As ABCA 2020 draws near, I’ve recently made it a point to ask coaches if I would have the pleasure of seeing them at the renowned baseball exhibit in Nashville, Tennessee. One coach offered his perspective and described the convention as a “coach’s paradise” and that each year he never fails to feel like a “kid in a candy store” as he engages with vendors and fellow coaches throughout the busy weekend.
From my point of view, I am thrilled to kick off a new decade in the Music City, spending the weekend learning and networking within the baseball industry as well as representing and promoting Rapsodo with my colleagues. With the convention just a week away now, I wanted to share my expectations as a first time ABCA goer. From my perspective, three main points are top of mind: how coaches use technology today, what their players think of the technology and data, and how we can better bridge gaps as a technology partner.
#1. HOW COACHES USE TECHNOLOGY TODAY
ABCA offers a tremendous opportunity to come face to face with a large percentage of the baseball industry. Regardless of who I am talking to – Rapsodo user or not – it is important to gain a better understanding of how those coaches utilize technology within their practices (off-season and in-season).
What do the successes look like? What challenges arise with integrating technology into their programs? I am excited to learn from different coaches at different levels about their experiences with technology integration so that I can take those stories and unique perspectives and use them in future conversations with those who may have hesitations or concerns with adding technology to their respective programs.
#2. WHAT PLAYERS THINK OF DATA-TECHNOLOGY INTEGRATIONS
The next point I hope to gain better insight on from the coaches I interact with at ABCA is what their players think of technology integration in practices and games as well as their feedback on the data itself.
I played college baseball, and for me, it was all about competing. I wanted to compete as hard as I possibly could for 9 innings and that was all that mattered to me. We did not have any technology integrated into our practices or games that gave me analytical feedback on my performance. 5 years removed from the game now, I understand the value and importance that technology like Rapsodo can bring to an off-season.
Adding data to the “feel” and the “eye-test” sets up an athlete for better off-season success and more effective and numerical goal-setting. I look forward to learning more about what the players of today’s game think about the rise of technology and data analytics in their sport. And what better way to learn than to connect with the players’ coaches and instructors themselves at ABCA 2020?
#3. HOW WE CAN BRIDGE THE GAP AS A TECHNOLOGY PARTNER
The advanced data analytics that technology like Rapsodo can provide to a coach and an athlete offers benefits in player development if used properly. However, it can seem overwhelming especially with so many metrics offered.
My final goal at ABCA is to ask coaches, current customers or not, how we can better bridge gaps as a technology partner. At Rapsodo, we strive to build strong relationships with our customers and offer our insight as the industry leader in sports analytics.
One initiative we have is to offer better education to our coaches and instructors on how to interpret the data provided from our technology and how to develop players based off of those metrics. To accelerate that initiative, we are introducing our Rapsodo Certified program at ABCA to help our customer base better understand the Rapsodo data and specifically how to use it to maximize player performance.
I am excited to discuss the Rapsodo Certified program further with coaches at ABCA as well as better understand their perspectives on the gaps that currently exist between technology and their staff and players and how, as the leader in sports analytics, Rapsodo can help bridge those gaps.