People use iPhones to text, keep calendars, take photos, play games, call friends, access the Internet, and for a gazillion other reasons.
But, could your iPhone help you coach your basketball team better?
To bring your coaching approach into the 21st century, consider the list below to bring some high-tech tips to your team.
Here then are “Ten Ways an iPhone can help a Youth Basketball Coach”:
1. Use your video recorder. Basketball coaches: take advantage of the video feature on your iPhone with your basketball team especially at practices. In the same way that golf pros break down swings for golfers by video, show your players their shooting form. If a player’s elbow is sticking out too far, sometimes seeing it on video will help them make the correction easier. Does your team bunch up in one spot when they’re on offense. Showing the players video footage of a practice when this occurs might open their eyes to better spacing. It’s also fun to get video of footage of a practice session at the start of the year when skills are less developed and then gather footage at the end of the year on the same drill – a before and after approach.
2. Track your team’s shots with iShotTrack app. Have an assistant coach or team parent record made and missed shots and the location of each with this app. You can view the shots overlaid on to a basketball court and begin to notice trends. You might notice that your team isn’t very effective at 3-pointers, but within 15 feet, your players shoot a high percentage. You might also notice how many made shots happen within 8 feet of the basket. Shots can be broken down for one player or the whole team.
3. Take notes. At the completion of each practice and at the end of every game, jot down in the Notes app some things you think the team should work on at the next practice. It might be a reminder to make sure to practice boxing out or to recognize a player’s upcoming birthday. The Notes app is an awesome way to keep track of the little things.
4. Use the stopwatch feature. Go to Utilities>Clock>Stopwatch and you’re able to easily time different aspects of a practice.
5. Have your season’s schedule at your fingertips. Ok, this one is obvious, but use your calendar. Put all of your practices and games, players’ birthdays and other key event days on to your calendar app. At the conclusion of any event it will be easy to remind your team of the next gathering by simply referring to your calendar.
6. Basketball Coach’s Clipboard app. A quick and easy way to diagram plays. If your hands are getting dirty from wiping the marker off your white board, this might be the ticket for you. Create plays and drills with animation.
7. YouTube it. YouTube gets one billion + unique visitors to its site every month. We live in a video world. There are lots of videos on YouTube from basketball coaches that might help you explain a basketball concept, learn a new inbounds play or teach a particular technique, e.g. the crossover dribble. You’ll find youth, high school, college and pro coaches sharing valuable advice via video. Take advantage of it.
8. Put the spotlight on your players (literally). The free flashlight app turns your iPhone into a flashlight. Recognize players after great hustle plays in practice and games by shining the spotlight on them in the team huddle post court time. After being temporarily blinded, they’ll appreciate the recognition.
9. Refer to your practice plan. The best basketball coaches at all levels bring a practice plan to every practice. Our favorite for basketball teams is the Well Prepared Coach – 30 Youth Basketball Practice Plans. It’s available as a digital PDF that works with your iPhone or other smart phone, and you can refer to the pre-practice talking points, practice agenda, and key lessons easily throughout the practice. By having everything planned out and noted for you enables coaches to live in the moment and not worry about what they need to do next.
10. Music. If you add a compatible boom box to your iPhone to amplify the sound, you’ll make a lot of friends with players on your team. You can turn the music on for some repetitive drills and turn it off when you need to do more talking and explanations. Playing some favorite songs can add some energy and fun to any practice. Recognize standout performances in practices by rewarding players with the right to pick the next song.
Michael O’Halloran. O’Halloran is the author of Well Prepared Coach – 30 Youth Basketball Practices and Layups and Life Lessons: 101 Coaching Tips for Youth Basketball.