Tech­nol­ogy helps coaches com­mu­ni­cate

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - SCOREBOARD - CHIP SOUZA

ROGERS — The chalk­board was once the pri­mary method for coaches to com­mu­ni­cate with their play­ers.

In to­day’s world, ath­letes get an alert on their smart­phone to re­mind them of an up­com­ing prac­tice or a sched­ule change, and par­ents can stay on top of events with a few clicks and not be con­cerned about an im­por­tant doc­u­ment wadded up in a back­pack flung in the cor­ner just in­side the front door.

Many schools are turn­ing to Google Drive as the one-stop on­line shop to put im­por­tant doc­u­ments, forms, no­tices and even videos for ath­letes, said Katie Rade­wald.

Rade­wald is an English in­struc­tor and dance team coach at Fayet­teville High School. She headed a ses­sion on Thurs­day dur­ing the Mercy Coach­ing Sum­mit at Em­bassy Suites on Us­ing Google Drive For Your Team and Ath­letic Pro­gram.

“The best thing about Google Drive is that it al­lows you ac­cess to your files any­time, any­where,” she said. “So be­fore, you could have a stu­dent say ‘oh, it didn’t save or I couldn’t find it.’ There’s not an ex­cuse for that now be­cause Google Docks and Google Drive au­to­mat­i­cally saves ev­ery­thing. And you can ac­cess it from your phone or other de­vice.”

Rade­wald gave a pre­sen­ta­tion us­ing the Fayet­teville dance team as an ex­am­ple. Rade­wald and dance coach El­iz­a­beth Thomas use Google Drive as a way to keep their ath­letes in­formed on all as­pects of the pro­gram, from no­tices of up­com­ing fundrais­ers to the mu­sic they will use in a dance com­pe­ti­tion. Hun­dreds of email ad­dresses, school forms, sched­ules and more are at their fin­ger­tips.

Brad Stamps is an as­sis­tant bas­ket­ball coach at Fayet­teville who also played for the Bull­dogs in the late 1980s. Stamps said the tech­nol­ogy of Google Drive is far dif­fer­ent than what was avail­able when he was a stu­dent-ath­lete.

“Coach (Joe) Kretschmar wrote ev­ery­thing on a chalk­board and you had to re­mem­ber what was on there to tell your par­ents,” Stamps said. “This is so easy and user-friendly. Ev­ery­thing is right there for you. This is pa­per­less, so all the pack­ets and pa­per­work are there and the par­ents just sign off on it. You don’t have to ex­change pa­per and all that.”

Ben­tonville West has used Google Drive since the school opened last year, and as­sis­tant bas­ket­ball coach John Mackey said the big­gest ben­e­fit was col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween coaches and their ath­letes.

“In­for­ma­tion is key to ev­ery­thing, es­pe­cially bas­ket­ball be­cause it’s more fluid. In foot­ball, they know ev­ery Fri­day night they are go­ing to play, but with bas­ket­ball, our sched­ule is not set un­til Oc­to­ber. So if we have a way to share that, it just makes ev­ery­thing eas­ier,” Mackey said.

Rade­wald em­pha­sized that Google Drive keeps ev­ery­thing stream­lined and all in one place. And be­cause it’s user-friendly, teach­ers and coaches can up­load items them­selves.

“The more that we can make things eas­ier on us to com­mu­ni­cate, the less stress it is on us and the less stress it is on your ath­letes be­cause they want to know what is go­ing on,” Rade­wald said.

Hunter Cor­bell is a coach at Green­land, which has used Google Drive on the teach­ing side, and plans to use it for ath­let­ics this year.

“We’re look­ing to make things more ef­fi­cient through­out our en­tire pro­gram, whether it’s foot­ball, bas­ket­ball, base­ball and other sports,” Cor­bell said. “We’re look­ing to be­come more ef­fi­cient in that as­pect, so it’s def­i­nitely some­thing that we’re hop­ing to im­ple­ment this year.”

NWA Demo­crat-Gazette/BEN GOFF • @NWABENGOFF

Katie Rade­wald, as­sis­tant dance team coach at Fayet­teville High School, talks about us­ing Google Drive for ath­let­ics pro­grams Thurs­day dur­ing the Mercy Coach­ing Sum­mit at the John. Q. Ham­mons Cen­ter in Rogers.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.