Technology is growing at such a fast pace that it’s almost impossible to keep up with it all. Everyone is aware of how many people use technology, but are you aware of how immense it really is?
To help you comprehend the immensity of technology and it’s growth, try wrapping your head around these facts – over 8 billion devices will be connected to the internet by 2020 and over 4 billion people used the internet in 2018, which is over 40% of the entire world.
With technology growing at this rate, it is becoming almost crucial to incorporate it into your coaching best practices. There are so many ways to include technology in your coaching habits — so many that it may seem overwhelming.
Technology and coaching
Younger generations are growing up with a cell phone in their hands starting at an extremely young age. Taking advantage of this as a coach is extremely beneficial. This gives you access to your athlete in many different ways.
“I think, especially these days, everyone is so used to interacting with mobile technology or technology in general,” says CoachNow Founder and GM, Spencer Dennis. “If you’re a coach that doesn’t even try to incorporate that, I think you’re already behind. You’ll lose your athletes to somebody that is at least trying to adopt technology.”
There are many ways to incorporate technology into your coaching best practices. One major benefit being social media. Social media helps get your name and your brand out there. Whether you have your own coaching business or work for an academy, social media is extremely beneficial for sharing content, communicating and helping athletes get recruited. Two of the best platforms for coaches are Instagram and YouTube. Social media guides you to wealth of information, such as educational videos, tips and tricks, how-to’s and more.
“I’m not putting it [content] out there thinking ‘here’s this new information people need to hear right now that no one else is talking about.’ It’s more about sharing the experience and building the community,” says golf coach, Eric Cogorno, who has more than 10,000 subscribers on his YouTube channel.
While people may think that social media is an easy an obvious choice, it’s something that takes time and dedication. It’s not just simply uploading a photo — you must add context, tone and consistency.
When people hear about using technology in coaching, it’s common to think of only videos and photos. However, it goes so much deeper than that. Using a coaching app, such as CoachNow, changes the game completely,
“If used correctly, what it will allow you to do is have an extended connection with your athletes and it’ll potentially give you information that you wouldn’t have been able to get before,” says Dennis.
It’s been common for coaches to get wrapped up in extreme note taking and endless emails. This takes up a large amount of their time outside of in-person coaching. With the growth of technology, there are apps to help limit your time spent coaching outside of sessions and eliminate notes and emails completely. For example, CoachNow not only has the ability to film and take pictures of practice footage all in one space, but it is also an excellent source of communication. This can greatly enhance the coach-athlete relationship. It also allows the parents access to see what their child is up to and follow along their journey.
“I think when you look at somebody like IMG Academy, these kids are dedicating a lot of time and energy. Their parents are also dedicating a lot of resources financially to send them there.” says Dennis. “At the academy level, you not only have the athlete and the coaches, but you have the parent. It’s important for the parent to have the passive view of what’s happening. This way they don’t need to reach out to the coach every single time for what’s going on with their child. For them, it’s a window into what’s going on, and it’s passive. So, for [the parents], they are going to have more confidence in their investment. If they do have a question, it’ll be related to something versus just an abstract ‘what’s going on’ kind of question.”
How to incorporate technology into your coaching best practices
There are many ways to incorporate technology, specifically CoachNow, into your coaching sessions. One best practice that is extremely important, useful and informational is using CoachNow to create “recaps” after every session. This is where the athlete verbally states what they learned, what they need to work on next session and what they took away from this session. This is also an opportunity for the athlete to look back and reflect on their progress. It’s a great way to spark a conversation and have the athlete engage with you off the playing field.
“A practice [for CoachNow] would always be whenever I’m posting something that I want the athlete to review, I am going to ask a question underneath it. So let’s say I am going to post a swing video and ask the athlete ‘what do you think? What do you want to improve on?'” says Dennis.
CoachNow is also a great opportunity to be used as a digital journal for the athlete’s journey to someday share with potential coaches as they are getting recruited. Technology is growing and advancing every day, which is why it’s important to grow and advance with it.
“We [CoachNow] are all about fostering that relationship and improving it,” says Dennis. “Results from that as a coach is that you’ll have better retention so your business will grow, and from an athlete’s side they have their entire athletic journey and their coach in their pocket.”