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Sports coach in my pocket | Embracing Technology | ConnectedCoaches

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Sports coach in my pocket

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sports coach UK Research Consultant Michael talks about the opportunities new Apps provide for coaches

A couple of weeks ago I had a chat with some colleagues about technology, specifically how we thought things like coaching apps fit in our definition of coaching and the wider coaching family.

Unsurprisingly we found it very difficult to pinpoint a position, but I revisited the subject recently when reading an article in the New York Times online.

The article covers a range of new coaching apps and gadgets which aim to put a coach in your pocket. From a golf swing analyzer that sends data from the club-mounted device to your iPad, to a basketball containing multiple sensors that communicate with your PC, it seems every sport will soon have some form of technology to coach us and help improve our game.

However, that’s not to say these new technologies are replacing real human coaches (cue collective sigh of relief). Rather, they are a response to our increasingly digital society, and, as the developer of one of the gadgets says, a way of matching the way people, particularly children, now learn to play sports – they trust screens and digital information so will be more responsive to coaching that incorporates these elements.

So what can us regular human coaches take from this? Well, as the author helpfully points out, it’s important to remember data without interpretation are just numbers. They can be extremely difficult to derive any value from if you’re not an expert.

But coaches are experts. So perhaps we should see these new technologies as an opportunity, not a threat. If a player tells you they have got a new app to help with their technique, don’t see it as a threat to their participation, offer to help them analyse the data. It will help them get the most from their new purchase and it might even make them more likely to keep you as their coach.

If you want to read the article you can click HERE.

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