“We don’t have much time.”
It’s a common refrain we hear from coaches. From monitoring team performance to crafting training programs and even performing administrative tasks, you have a lot on your plate.
Here are a few tools we recommend, some that you may use everyday already, to get the most of your days.
Google has a lot to offer in terms of free time-saving tools:
Google Docs allows you to share documents with others on the team for collaborative editing in real time. Making a scouting report? Create a Google Doc so all of the coaches on the team can edit and comment on what’s being created.
Google Sheets provides the ability to collect and store information. Sheets is the perfect place to create a list of your players’ contact information, locker combinations and statistics from game to game. It’s also a great way to format and archive your practice schedules. Download this blank practice sheet to use for your practices.
Google Hangouts are video chats through your Google account. You can conduct one-on-one coaching or team strategy sessions from anywhere. A hangout can accommodate up to 25 accounts at one time.
Email Groups and Templates
Depending on your email provider, you can create and name contact groups to enter in the “TO” field anytime you want to send a message. And because you don’t always create email messages from scratch, you can also build templates to insert preformatted content.
Trello is a free website and app that is used to organize everything on your plate. Users can create general categories and add cards for each category. How you setup your Trello board is up to you. Some coaches have categories for practice, scouting, team management and misc, then add cards in each category for a practice plan, scouting report, team information and anything else they need. Other coaches have more specific categories, and their cards are the steps to complete the category. It’s what works best for you. Cards can be archived, so if you have a scouting report for a team, and run into them again in the playoffs, you can pull it back up. The app is great to access information while at practice or during a game.
Apple TV and Portable Projector
Depending on where your games are, or what’s available to you, it’s not always easy to find a computer, cord and projector. Apple TV allows you to skip all that and go directly from the Hudl app on your iOS device to the projector. Avoid the stress of finding a place to watch film or scout before away games. Now you have everything you’ll need your team to see the annotations, comments and reports you’ve made on Hudl.
Shameless plug, but we can't claim to save coaches time and not mention ourselves in a list like this. Our tools make it easy for coaches to attach custom feedback to game and practice video, creating custom playlists pulled directly from stat reports to call out key moments where a game may have been won or lost. Coaches can also contact the whole team with in-app messaging, filling everyone in on what to review before the next practice. And it's all available via computer, phone or tablet.
Given the myriad tasks coaches juggle on an everyday basis, time-saving tools like the ones above can be real life-savers. They help you become more task-efficient and make it easier to invest more of time and energy in helping your athletes improve.