If you’re a sports coach, you know how much a field or court practice is worth –– it’s practical, and you get to identify players’ weaknesses and coach them based on their needs. But that’s not all. You also get to experience the action and listen to the crowd cheer, helping you remain enthusiastic and lead your team to victory.
On the contrary, you probably don’t want to be in the office making spreadsheets. But you understand that data helps you find improvement areas that you can turn into winning opportunities. The good news is that there’s a way to strike a balance between coaching and data analysis.
Enter sports coaching applications. Now, you can spend more time coaching while backing your practice with metrics.
Here’s how you can leverage the latest technology to improve athletes’ performance with winning sports coaching apps.
Why you should use sports coaching software
Sports run on numbers –– such as batting averages, league tables, touchdown-to-interception ratios, and rebound statistics –– which we, of course, need to track. But technological advancements and high-powered software have made recording metrics a lot more manageable. Here’s how apps help you level up:
- Coaches can make personalized training plans: A team needs to perform at their best to thrive. And excellent performance looks a bit different for everyone. Sports coaching software allows you to track individual performance and create training and nutrition regimens for specific athletes. These applications help athletes stay accountable as they log fitness data and tick off tasks, allowing coaches to optimize individual performance.
- Teams stay organized: Coach applications dedicated to communication and scheduling help teams coordinate practice sessions, games, carpools, and travel plans. Nowadays, everyone receives many texts, emails, and social media messages, which tend to get lost. When teams keep relevant communication and scheduling in one place, all can weigh in, stay up on changes, and check the calendar without needing to search through their inbox.
- Coaches can analyze data more efficiently: Software brings powerful tools to sports analytics. For example, some of the best coaching apps analyze video footage for critical moments in a game or technique execution, such as a tennis serve’s angle.
- Teams gain new tools: There’s an app for almost everything. For instance, instead of taking a physical flashlight on a hike, we use the one built-in on our phones. This logic also applies to the sporting world. Rather than using a pitch gun, athletes download a digital version on the same phone with practice drills, team schedules, and a digital whiteboard.
What to look for in a coaching application
Sports coaching applications fall into three categories: scheduling, metrics, and tools. While some coaching apps focus on eliminating paper calendars, others help coaches analyze what went well or needed work in a game. And some apps provide specific tools, such as first aid advice or pitch speed measurement.
The first step in finding the best app for your team is deciding what bases it should cover — what does your team need to do? Does it need to align better on practice times or determine why players miss penalty kicks by analyzing game-day data? As a coach, you must also consider the following:
- Cost: Some coaching software costs hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars, while other applications are free. Use the high-powered video analytics tools in your reach if your budget allows. If you feel frugal, invest in economic apps that cover the basics, such as workout tracking or scheduling.
- Limitations: Before purchasing an in-app package, ensure it fully meets your needs. Check the storage capacity, accessibility, and if the app offers a pro version with better features.
- Ease of use: The best tools are the ones that simplify your life and are understandable. Sure, even the tech-savvy will have to learn the ins and outs of analytical apps, but other learning curves might not be worth it. For example, if your team has a well-oiled scheduling process on Google Calendar, there’s no sense in shifting everyone over to an app that implies onboarding.
The 10 best sports coaching apps
The problem with having an app for everything is an overwhelming number of options. Save time reading reviews and checking specs with this guide to the 10 best sports coaching apps.
Get everyone on the same page with the following planner apps for sports teams:
- Teamer: This application allows you to create sporting events –– such as practice sessions, games, and tournaments –– as well as send invites. You can even collect payments.
- Team App: Team App creates a customized platform for your group. Upload your logo, and add tools like an attendance tracker, a team chat, a photo library, and membership cards. You can also use the app to sell tickets to games.
- Heja: This software combines a scheduling tool’s power with an in-app communication platform. Team members or their parents can confirm attendance and coordinate everything from rides to snacks in the chat.
Do a data deep dive with the latest tech on these sporting analysis apps:
- Hudl: Hudl offers a robust suite of tools, and its reputation is backed by more than 200,000 teams worldwide. The software and its optional accompanying wearable and camera capture video footage and offer a play-by-play analysis.
- Dartfish: Dartfish, another video-driven app, helps coaches identify game highlights and opportunity areas. The software also allows coaches to share feedback with team members using the app’s proprietary, secure Smartcloud.
- Coach’s Eye: This application facilitates in-app recording and frame-freezing as well as plays videos in slow motion. Coaches can run side-by-side comparisons and observe areas of improvement. The software also backs up HD videos, letting coaches send clips to team members.
- Sportlyzer: Sportlyzer is an all-in-one platform that combines scheduling, performance analysis, and team communication. It tracks workout and event data, although coaches seeking video analytics will have to look elsewhere.
Tools and more
Lessen your load on the field by swapping out your clipboard, handbook, pens, and pitch gun for these digital tools:
- iPracticebuilder: Craft a personalized workout for your team using this library of drills categorized by sport — from lacrosse to track and field. The app guides coaches and athletes with video footage of recommended exercises.
- Baseball Radar Gun High Heat: This extremely accurate speed gun allows coaches to clock pitches. You can also use the app to keep score if you watch the game from the stands.
- American Red Cross First-Aid App: Coaches aren’t personal trainers or sports physicians but benefit from a working knowledge of common injuries and basic first-aid during an emergency. This mobile app advises on simple medical issues and offers educational materials to keep you prepared.
Win bigger with Practice
Scheduling practices and games, messaging with team members, and taking payment within an app are all time- and stress-saving hacks for a coach. And you can perform all these tasks with Practice.
Practice’s Client Management Software, a CRM platform, may not be able to measure the speed of a fastball, but it can definitely give you a place to securely store player data, communicate with the team, take payment, and stay on schedule. Also, don’t forget to check out our other features to create a meeting calendar, forms and contracts, and invoices. Try them today.