Tom Yashinsky, head coach of Onalaska High School in Wisconsin, deploys must-have technology tools to execute a streamlined process that ensures his entire staff and players are on the same page with weekly game plans.
First, a quick history lesson.
Time was, coaches spent hundreds of hours aggregating piles of notes, diagrams, and images into sacred scriptures – their playbooks. Then they would hover over copy machines the night before camp, printing those playbooks that were more like textbooks for every nook and cranny of offense, defense, and special teams.
But did anyone actually read them?
“If I had put a $20 bill in the middle of those playbooks, I would have gotten back all of those $20 bills at the end of the season,” says Keith Grabowski, former high school head coach, now host of Coach and Coordinator Podcast. “I could tell it wasn’t opened much. You have to think about how kids learn.”
The advent of PowerPoint made presentations more exciting and more easily distributed for a time, but at the same time, video was emerging as the dominant medium of communication. Then Hudl came along and changed the football world.
Coaches still use PowerPoint. Of course, they still use Hudl. And some coaches still want to cozy up by the fire with an eight-box and draw up the next set of plays that will change the fortunes of their team. There are quizzing apps and VR simulations accessible now. The stack of technology tools is piling up just like the hard copy notes and diagrams did back in the day.
The modern-day requirement for any winning football program is a digital hub in which all these disparate software solutions plug in for a seamless workflow for coaches and a singular destination for players to find everything they need to win.
So what are the right tools for the right workflow? And how do you execute efficiently?
Tip #1: Stay Organized
The strategic means discussed here achieve two ends. The best coaches facilitate clear communication amongst the entire staff while constantly seeking ways to enhance player learning that results in improved performance on the field.
Regardless of the platforms coaches use to achieve these two ends, the best practice is unmistakable – put everything in one place.
“Having your players go to one place to get their information reduces the possibility of something being missed, and even staff being confused,” says Grabowski.
In Onalaska, Wisconsin, Head Coach Tom Yashinsky has created a bulletproof template for workflow efficiency using PowerPoint, Hudl, and Pro Quick Draw.
Tip #2: Unify All Parts
Pro Quick Draw first affords coaches a superior drawing tool with a deep bench of starter tools built in, as well as a place to house files in an organized, easily searchable folder structure.
“Once I had my templates drawn out, [Pro Quick Draw] was the fastest way of duplicating things, redrawing things, putting game plans together, and saving things,” says Yashinsky. “This year, everything from last year was ready to go. All I had to do is drop it in and make some adjustments.”
Not a stand-alone drawing tool, Pro Quick Draw is a plug-in to Microsoft PowerPoint and Visio, so coaches stay in their presentation builder of choice to edit drawings. And new this year, Pro Quick Draw offers a one-way integration with Hudl that enables coaches to embed Hudl video libraries directly in PowerPoint.
“Now I have a PowerPoint presentation with Hudl clips in it,” Yashinsky says. “[The players] can see the presentation that I created in PowerPoint without having to use PowerPoint. It’s in Hudl, where they had already been looking for film. Now they can see our game plan and our install in there. It made it completely streamlined for how we work and where the kids look. The kids now only have one spot where they need to look for information.”
Tip #3: Better Prepare Game Plans… Faster
On Sunday nights during the season, Onalaska coaches prepare two things in Hudl for their players – a simple presentation of alignments and install plays drawn up, as well as a video recording of Coach Yashinsky talking through the plan and the reasons why they like it.
Whereas before there was a lot of jumping back and forth between platforms for coaches to create these scouting reports and a similar whiplash effect for the players to consume them, the Pro Quick Draw integrations now make it a single, unified system.
“The more different spots kids have to look, the less likely they are to see it,” says Yashinsky. “The feedback from the kids is just how easy it is for them to see exactly what we’re talking about and how everything is built in directly in one spot.”
“Having [Pro Quick Draw] be the medium for us to put all these together has really changed my workflow,” Coach Yashinsky continues. “I’m not staying up until midnight on Sunday nights now trying to put a game plan presentation together.”
“It’s been a huge game changer for how I game plan and for how we get ready.”
Are you interested in taking Pro Quick Draw for a test drive?
Visit ProQuickDraw.com and sign up for a free trial. They’ll match you with a coach to answer questions and get set up. And you can keep everything you make during your trial, regardless of whether or not you purchase the tool.