How Coaches Are Using Mobile-First Microlearning

Traditional methods of playbook and scouting report instruction — a giant binder of plays players try to memorize, or hours spent watching film — are outdated and limit players’ engagement with the material. What if players could use a familiar format to learn their materials?

With developing technology, coaches can now turn their playbooks, scouting reports, and other team materials into interactive learning experiences backed by the latest research in cognitive science.

Why coaches should care about mobile-first microlearning:

  • Talented players cannot play without knowing the playbook. Players learn and retain plays more efficiently when taught in bite-sized amounts on a digital platform.
  • Coaches are forced to simplify playbooks because players cannot learn the complex material quickly enough. Players often have a hard time memorizing long binders, forcing coaches to oversimplify the plays. With an easily accessible mobile playbook, players can get more mental reps and learn the material at their own pace.
  • Coaches have limited time to teach players and few ways to hold players accountable for learning. Rather than using practice time to watch film or quiz players, coaches can use digital playbooks to have assignments completed before practice and maximize time spent with players.
  • Coaches cannot identify their players’ knowledge gaps until they see mistakes on the field. With real-time analytics, coaching staff quickly determine what their players do and do not understand.

Mobile-first microlearning benefits both players and coaches:

  • Players interact with material at their convenience. Younger generations often pull out their phones during gaps in their day, such as when waiting in lines. Rather than scrolling through social media, what if players could study uploaded routes and plays? Having this information on their phone allows players to study their game independently without lugging around a binder of plays.
  • Coaches track and analyze individual player’s knowledge gaps. After players take a quiz on installs, coaches can analyze their correct and incorrect answers to know where their players stand. Then, coaches can target an individual’s specific weak points.

And if you need more convincing on the perils of knowledge gaps…

Matt Gray, the head coach at Mentor High School, said that he never expected to start a practice by asking his players to pull out their phones. However, with digitized playbooks, he has taken a step to better meet the needs and desires of his players. He says that coaches must take a step out of their comfort zones to reach their players.

In his words, “It’s not about you as a coach, it’s about how the players are going to best learn.” If players have adapted to modern technology, coaches must also adapt to best reach them. Coach Gray’s players noted they would all rather learn on an online platform than study paper copies.

Know what your team knows (and doesn’t know) to avoid mistakes

In sports, mental mistakes are unforgiving: they lead to penalties, turnovers, and broken plays. Ultimately, knowledge gaps lead to losses.

By tracking each player’s performance online, coaches have a better idea of what to review with certain players before they make a mistake during a game. By pinpointing their needs, coaches can ensure that each player knows their role when game day arrives. Coaches can quantify the retention of their players rather than hoping they got through to their players at practice. With analytics at their fingertips, coaches can ensure that players have the knowledge to avoid mental mistakes.

Learn to Win help coaches teach more effectively

Learn to Win is an interactive, mobile-first microlearning platform that enables teams to learn material faster and more efficiently. With the platform, coaches upload their playbooks into lessons and quizzes for players to take on their phone or computers whenever they have time gaps in their day. Coaches can track their players’ progress and performance in the analytics suite. Learn what your players are learning (or not!), and be the best coach you can be.

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