Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Power of Hyper-Speed

Get It Right, Get It Fast, Move on To What is Important

Communication is a force multiplyer. Organizations in any field of endeavor that communicate quickly and efficiently are going to be a lot more competitive than those that don't.  This is particularly true with HS Football and certainly is all the more important in a Canadian setting where the HC has a multitude of duties that from a managerial standpoint.  Ultimately, the joy of coaching football is just that, coaching.  Being able to free-up more time to prepare for practices/games and to actually spend quality time on the practice field has a direct bearing on player improvement and team success as a whole.  A program that is geared-up to streamline activities that fall outside the coaching realm is getting more "time over target" so-to-speak and is increasing the odds for success.

Today, as neer before in history, we are all in a position to harness simple communications technology that makes a huge difference in terms of getting the word out.  This technology is available even to those of us who are computer phobes or who find themselves fairly techno illiterate.

I would suggest the following:

Start a Blog Site: You can build a program blog and it is extremely easy.  You simply sign-up for free, pick a template, and start basically colouring by numbers.  Everything is easy and laid out for you to build with.  The blog system pretty much makes building your own web-site or hiring someone to do it for you a thing of the past.  You can gain all the same functions and post/edit as your schedule allows.

Build a Facebook Group:  Admittedly, I have not done this yet, but from anecdotal reports, it works out terrificly in terms of getting events organized and your word out.  All in all, this route has many of the same advantages of having a blog up and running.  Drawback of course is unwanted traffic, links and wall posters.

Web-Page:  There are many free web-page sites out there for sports teams.  These sites allow you to pick a look that you like and to begin posting/uploading right out of the gates.  One that I would most certainly suggest to you all is this: http://www.ballcharts.com/websites//index.php

A few years back, one of the Island Teams G.P. Vanier used it and though it has not been kept up-to-date, it has the makings of a great site.  The url is:  http://www.ballcharts.com/vanier

E-Zine: Build a newsletter that you can e-mail weekly or bi-weekly during the season to all players, parents, alumni and sponsors.  This begins by collecting e-mail contact data from all players and parents during the registration process and taking the time to build separate e-mail lists.  Number these lists by years so that you can contact parent/player/sponsor alumni over time.  How fancy you want to get is up to you.  The bottom line is that with the click of a button you can get your message out at the speed of light and make telephone tag about as necessary as organizing a mammoth hunt.

Blend and Layer: If you keep your blog/web-page up to date then you can shorten your e-zine/lace it with hyper-links back to your main body of data.  The net effect is that folks get timely information, they can review it at their liesure and huge amounts of time are now free'd up for you to get after the real business at hand which is coaching your players up.

Hyper-Speed 2.0:  Coaching is teaching.  Players don't get better by merely attending practice and milling around.  The techniques and schemes need context.  Folks, the world has really changed in a generation or so. Young people now communicate, recreate and learn in and out of formal educational settings with a technological (Computer-I-Pod-Digital Gaming-Digital Communication-Multi-Media) component involved.  Since being toddlers, many young people have by virtue of their technological environment, formed brain connections that are consistent with the communications modalities that surround them.  It only makes sense therefore that they will learn quicker when information is transfered via these means.  I am thus speaking about the need to begin presenting information via video playbook, on-line playbooks and multi-media presentation.  Using X's & O's on a sheet of paper is quickly becoming as relevent/efficient as training tank crews for the modern battlefield by dragging around covered wagons in a field.  You get the point.

Lastly, we are all pioneers in a very competitive sports environment.  What we build and network with in terms of our football presence goes a long ways towards the football culture we do or do not operate in.  It is important to network on-line and provide access and insight to our collective football world for players, parents, alumni, media and members of the local, regional, and national community.  Bottom line:  take a few minutes and build a site.  You won't regret it.

To all:  Please send me your team-sites AAA varsity or JV, AA varsity or JV, and Tier 2.  I will get them linked-up on this blog at a minimum.

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