Tech gifts for sports coaches

Posted: December 17, 2016 in Tech in coaching

As we reach the end of 2016 it is interesting to note where technology for coaching is headed.

I am really excited by the potential of the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge and it may even tempt me from my long term preference for the iPhone. The feature that stands out for me is the waterproofness of this phone.

All of a sudden there is potential to use this phone to record Surf Lifesaving, Rowing and Swimming without the nagging worry of dropping your phone in the water. Even the potential to use the phone to video stroke patterns seems to me to be very exciting and I know a real boon for swimming coaches.

The iPhone 7 is also billed as a waterproof phone but I would still be inclined to use a case, offers some outstanding cases and a 5M waterproof guarantee. I am really looking forward to seeing some ‘waterproof coaching’ as this new capability is explored.

Waterproof coaching can take another step forward with another product by Aquacam – CoachCom. This product is designed to allow the coach to communicate with athletes while they are swimming via an intercom system. Given this device works for 200M the potential spin offs are mind boggling for coaches in terms of being able to have constant easy contact with your athletes.

Screen Shot 2016-12-18 at 7.44.43 AM.png

In this video it is being used at the swimming pool – again this is an innovation with so much potential, I really look forward to further exploring this piece of equipment.


Another device which has been outstanding for me personally over the year has been yet another phone case. Screen Shot 2016-12-18 at 7.51.16 AM.png

I find the ability to monitor my own stats in real time really motivating both on the rowing machine and on the bike. As well as helping me find my way around a new area it can let me know my current speed and ensure that I am not resting too much. Coupled with using the app Strava these have enabled me to be more motivated personally, unfortunately I am still very much a front row forward on a bike and so not setting any records!

Of course the Strava app can also sync with my Rhythm + Heart rate monitor. As you can see below this goes around the arm – thankfully my particular armband is black rather than the yellow shown below. Without the inconvenience of a chest strap but still able to use bluetooth to link with fitness watches and other devices, this is a great device to unobtrusively get true heart rate information which can then improve yours and your athletes training.Screen Shot 2016-12-18 at 9.17.21 AM.png

As virtual reality technology becomes closer and closer there are reports from the USA that in the professional teams quarterbacks are now able to review their pass options using VR. Even while injured or fatigued this means a player can review what options he should have taken and hopefully then encourage the correct options to be taken more frequently. While an affordable version of this for the mass market does not seem imminent I am very much looking forward to this becoming available to more and more coaches.

In the spirit of looking forward to 2017, I would like to wish everybody a superb break over the next few weeks. For many it is an opportunity to relax, unwind and plan coaching for 2017. I would like to finish with a non-tech accessory for you to enjoy over Christmas: for me this has been the best coaching book I have ever read and certainly one that you should work to get hold of,  “Finding the Winning Edge by Bill Walsh”. Link to this article to learn more about the author of this book and his quest for perfection in coaching.


Thank you once again for all the support and feedback I have received over the course of this year and I look forward to a successful year coaching with technology in 2017.


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