As a coach I have always tried to decrease the period of time that it takes to grow into a good team. Advances in technology provide some huge opportunities for those who adopt them. At Oberlin College, we are excited to be at the forefront of this technological boom this season. Here is how we are trying to create a more efficient and effective practice which in turn can help us decrease the amount of time it takes to perfect our schemes.
At Oberlin College, we have aimed to be at the forefront in our use of technology. One tool that has proved effective for us is our game planning system. It takes what we learned from resources – like Bill Walsh’s book Finding the Winning Edge and Brian Billick’s Developing an Offensive Game Plan, as well as numerous articles, clinic talks and sharing with other coaches – and turned it into a process for decision-making as well as automation of all of the scripting and typing of call sheets and wristbands. In all, it saved us 8-12 hours per week on each side of the ball.
Virtual reality and simulation rooms are being adopted at every level. Utilizing this technology allows a coach to increase a player’s intelligence on the field. Being able to see a repetition of a play or a simulation of a scenario on a play allows the player many more training opportunities in a safer environment.
Justin Roethlingshoefer, head strength coach for Miami (OH) men’s ice hockey, explains why his team chose the Polar Team Pro System to capture heart rate and GPS data during training and live-game sessions.
In today’s high-tech world, digital playbook solutions make security possible while sharing in-depth content with players using multimedia and interactive formats.
Head football strength and conditioning coach Jake Cox makes his student-athletes earn the right to utilize technology. Though they may be tech-savvy, student-athletes can’t use the technology until they prove they deserve it.
Adapting any new technology – in this case, sideline replay systems – into the course of the game and halftime meetings requires an adjustment to workflow and thought processes so that the technology’s benefit is maximized. Expecting to operate like you always have and simply adding the technology alongside can prove to be very ineffective.
The tools of our trade are changing rapidly. Recent rule changes at every level have caused a technological boom with new products and services popping up frequently. The changes make it feel like we went from going into battle with bow and arrows to fighting with laser-guided weapons. The challenge we have from now until September is figuring out how to integrate those tools into our workflow.
Clinics are great for networking, and they are great for getting some big picture ideas, but the reality is in order for a coach to implement that idea into his system, it will take much more than a 50-minute presentation to have the coaching knowledge to move from idea to implementation to execution on game day.
Adopting the right technology is worthless if you don’t know how to use it. Intuitive products make learning easier, but when you hit a wall, it’s important to have immediate support.
If they say a picture is worth a thousand words, what do you think a perfectly drawn play card is worth? Players are visual learners, so if you are telling your players their assignments without showing them, you are not maximizing your team’s time at practice. At the college and pro levels, they use play cards throughout the entire day to help teach and prepare their players to win.
Game day is the wrong time to learn that you have an issue with your sideline technology and communication equipment. Here are 10 tips that will help your football program get a good handle on your technological needs.