By Anthony Blake • Head Coach, Freshman Team • Redmond (Wash.) High School
Raise your hand if you’re NOT interested in being successful. Stand up if you DON’T want to perform effectively at whatever it is you – or the people in your charge – do every day.
Notice, I didn’t say go undefeated. Or be perfect.
Often we associate success and prosperity with only the best possible result. Nothing else matters. We push ourselves to do whatever it takes to achieve those results. And believe me: I acknowledge that I am a card-carrying member of this camp.
But why? Why is winning so important? I believe one reason is because we desire completeness. To feel whole and justified. As a member of a sports organization (current, former or arm chair), winning is one tangible, external way to answer that inner need. It feels good.
Why is this relevant for our conversation about technology in sports? If I were to tell you, “If you want to win in today’s sports world, you must use technology,” you may stop reading. Why? Because we’ve all heard that line of persuasion before.
But if you’ll indulge me a few more sentences, let’s look at things a little differently.
What if we focused on deciphering our set of inner needs and then determining different mechanisms to arrive at those needs? Completeness. Safety. Connection. Understanding. Fun. Creativity. One, some, or none of these may resonate with you individually, or your sports team, collectively. I would encourage you to explore them with your team, together.
At its core, technology is one mechanism meant to enable reaching these sorts of results. Within the context of a sports organization, lots of new and exciting hardware, software and devices continue to hit the market at every level of every sport. Some help your team perform at higher levels of competition. Some help your athletes play more safely. Some help you learn about your opponent. Some teach you how to be a better teacher, coach or leader.
But like any great tool, they each require a steady hand, a sound mind and a clear understanding of their purpose.
Am I advocating for every new shiny object that hits the market? Of course not. Will there be hiccups? You bet.
However, I firmly believe we are in the midst of a major development in the way sports are played and understood. Furthermore, each of us – players, coaches, trainers, fans, influencers, everyone – within the sports world has the opportunity to contribute to the conversation – good or bad – by voicing our opinions and voting with our feet.
Technology employed with care and understanding has the power to truly help a sports organization reach its goals. The questions are: Do you know what your goals and inner needs are? And, are you on board to employ the right sports technology as a means to help to accomplish those things?
Let me know what you think. I would love to hear from you.
Anthony Blake is head football coach of the Redmond (Wash.) High School freshman team. He is also founder of LegUP Analytics, which has developed the LegUP Analytics app for iPad. For more information, contact Anthony at email@example.com. You can also reach him via the following social channels: