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In my previous blogs I’ve been looking at the onset of a digital world and what this means to coaches and us as learning providers.
I thought it would be interesting to bring this to life with an example from a coach who has embraced the use of technology. In this ConnectedCoaches exclusive blog, I asked fellow member Andy Edwards some questions. Andy is 40 years old, is a football and cricket coach and is a keen user of technology as part of his coaching.
Andy uses a number of different types of technology as part of his coaching including the FA Coach’s App for designing his practices, Coach’s Eye for video analysis, SoccerMeter for statistical analysis and Laola for recording match details. He talks to me about how he uses YouTube to send clips to the children that he coaches as he feels that “if watching a YouTube clip inspires a child to take a ball into the garden rather than turn on the TV, they will develop their skills”. This is a key point in working with the digital natives. YouTube is often cited as a key reference point for coaches who are looking for new skills and drills. Younger coaches and players will often turn to YouTube for learning and current statistics show that 72% of creatives are increasingly using the internet for vlogging and sharing their experiences.
The players he coaches unsurprisingly respond very well to this method of coaching. “The players love to watch videos of themselves, and teammates” says Andy “analysing them just like Gary Neville/Jamie Carragher on Match of the Day and sending them clips is a really effective way of helping them improve”. This has proved effect for Andy in engaging his players.
In the short space of time that Andy has been coaching he has noticed that his players have become more tech-savvy than they used to be. He tells me that “for some children, showing them a formation on an iPad may be the most effective way of helping them learn how to play a certain position. The under 14’s I coach were recently chuffed to see the statistics of a match they dominated but lost 4-2. I could list many examples of specific situations – every child that I coach on a weekly basis has access to a phone/tablet/laptop, if we can get some of their screen time to be useful, technology in coaching has to be a good thing”. This supports recent research that shows a growing trend to access learning where available via these devices and also that the digital natives are a generation that are always connected.
By using technology to engage with his players, Andy finds that it can help their understanding of what he is trying to achieve as a coach. Whether that be providing them with useful video clips, sending a session plan in advance or encouraging them to use apps like Players Eye. Providing the players with access to resources online is also important in helping their development and understanding – Andy makes good use of the club’s website to share links with his players.
So is technology in coaching a good thing? “Yes” says Andy, particularly in coaching the generation of digital natives.
What do you think? Leave a comment or tweet me to let me know your thoughts.
You can find Andy here on ConnectedCoaches or via Twitter @andyeeeee
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Homepage images ) Alan Edwards and Coachwise/SWpix?