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Growing Community in Schools with Sports Technology

13 Jul 2013 | Under Interscholastic Sports, Viewpoint | Posted by | 0 Comments
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Athletic Directors, just by virtue of their position, are responsible for providing a vehicle for growing pride in their schools’ respective identities. That identity extends from the team and department level to encompass all of the students in the school as well as the people of the district. On a given Friday night you will find all types of social groups at high school sports events. Simply put, a high school sports event is a community wide event.

With that though, we are also now living in an oversubscribed digital age. Parents players and fans are all fashioned with digital lifestyle mobile devices that can be used to both engage and distract individuals.  The challenge for the AD is in keeping the interest in the traditionally significant community and unity building activities like sports amongst these competing outlets. One clear answer is to merge the two. Athletic directors can bring communities back to interscholastic sports by allowing them to engage with the sports content both live and in person and also in a protected social network. All it takes is accepting the value of technology, gauging interest of the population and building support to develop and share the content.

 

Accepting and Championing the Benefits of a New Technology

When it comes to utilizing technology coaches are often reluctant to change their ways. The reasons are vast, ranging from, “I simply do not want to change” to “I like running my stats through a Commodore 64 because it is what I know.” Imagine what could happen if you, as the AD, could develop relationships between non-student athletes in your school and your program. Can you envision the sense of community that you can build within the walls of the school?

Assessing Interest from the Team

I realize that any veteran education administrator will say that, “there are just not that many interested kids,” but have they really looked?  Have they asked anyone?  In short, is it a fact or is it a guess? In many cases it is the latter, and there is no better way to impact the lives of kids than showing them how valuable they are. We recommend asking the kids about new technologies to better understand how they value a technology and how often they’d engage with that tool or service. We’re confident that the kids in today’s schools are extremely interested in technology aided education, collaboration and community.

Finding Tech & Production Support within the School

Technology is difficult for many ADs to manage, but luckily schools today are filled with students in the tech and AV clubs that can help. These programs should be tapped into, and the students should be encouraged to participate in school wide activities that help build community.

Getting non-student athletes involved with your programs is a powerful action that breaches the traditional social barriers existing between the various groups in a school. Engaging kids by providing them a way to contribute fundamentally changes the social dynamic because the communities that may have previously been disconnected now need one another.

 

Social sports technology is a powerful glue for high school and college sports programs and departments. It bridges communities within a school by organizing everyone around a common theme. And with its social capabilities, stat-based sports video becomes an intra-week content layer that keeps people talking and engaging both online and in person.

Im a huge fan of StatEasy and haven’t found any stat program that works as well when stating volleyball.

William Becque
William Becque
Director of Sports Information at Smith College

We utilized the stats on the bench to help us win a 5-set match against the 4th ranked team in the country! They were not using StatEasy by the way.

Tim_Balice
Tim Balice
Head Women’s Volleyball Coach, Kalamazoo Valley Community College

It’s a definite game changer!

patrick_walton
Patrick Walton
Head Men’s Basketball Coach, Voyager Academy

Mind = Blown.

Lauren_Torvi
Lauren Torvi
Assistant Women’s Volleyball Coach, Depauw University

One of our major [focal points] is professional development… That is part of our mission, and this product, hands down, does that.

dave_archer
Dave Archer
Executive Director, Basketball Coaches Association of New York

It gives that coach an option of showing their players instantly, not just their numbers, not just their stats, but film to back up what those numbers say, so that’s something that we think could be really special to the coach.

tom_barrick
Tom Barrick
Executive Director, Ohio High School Basketball Coaches Association

We believe it’s the model that is going to catch on once people realize the quality of the product.

greg_grantham
Greg Grantham
Executive Director, North Carolina Basketball Coaches Association