Reinventing Sports Coaching to Make it More Accessible


Given below are some interesting stats about sports coaching in the U.S.A.:

  • Market Size: $10bn

  • Number of Businesses: 163,538

  • Industry Employment: 280,770

This data is sourced from the Ibis World website.


If one runs a similar comparative analysis for growing economies like India, Australia, or countries in the Middle East, one is sure to find a similar growing number. What makes this industry unique is that there is never going to be a lack of people looking to become fitter and excel at a sport. One is not just looking at junior and senior athletes and team or individual sport-players. Post the pandemic, there is an increased awareness among people to maintain optimum physical fitness. This coupled with better mobile connectivity and Internet speed is a catalyst in delivering sports coaching and strength and fitness training through unconventional and non-traditional methods. This blog will look at how sports coaches and fitness instructors can use leverage the power of technology to make sports coaching accessible to a wider audience.


Harnessing the Power of Social Media

A simple “Google search” for “Instagram Sports Coaching” pulls up an astonishing number of results. Look at the screenshot below:


This is just on one platform. Now imagine the reach of channels like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Weibo in China, LINE in Japan, and other country or region-specific social media networks open up a wide number of possibilities. Social media channels can be used by the sports coaches and fitness instructors in a positive manner. By uploading videos of exercise routines, giving clear instructions on diet and nutrition, and strength and conditioning exercises, they can help users and their social media followers become fitter and healthier. Video is the best way to engage with the users and offers a credible way for followers to practice what the coaches do. Facebook LIVE videos also offer a great way to engage with users in real-time.


Microlearning and Videos for Sports Coaching

In an earlier blog post, we focused on how microlearning works as a great solution for sports coaches and fitness instructors to disseminate post-training work-outs and exercises. It also works as a highly effective way to build a network of followers and users. Microlearning especially in the form of brief videos, be it animated videos (not every fitness coach will have resources to create animated videos), or actual videos of the coach working out can be really helpful for followers.

In the context of sports coaching and fitness and nutrition, microlearning units can be:

  • Brief videos of exercises

  • Brief videos featuring nutritious recipes

  • An infographic or poster with a recipe or a fitness routine

  • Snippets of audio-based instructions or a motivational podcast


Wearables, Health and Fitness Apps, and Sports Coaching

Wearables

Fitness bands and smart wearables have been around for a fair while now. But it was only in the last five to six years that they become more affordable. A FitBit or a Garmin smartwatch or an Apple Watch are still considered to be luxury items. The influx of Chinese and Taiwanese smart bands and smart watches powered by the Android ecosystem completely changed the way people adopted fitness bands. Today. Xiaomi and Huawei and its sub-brand Honor completely rule the smart-watch / fitness band industry with their value for money devices.


Packing a punch within a $50 asking price, these smart bands are marvels of modern engineering. With features covering sleep tracking, pulse rates, oxygen-values, heart-beat rate, and menstrual tracking for women; the smart-band revolution is well and truly helping people make conscious decisions about their health and fitness.


Health and Fitness Apps

Nike and Reebok have their own connected apps that focus on health and fitness and even have a dedicated app to guide people who are interested in running for fitness. Zepp is a connected fitness app from Huami the company that makes the AmazFit range of wearables. Similarly, all wearable-makers have their proprietary apps that synchronize with the wearable to provide data. Apps like HealthifyMe are taking the whole fitness regime to a different level with personalized coaches, fitness instructors, and nutritionists. The onus is on the user to fill data about exercises and food and liquid intake.


Every week the coach speaks with the users to provide personalized fitness and diet plans that help the users achieve their fitness and physical strength goals. Apps like HealthifyMe and Fittr, Goqii focus on the connected health ecosystem with devices like smart-bands and watches and digital weighing scales that collect all relevant data about the body’s parameters in terms of fat-composition, height, weight BMI, etc., to provide a holistic analysis. This data is then used to craft out a fitness regime and a diet plan that the users should follow. Google Fit from Google easily synchronizes with one’s smartphone and is also an important and easy way to track basic health parameters.


Apple has worked steadily in this space and its latest wearables have an in-built E.C.G. function. There have been multiple instances wherein users were warned of an impending cardiac arrest and advised to reach their nearest medical center or an alert was triggered to let Emergency Services reach the person in time.


Websites and Mobile Learning Apps to Foster Sports Coaching

With tools like WordPress and Wix someone with even bare minimum computer skills can build a professional looking website and host sports coaching videos and lessons on it by linking to videos on YouTube or Vimeo. The focus is on providing a great user-experience to the learners and followers even when they are on a poor cellular network.


At S4Carlisle, we can work closely with you to develop a video-based sports coaching curriculum, help you shoot the videos with professional videographers, get the videos edited, and add and mix audio and sub-titles as required. We can then host the videos on your website or configure an LMS as a microsite to your website and charge subscribers to set up a recurring income stream for sharing your knowledge and expertise. In a similar manner, we can also design and set up a dedicated mobile learning app that helps you find new paid subscribers to your app.


The future holds immense possibilities, from the transition to traditional coaching methods to a virtual learning, and now a hybrid-learning model with a special focus on DIY-courses and learning modules, we at S4Carlisle are here to help you get the best from our digital learning solutions. Write to us at sales@s4carlisle.com to learn how we can help you build and deploy a dedicated sports coaching website that lets you generate an additional revenue stream and makes your courses available to a larger global audience.