videos to better study technique and pinpoint areas to help avoid future injuries.
Elevating Game-Day Strategies
Although data analytics are instrumental in major sporting events like the Olympics and the Stanley Cup Finals, this technology can be implemented at all levels. In fact, data analytics should be viewed as an inclusive aspect that’s important to fans, players and coaches.
With big data, coaches can aggregate and contextualize information from games and practices to craft a meaningful story about player performance while boosting competitive advantages. This allows coaches to learn outcomes for players, assess weaknesses, and analyze performance in certain weather conditions.
More notably, data is instantaneous, actionable and provides comprehensive perspectives on new strategies to enforce player development. With frame-by-frame analysis and performance metrics available at the push of a button, data analysis offers coaches endless strategic performance enhancements from their mobile devices.
Kevin MacCauley is the CEO and founder of Upper Hand, the leader in cloud-based sports management software that help sports professionals escape the administrative vortex and focus more on training athletes.