Combining performance and technology for success

Christina Wu

Technology use is growing in all aspects of our society. Most of Aragon’s sports teams utilize technology regularly to improve communication and performance. Commonly used apps include TeamSnap and GroupMe, which are used for communication as well as scheduling practices and games.

“[TeamSnap] helps us because the schedule is always changing and our practice times are always fluctuating,” said freshman water polo player Sydney Nunnemaker. “[Without TeamSnap], a lot of kids would not be able to come to practice because they wouldn’t know what time our practices were at or when our games were, so they might miss games, and that wouldn’t be good.”

These communication apps are crucial to teams’ success because they allow coaches to keep parents and players updated about scheduling. Some apps also have a messaging feature.

“The captains are constantly sending updates to our teammates to remind them [of] things as simple as what color shirt we’re wearing to practice to updates about who’s reffing at our upcoming games,” said freshman volleyball player Claire Phillips.

Technology provides an ease of communication which helps the team with correspondence between team members and coaches, along with encouraging team-building.

“It actually ends up bonding us together,” Phillips said, “because we use our team group chat to get to know each other better and communicate about things beyond just our sport.”

Girls junior varsity volleyball coach Annette Gennaro says that videotaping practices and games is the best use of technology for her volleyball team.

“I have been using my phone to videotape, and then I show the athletes what they are doing wrong so they get immediate feedback,” she said. “Normally, when you see yourself making a mistake, you fix it right away.”

Another common use of technology in sports is noting statistics. For example, the cross country team uses a website called XCStats, allowing coaches and athletes to log their runs and race times, as well as publicly providing every runner’s race statistics.

Sophomore cross country runner Owen Dodge claims that knowing the statistics of athletes from other schools can help runners know what to focus their training on.

“We can know what to do to beat them,” he said, “and we should work at that.”

Freshman Natalie Graham, who previously ran cross country, also found XCStats useful.

“By having all the times in one place online, you can see from previous years of what similar students have gotten in races and overall,” she said. “[It] helps us figure out how our runs have been going and what progress we are making.”

While statistics are useful for teams, some athletes and teams prefer not to record stats because they find it tedious.

“It’s very time consuming, and sometimes if you forget to [record your stats], there’s punishments,” Dodge said, referring to how cross country coach Frank Hunt requires extra laps or harder workouts when his runners forget to post their statistics.

However, Gennaro avoids the online stat-taking practice altogether.

“I just manually do that, like missed serves and stuff,” she said. “It’s more the fact that I am really the only coach sitting on the bench and I can’t coach and use technology at the same time.”

Phillips also notes how using stats can be complicated and time consuming.

“[Stat taking] was really confusing and hard to work,” she said, “because there [are] so many things you can do on it, and it’s hard to continue using it every time.”

While using technology for sports can certainly be useful, it can also be time consuming and difficult to navigate. Ultimately, as apps and systems improve, so will the communication of Aragon’s sports teams.

Posted by Shelby Cherkas

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