As some of you know I spend the mornings as IT professional before putting my coaching hat later in the afternoon. Like many HS coaches much of us coach 18 hours a week plus administration time and travel. For me, working at Excel Sport and Fitness in addition to regular coaching duties use to be a big burden of paperwork and emailing. In my IT job we are a Mac community and that change from Windows was a big shift to new applications and ways of seeing how technology can work for coaches. Here are some tips that Mac Users will find useful while doing their coaching duties.
- Buy VMware- If you can’t beat them join them. Often good products require a windows environment to run. I use the product VMware to run windows on my mac without partitioning my hard drive. The program is nearly flawless and for the price of $75.00 plus a copy of windows it’s a no brainer if you are using Dartfish or Kinovea. Also the polar software as well as a few other programs run on windows so it’s best to have both without getting two computers. Most of my work is done actually on iMovie as most athletes don’t need such demanding requirements. VMware allows Mac users to get most of their work done while using a windows environment for the less commonly used software applications.
- Buy an iPod Touch- Note I didn’t say iPhone yet, as the iPod Touch makes coaching a little easier to manage when working with groups without the phone aspect to juggle. An ipod is no longer a MP3 player but a productivity tool I feel is top notch. Since it can handle wireless, using google docs can make sharing excel spreadsheets easy and safe. Data collection is a pain in the butt if you are using a laptop, and a touch screen can be beat. Videos, podcasts, and an array of cheap applications from the store and we are light years ahead.
- Buy Papers- Loose PDFs? The best way to organize your research articles in PDF format is Papers by our friends at mekentosj.com. The solution is great for searching, organizing, and going green to help reduce paper use. You can go mobile with an iphone or ipod touch and the research and be shared in a few clicks. Anyone wishing to get research organized should spend the $60.00 to get things going. While the first response will likely be I don’t need this or I am organized the features separate it from just folders and pdfs. You can rate them, add your own notes, create author contact information buttons, and download right from the application without safari. Papers also uses a dozen search engines to find new research and the stability of the program is great.
- Buy iWork and iLife- Numbers? Pages? Garageband? The applications that the Mac uses are outstanding individually but the fact that they can import and export make them outstanding solutions. Many times I find iMovie great solution to video analysis quickly. Often athletes are at training camps or meets alone and with a camcorder you can have them share video via youtube or google accounts. Also the price makes every coach more effective since quicktime is a great video player. The iWork suite is also affordable and compatible with Microsoft Office but much easier to use and has great templates that can help with invoices, presentations, and even workout and roster sheets. Garageband is not just for music lovers but a great way to author instructions on videos and record voice.
- Buy Delicious Library 2– The company Delicious Monster is awesome and produces great software. The features and quality are outstanding and any coach trying to organize books, videos, Tools (equipment), and even uniforms. It of course synchronizes with your ipod touch or iphone. The software is award winning and you can use your isight for bar scanning on the DVDs, CDs, and Books.