Something new for you to think about trying out in the new year! The future is here and guest blogger Jake Pryszlak shares with us some fresh ideas to bring coaching into the digital age!


Make the game instantly digital

What is in your coaching kit bag?

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It could have been, or might still consist of:

  • Whistle
  • Stopwatch
  • Notepad or clipboard
  • Oh and a snack for half way through the session maybe

However, technology has significantly developed and we are now living in a digital world with new apps, software’s and technology being used day by day.

But what does this mean for you as coaches and teachers? 

How can you utilise this technology to push the boundaries of performance and participation in Netball?

Let me take you back a number of years, when sessions would be filmed on videotape and played back to the group at a later date providing visual feedback. This was something new and fresh for people to use and see as a participant.  At the time this was a major breakthrough.

The use of videos of you and your team’s performance was helpful, as it provided individuals the perfect catalyst to analyse their own or teams performances, however, over time it left the players frustrated with its lack of immediacy, which in turn limited its effectiveness.

Research on feedback tells us that in order for players and learners to receive the maximum benefit from it, feedback should be delivered as soon as possible after the performance.

As adults we know that if we have made a mistake and we are shown how to correct it, we want to try it again there and then. Imagine having to wait another week to be able to correct your mistake.

Would you be motivated?

Would you remember?

 

There are apps to use!

Today the iPad is becoming more and more visible on courts.

The reason?  

Its ability to provide high quality and sophisticated instant visual feedback to our players and learners.

Players and coaches can now have access to high quality analysis of their performance right there on court, before going back to improve on their analysed area of weakness.

The result? 

Quicker progress, higher performance and most importantly, players who understand where their own strengths and weaknesses lie.

In essence, the perfect climate for high quality learning.

How can I use it in my session?

Here are some ideas and examples of how you could utilise this technology in your sessions:

  • Preload the iPad with good examples of the technique you are going to coach and use it as a visual cue for players. If you attend Super League or National Netball games, video elite players, and play back to your players.
  • Use the iPad to film individual performance and then play back instantly to highlight strengths and weaknesses.
  • Analyse a filmed performance with arrows, lines, text etc to identify strengths and weaknesses.
  • Compare and contrast a young player’s performance to one of a professional.
  • Allow the players themselves to film and analyse one another, creating peer coaching.

 

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With the advances in software applications recently, the iPad provides the ability to perform the following analysis within many of its apps, including the ones listed above:

  • Slow down performance on a frame by frame rate
  • Annotate footage with lines, circles, highlighters, text and voice
  • Pause footage to take snap shots of technique
  • Compare and contrast footage side by side
  • Share footage and analysis easily with fellow coaches and players

Ten to fifteen years ago you would have paid a premium for a piece of software to perform anywhere near to this, whereas now most of the apps are either free or will set you back a couple of pounds at the most. What’s more, because they are so cheap and are available on so many mobile devices that a lot of young people already have, they can be utilised by more than just the coach. Imagine having most of your young people at your session filming and analysing each other throughout the session on their iPhones – your coaching now begins to move to a new level, a level where the players are learning how to analyse themselves and their peers. We are now beginning to create the climate for self-improvement and rapid sustainable progress.

If you’ve got an iPad, or the opportunity to use one, download one of the above apps to begin with and see for yourself the difference that it can make to your sessions.

And remember,

If you always do what you’ve always done – you’ll always get what you’ve always got. Have the courage to innovate within your sessions and take your learning to the next level.

 

How will you improve your game as a coach?

Follow and tweet @Jakepryszlak and @ENCoaching_ your thoughts and top tips how you are using technology to take Netball to the next level.

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