Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Keys to Coaching with Google Drive

Here are some ways to I've used Google Drive with coaching. My name is Seth Ponder. I teach and coach track and field at Urey Middle School in the John Glenn School Corporation. I've also coached varsity soccer at John Glenn High School in Walkerton, IN.

When I started my coaching career several years ago I tried to integrate lessons learned from such coaching greats as: Wooden, Krzyzewski, & Lombardi. One such lesson was centered on strong communication, not only from me to the players, but also amongst each other. Duke University basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski once said, “Effective teamwork begins and ends with communication.” While Coach K probably wasn't thinking of Google Drive specifically, it definitely is a tool that I incorporate into my coaching strategy to strengthen team communication. With students being involved in multiple extracurricular activities, having one place that both the parents & students can visit to stay informed is very important. Providing quick & easy access to schedules, stats, & sign-up sheets contributes to successful seasons; ones rooted in open lines of communication between home & the field.
Here are samples of some of the tools I use within Google Drive, including documents, forms, & spreadsheets.


Google Drive is a tool that I use to share practice agendas, track attendance, & distribute game day strategies with my coaching colleagues. When sharing a document on Google Drive, you can give editing rights to your coaching staff so everyone can add their input to a weekly practice agenda before you step onto the field.

Other document examples include: storing each athlete’s statistics spanning the entire season from pre-season conditioning to the last game. This way each athlete is able to see how much they have grown & improved throughout the course of the season. At the beginning of each season I share the competitive thresholds needed to earn playing time. Each athlete is able to reference their current performance on Google Drive, allowing them to see how close they are to the thresholds or their individual goal. Additionally, each athlete is able to see how they compare to their peers; creating healthy competition & aiding in camaraderie, motivation, & ultimately team success.

Before the season starts, you can use the form wizard on Google Drive to create a pre-season survey or template so student athletes can populate demographic information in standardized forms. This allows you to export the results; providing you with a complete & centralized list of data & contacts. Creating sign-up sheets using the form tool provides you with a way to reach out to the parents of your athletes; encouraging them to help with team dinners, organizing rides to & from practice, & leading team fundraising efforts.


I have found an effective use of the Google Drive spreadsheet tool is to create a season at a glance template for your athletes & parents. This contains pre-season meetings, condition gatherings, practices, & game days; I will print off a copy for the pre-season meeting to share with athletes & parents. Then during the meeting I ask the parents & students to provide their email addresses if they are interested in receiving updates electronically. This way I am able to load their email addresses & can share these documents in Google Drive. In our wired society this ensures that any last minute changes due to scheduling conflicts or weather aren’t missed by athletes or parents.

As the technology education teacher at Urey Middle School I am constantly looking for ways to integrate the tools I use in my classroom into other aspects of our students’ day. By incorporating Google Drive into my coaching interactions I am showing students how the lessons I teach in my classroom are pertinent in their everyday life. Google Drive makes it easy to organize, share, & store countless pieces of information that are necessary when running an athletic team. Google Drive is a tool that strengthens the lines of communication & as Coach K said helps bring about successful teamwork.

The Challenge

Get your students to integrate technology on the fields or courts with Google Drive. Here are some ways to communicate and motivate your student athletes. Good luck on Google Drive and the season.

Share your thoughts or ideas on the Comments or if you are already using Google Drive on the court, tell us about it.

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