Editor’s note: This is the first of a three-part series from Brad Cochi and BoCoPreps.com on some of the ways technology is keeping those in the sports world busy in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Part two will publish April 3, part three on April 5.
A big part of being a coach is continually pursuing opportunities to better oneself in order to increase one’s ability to teach and guide others, which is a difficult thing to do in the isolationist social climate that has been forced on us all by the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Plenty of local high school coaches, however, are taking advantage of an emerging virtual solution that has helped quench their thirst for learning.
Web sites like Coachtube.com and its offshoot product, Coachesclinic.com, provide a virtual platform through which coaches can learn from other coaches on a wide variety of topics via Zoom lectures, discussions and instructional videos. When social distancing makes it impossible to attend offseason conferences and clinics, sitting in your living room watching live-streamed and archived lectures from prominent coaches like the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Billy Donovan or the University of South Carolina’s Frank Martin is a pretty good substitute.
“What’s neat is a lot of places are opening up their platforms for free because of what’s going on,” Centaurus boys basketball coach Travis Maron said. “Coachesclinic.com has clinics on different concepts and it’s really set up well. You sign up and you click on all the ones you want to watch and they have professional coaches, college coaches, European coaches, all kinds. And they talk about all kinds of things from X’s and O’s to culture, and you can ask questions.
“Personally, I’m always trying to get better whether that’s reading books or clinics or whatever. Everyone has time on their hands and this has been really helpful and really fun the last few days.”
Coachtube.com was founded in 2015 as a platform to enable coaches to help other coaches by providing them with the technology and a medium through which to teach online. Over the past several years, the site has become an industry standard for pre-recorded educational videos for coaches and covers just about any sport you can think of. Coachtube.com focuses more on long-term learning while Coachesclinic.com is brand new and focuses more on live streaming and sometimes interactive lectures, simulating what one would experience at an in-person conference or clinic.
A substantial number of these offerings have been made free given the current circumstances our society faces while battling a global pandemic. Wade Floyd, the founder of Coachtube.com, also points out that many well-known coaches currently have more time than ever to produce videos and potential viewers have more time to watch them. This has made his company’s offerings more useful, and more popular, than ever.
“When all this stuff started happening, we just thought about how we could give back,” Floyd said. “There were a lot of coaches out there who reached out to us about a way they could teach online and it just started snowballing. Now we have over 200 coaches and over 21,000 people have ordered tickets to watch the clinics. It’s going viral and the traffic and data has gone crazy.
“It’s cool because they feel like they’re in their living room with all these people they look up to and they get a chance to learn directly from them.”
While COVID-19 continues to spread, everyone is having to find ways to do things a little bit differently and virtual learning platforms like these are giving coaches everywhere an opportunity to do just that.