Saturday, August 30, 2014

Technology AND Coaching (not VS)

How Florida State Hacked Football's Fitness Code

I saw this article shared a few times over social media in the last couple days (I really should stay away from the social media). It's an interesting article for sure and I believe Florida State, among others, are likely doing great things with the Catapult System and other pieces of technology, but there was one line in the article that I absolutely disliked - enough to motivate me to dust off this blog.

From the article:
"Instead of focusing solely on the players, however, his staffers are glued to an array of computer monitors that display a constantly updating stream of colorful numbers, bar graphs, and pie charts..."

Now, I know that this is probably a bit of journalistic embellishing and hope it's not truly how some are coaching, however having 'staffers glued to an array of computer monitors' doesn't necessarily make a strength and conditioning program the most elaborate or innovative. Good coaching is timeless and it involves always, ALWAYS, paying close attention to your athletes and everything they do, not watching computer monitors. Technology is definitely pushing things ahead in making much of what we do more objective (a positive), but it will never replace good coaching.

I am sure some will say I am hating on the new tech and that I am just jealous. I am not. But I do strongly believe you can do a good job without it. I know you can. Maybe it (technology) can make you better. Maybe not. It highly depends on the quality of the coach using it. Time and energy are finite and adding in something always detracts from other things; good or bad. Historically, all the coaching greats had to do without today's technology. Hell, I think you can still do a great job with pencil and paper. I think you should be good first without much.

Mostly though, I am vouching for the smaller school coaches as we constantly hear of the 'advanced' things the big schools are doing (which is usually highlighting the expensive stuff and I fully understand why), leaving those that don't have the gadgets to get the impression that we are dated or thought of as so. Not all of us have a budget that can afford a $100,000 product. But that doesn't matter. Like I said, a great program with good coaches can be done with minimal technology. It is being done. Good coaching is timeless. Good coaching can occur anywhere and at any level.

While we don't have a Catapult system at North Dakota, and even if I ever do use the system, I will continue look my athletes in the eyes, observe and test their abilities and track their performances in a traditional manner and do my best to connect with their heart and soul while I use mine.

Money can't buy everything. Keep coaching.