Using Technology to Coach Athletes

View all blog posts under Articles | View all blog posts under Online Master of Athletic Administration

Virtual reality and athletic training

 

The age we live in is quite impressive. The internet has revolutionized the way we see life, integrating technology into every aspect of our daily routine. All over the world, men and women are devising new technology to help shape the future. From breakthroughs in modern medicine, to innovative games on our phones, it seems that there is no end to the stream of new and interesting programs, apps, and devices at our disposal. The real beauty is that we can use this to our advantage in many ways.

Coaches across the country are turning to technology to help them with their students. As newer technologies arise, younger generations are eating it up, and employing technology in coaching methods helps to teach athletes in a way they are familiar with and can understand.

Social Media

First and foremost, utilizing technology can help with communication. Most people always have their phones on them, and this is especially true of younger generations of athletes. It has never been simpler to keep in touch with athletes utilizing text messages, e-mails, and all manner of social media. If there is a last minute change to a scheduled practice or game, your entire team can be notified with the push of a button.

In the past, many coaches have struggled in regards to keeping their athletes in the know. Now, with more apps and programs than ever to keep track of where and when to be somewhere, it is nearly impossible to slip up with scheduling. An added bonus for many coaches is that new technology eliminates the excuses that some athletes can concoct. A missed text message or forgotten e-mail is not a viable excuse for missing a practice or showing up late for a game. Coaches can monitor how serious their athletes are, which can all be traced back to their phones.

The advent of social media has also started what we now consider ‘branding.’ Young people are expecting to brand themselves in one way or another as they enter the workforce, and athletes are no different. Social media allows athletes to create an online pre scene, which can be very helpful to those looking to get scouted, or make connections in other ways. Coaches can help athletes cultivate their online presence, warning them away from the pitfalls that can get many young people in trouble when social media, and encouraging them to promote themselves in the proper way.

Utilizing YouTube

YouTube has been an amazing help to many coaches. Since anyone can upload practically anything to this site, there’s a wealth of great footage to be found. You can find plays that worked for other teams, whether professional, college or amateur, and use this clip to inspire the team. The beauty of a site like YouTube is that you don’t have to bother projecting anything or setting up A/V wires. All you need to do is send the link to your athletes and the entire team will be in the know.

Inspiring athletes has also always been a large part of a coach’s job. There is nothing more rousing to a team of young athletes than playing a clip from an exceptional game. Show your team how the greats of the past have succeeded on the field, or even load clips from some of the most inspirational speeches that athletes, coaches and managers have ever given over the course of modern history. You can even show movie clips from great sports films to really nail it home for the team and get them ready to rush into victory.

There’s An App For That

Since the iPhone first burst into the scene and changed everything we thought we knew about cell phones, applications have been an important part of daily life. Apps are crucial to success for many reasons, and a quick search of apps centering around fitness and athletics­ will show thousands of results on a number of devices and platforms.

What’s useful about this is that applications can help a coach to monitor the progress of athletes. In the past, coaches had to rely on rigorous note taking, filming practices, and incorporating an endless list of gadgets, books and equipment. Now, everything is right on your phone. You can even use apps to keep track of professional statistics to inspire your team.

In the same moment you can film your practice, edit the footage to find the important part, use various apps to mark up the video and show players where they need improvement and where they are excelling. It is convenient and, best of all, you do not have to be an expert with modern technology to use these apps. Many, if not all, of the apps that are on the market today are designed with the everyman in mind. You will be able to learn how to use these apps and programs in no time at all, and soon you will be able to implement them in productive and engaging ways.

It does not matter what sport you coach, there are a wide array of programs across the various athletic disciplines available to download. If weight is a big part of the sport, there are a number of apps that can help athletes lose or gain weight in a healthy way. Monitor progress with a number of amazing applications and see how hard players are working. Coaches will appreciate this because they can keep better tabs on the progress of their athletes and, in turn, athletes will be able to see how far they have come over the course of time.

The Future is Now

With so many new technologies emerging every day, there have been many companies to arise solely focused on athletic performance. In fact, tools like Optojump and OptoGait have come about due to the advantage technology now brings to the table for coaches.

These, and similar, tools are based on time and movement. Many sports are fast-paced, and in a lot of cases you might miss an important moment if you blink. These tools take this into consideration. They are designed to study the body, every small and nuanced movement, and record them for analyzing. Taking time into consideration, and being able to slow down or speed up portions of time to see the movement of the body, is a technological shift that many would not have dreamed possible just a decade ago.

No Time Like The Present

There is no end to the advancement of the internet-based technology in sight. Every day there is a new app on the market, better and more powerful than the last. In just a few short years, the technology we use now will be obsolete. Newer and more efficient devices and programs will take their place, allowing for more control, more understanding, and more success. With the future full of excitement, now is an important time to start implementing technology in training your athletes.

Now is a good a time as any to begin using technology in your coaching. You will notice the difference right away and, upon seeing how incredibly convenient these new methods are, wonder how you ever waited so long to begin.

Learn more about earning your online Master of Athletic Administration from Ohio University.

Sources:
Forbes
8 Helpful Apps for Sports Coaches