How Sports Coaching Technology Could Change the Field of Coaching

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New technologies are poised to change the way athletic coaches work. The influx of increasingly sophisticated sport-specific coaching platforms and powerful, accurate data collection systems has given coaches state-of-the-art resources to use as they formulate tactics and build complex strategies. What follows is an overview of the new technologies and their practical applications, including a look at whether they may spell the end of the coaching profession down the road.

To learn more, check out the infographic below created by the Ohio University’s online Master of Coaching Education program.

How cutting-edge apps can allow coaches to carry out their duties on a more advanced, complex level.

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<p style="clear:both;margin-bottom:20px;"><a href="https://onlinemasters.ohio.edu/blog/how-sports-coaching-technology-could-change-who-coaches-professionally/"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/utep-uploads/wp-content/uploads/sparkle-box/2018/11/08084241/OU-MCE-1-CoachingTechIG_final.png" alt="How cutting-edge apps can allow coaches to carry out their duties on a more advanced, complex level." style="max-width:100%;" /></a></p><p style="clear:both;margin-bottom:20px;"><a href="https://onlinemasters.ohio.edu" target="_blank">Ohio University </a></p>

Cutting-Edge Coaching Apps

Coaching-specific apps and platform-related software give coaches deeper analytical data to improve athletic and team performance on a more intimate, complex level. These apps extend and expand the work of devices traditionally used by coaches to analyze team and individual performance, such as chalkboards, whiteboards, and clipboards.

Technology’s Role in Coaching

Communication

Coaching apps allow for more efficient connections between coach and player. The use of tech like earpiece technology can deliver complex data during play, which can advance in-game strategy. This type of communication tech is already deployed by the NFL via player helmets.

Safety

Coaches can use app tech to oversee a player’s overall health. Some apps provide safety warnings to indicate potential risk. Other apps monitor a player’s injury recovery progress.

Training

Certain apps are built to be wearable tech. These apps, which are commonly wearable on the wrist or a jersey, allow coaches to monitor athletic metrics such as effort remotely. For example, GPS sensors can track in-game movement location, and behaviors, producing analytical data that can produce information regarding fitness goals, biometrics, and info related to injury recovery programs. This tech also uses data-gathering sensors to determine workouts that would be most beneficial to an athlete.

Video Technology

The increase in video tech allows coaches to make decisions based on what is seen. Professional sports leagues use this tech extensively in numerous ways. The NHL’s concussion spotters use video tech to monitor potential player concussions. The NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL all use video for in-game instant replay to determine the outcome of close or controversial calls. The leagues also use game film as a study aid between games. On an individual basis, coaches use video tech to focus on various aspects of player performance, such as form and technique, decision-making, successes, and mistakes.

Data Analytics

The influx of technology makes statistical data more comprehensive. This enables coaches to glean in-depth information on projected player and opponent performance. This has given rise to new sports-driven statistical terms, such as sabermetrics. It’s also produced several new statistical categories called advanced stats, such as OPS in Major League Baseball.

Changes in Coaching

Technology has made it easier for coaches to cull data. However, the data still must be gathered and analyzed to develop winning strategies. Since there is more data now than ever before for coaches to work with, the role of coach remains a complex position.

Is the Future of Coaching Human?

Technology and Job Security

As AI, robotics, and other sophisticated technologies enter everyday life, there’s a growing fear that tech-driven entities will replace humans in jobs like coaching. This fear exists even though operational jobs with minimal human interaction are the positions at higher risk.

However, the experts say that human coaches are here to stay for several reasons. Human coaches possess qualities AI can’t replicate, such as leadership, inspiration, guidance, and support. Coaches also have versatile interpersonal skills in volatile situations and can use these skills for intensive discernment. In other words, what’s good for one player may not be good for another. Human qualities are also vital in youth sports, as personal development at that stage is far more important than winning.

Technology provides coaches with ways to gather data, analyze performance, and connect with players on an unprecedented level. While some of these advances have made it easier to prepare certain tasks, the necessity of transforming data into strategy and the irreplaceable human element of connection make the profession as complex and demanding as ever.

To learn more, check out the infographic below created by the Ohio University’s online Master of Coaching Education program.