A USADA study of the general U.S. population found that coaches are the leading positive influencers on today’s youth. According to the study, “[Coaches] are closest to youth sport participants (both proximally and emotionally) and are generally perceived as having a positive influence on young people.”
Was it the number of wins or championships that made coaches so influential? More likely, it was relationships with athletes that drove the study’s findings. It may have been a coach’s ability to teach, motivate or instill values that helped their athletes down the road—both in and out of competition—that made the greatest impact.
At the heart of each of these experiences is engaging an athlete. A coach’s ability to engage his or her athletes is what makes them influential, positive, or “good”. A better program and more success often just happen to follow.
So, how do you engage your athletes even better? Coachestoolbox set out to find the best of the best tools available today.
A Multi-Solution Engagement App
One particular coaches’ tool that rose to the top in our testing was Programax. Programax is a web-based app that offers robust features and a wide range of functions designed to help coaches to engage, motivate, track and plan across their entire program.
To help shed a little light on why we found Programax to be so effective for coaches, we’ll highlight just a few of its many features and benefits here.
Skill and Strength Workouts
A key component of engagement is motivating athletes and driving performance improvement within your program. For many coaches, getting athletes to make the most of their time in the off-season is a significant challenge.
With this in mind, we love the way Programax harnesses technology to drive performance improvement. The app makes it simple for coaches to create their own custom video library of the skill drills and strength-building exercises they want athletes to execute. These activities can be combined into tailor-made workouts that provide a long-term plan for improving athlete performance.
The athletes are engaged when they access the activities through their own Programax accounts via their smartphones or any web-enabled device. There they view and execute the activities as instructed, and record their performance. Results are posted in real time on program-wide leaderboards, permitting coaches and other athletes to see the “personal bests” of the athlete’s workout in a live environment. The accountability and competition driven by the leaderboards is just one of many benefits that make this one of the best training apps out there.
Click the play arrow below for a video on the Activities Feature
For more information on Programax activities or to sign up for a demo, visit www.Programax.org/performance
Want to engage your athletes? It begins and ends with communication. We love that Programax makes it easy for coaches to connect with coaches, athletes and even parents in seconds via text or email. The contact information for all of your program’s participants is stored within the app and is at your fingertips whenever you need it.
Staying in touch with your program’s stakeholders is made even easier by Programax’s “Groups” functionality. Create custom groups containing those you message most—maybe assistant coaches, captains or individual classes—and save yourself even more time as you distribute important information.
Click the play arrow below for more about the Messaging Feature
See it in action and sign up for a demo www.Programax.org/communication
Calendar & Scheduling
The Calendar functionality in the Programax app is nothing flashy—just the same type of intuitive scheduling system you might find on your mobile phone. But does it help coaches with athlete engagement? Absolutely!
What we really liked about the Programax Calendar is how it allows coaches to create distinct, color-coded schedules for all of the different types of events or groups within their programs. These schedules only appear on the calendars of those they impact (as set by the coach or administrator), and can be synched to personal calendars on mobile phones, or within Outlook or Gmail. In the end, Programax provides a simple yet thoughtful approach to this important feature.
Click the play arrow below for a Calendar Feature Overview:
For more information on Programax sign up for a live demo, visit www.Programax.org/scheduling
Camps and events can be a great opportunity for coaches to engage athletes. They can also be a lot of work. The Programax Event Management feature allows coaches to spend less time on sign-ups and admin, and to focus more on the camp curriculum and the athletes themselves.
Coaches can create an event, market the camp through the app and collect registration fees all within the app. The tool’s real time roster of sign-ups and key information on those individuals is a huge timesaver for coaches as well.
Click the play arrow below for a short video on Programax Events Feature:
Learn more about even signups wit Programax at www.Programax.org/scheduling
Coaching Your Coaches
Within many programs, head coaches aren’t the only ones engaging athletes. Assistant and lower level coaches can also be instrumental in leading players and building a better program. Programax provides a unique solution called “Coaches Corner” that helps build consistency across programs.
The app allows you to share materials amongst your staff, including upload video, PDF or image files, which they can view or download directly from their personal Programax accounts. In essence, it allows you to “coach your coaches” on precisely how you want them to lead. In the opinion of Coachestoolbox, Coaches Corner is a thoughtful addition to an already useful app.
For more information on this and other Programax features, visit www.Programax.org/coaches-corner
Athlete engagement is a key component of building a successful program. In our opinion, Programax is a tremendous tool for helping coaches “do” engagement better.
Each of the app’s many features prove to be robust and powerful in their own right; from powerful messaging and scheduling tools to an advanced training platform that stands up to the best training apps out there. Just one of these could make a coaches’ life easier. When you consider that all of these and more are included in one intuitive app, that’s a potential game-changer. For these reasons, we recommend you check out Programax for your own program.
To see Programax in action or learn how you can use it in your own program, visit www.programax.org.