In Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, Michael Lewis says, “No matter how successful you are, change is always good. There can never be a status quo . . . You have to always be upgrading.” This is difficult in an age of increasing demands on team’s budgets and coach’s time. Yet new technologies have greatly helped teams and players revolutionize sports as we know it.
One of the new technologies is SportsBoard, an iPhone/iPad app that has been leading a mini tech revolution for amateur and college sports. SportsBoard’s power comes from its ability to create a common language to evaluate a player. As Gregg Jacobs, the founder of SportsBoard, said in an interview, “SportsBoard is the only assessment solution that enables coaches to efficiently capture and distribute feedback to each athlete.”
Institutions and teams from across the nation have taken notice. The company has gained over 300 clients ranging from the IMG Academy — which has notable alumni such as Anquan Boldin and the Williams sisters — as well as the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team and the University of Southern California. SportsBoard has enabled IMG Academy to completely streamline the feedback they provide their campers and resident athletes. Jennifer Klein, the Assistant Women’s Soccer Coach at USC, said it has helped streamline the recruiting process by being able take scouting notes and ditch the paper recruiting rosters used for tournaments. The digital notes help recruiters and coaching staffs evaluate their players, as well as easily upload information to Excel and compliance programs like JumpFoward. SportsBoard goes beyond recruiting and works for training camps and in-season play.
Apps like SportBoard are the effective time saving and coaching tools that allow for Michael Lewis’ Moneyball to become a reality, as teams look to technologies like SportsBoard for a competitive edge in player scouting and development.
Arsene Wenger, coach of Arsenal FC, said his biggest regret was missing out on signing Cristiano Ronaldo. Would apps like SportsBoard have changed the fate of Arsenal and Ronaldo? It is impossible to say. But, these changes in technology allow for ideas to become action and for coaches to build a winning team with the right pieces.