The Challenge: Insufficient Tools Limited Shoreline’s Ability to Achieve Digital Connectedness, and Engagement in Remote Training
Despite their upward trajectory, the team at Shoreline wasn’t willing to slow down. They knew they could do more to accelerate their program. For his organization, Nate identified a few key challenges.
Low Engagement in Remote Training and Assignments
Nate was frustrated by how the limitations of their current digital tools impeded their desire to stay digitally connected, and deliver engaging at-home, or on the go training to their athletes.
The main system they used to promote digital training programs and communications were tools such as email, social media, and SNYPR, a popular lacrosse specific wall-ball app.
Nate and his coaching staff found these tools to garner extremely low levels of engagement especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, where virtual coaching was essential for the success of their business and would be an integral part of hosting their upcoming live coaching clinics in a now virtual setting.
Busy Schedules Limit In-person Training to 1–2 Days Per Week
Parents and athlete are busy, and Nate understands that in-person time is limited, but that practice and remote training shouldn’t be. In the past, Shoreline hosted practices in-person 2 days per week in the summer, and 1 day per week in the fall.
“In order for the athlete to reach their full potential, they need to show up everyday. Our goal is to promote 2–3 days of virtual skill development, and 1 day of education based training content (learning new offense, film breakdown, etc.) in addition to in-person training.” — Nate Wheeler
Shoreline Lacrosse believed achieving digital connectedness, and heightened engagement was possible, but didn’t have the right toolset to implement it. When the opportunity came up to evaluate other virtual coaching options, Wheeler and his staff jumped on it.
The Solution: Higher Engagement, Better Community Experience, and Achieving Digital Connectedness
To successfully address the lack of digital connectedness and low engagement in at-home and on the go training, Shoreline Lacrosse deployed MaxOne’s Custom Branded Virtual Coaching Platform, to get their own custom branded app in the app store. This comprehensive solution enabled an efficient and effective approach to virtual coaching.
Nate and the executive team required a system that would improve engagement and accountability at home, in the gym, or on the go while also creating a more digitally connected environment for communicating.
To achieve this, a solution would need a diverse enough feature-set to support their club and high school teams, as well as frequent coaching clinics/training series. These requirements eliminated many vendors, such as the previously used wall ball app when combined with his desire for software that is easy-to-use. His decision came down to one; MaxOne, the leading Virtual Coaching Platform (‘VCP’).
Improving Engagement Through a Better Remote Training Experience
After Nate’s detailed and meticulous review of all available options, Nate and Shoreline’s executive team made the decision to move forward with MaxOne’s Virtual Coaching Platform (‘VCP’).
Having an easy-to-use and quick to activate virtual coaching solution for their athletes, parents, and coaching staff quickly enabled Shoreline on the path to achieve their ideal future state of increased engagement and an overall more connected organization.
Nate started by developing Shoreline’s remote training programs. The first step was to build out custom training video libraries, where those activities were then used to create individual and multi-week training programs, that were assigned to the athletes based on age, skill level, position, or team.
The assigned programs garnered a rapid increase in competition and accountability. The leaderboards showcased where each player ranked, enabling athletes and their coaches to see who was putting in the work, and who wasn’t. This allowed coaches to pinpoint which players might need extra help, increasing engagement for Nate’s staff in addition to the athletes.
Converting Live Coaching Clinics to Virtual Coaching Clinics
Building off of their success, Shorelines quickly expanded their efforts and started to transition their upcoming live coaching clinics into a virtual setting. This allowed Shoreline to continue to coach and provide valuable training programs to their athletes while saving them from having to issue refunds or account credits.
Supplemental In-Season and Off-Season Training
As a result of implementing a Virtual Coaching Platform, Shoreline will continue to promote virtual training 2–3 days per week, even when they are back in-person, allowing them to stay top of mind and provide players activities or options for training 7 days a week.
Supplemental training will be a key component of Shoreline’s training program moving forward. Now, they have a way to assign programs, track results, and show up more often.
The Results: Shoreline Lacrosse Achieves 5x Increase in player engagement in remote workouts and assigned practice plans
Wheeler is a proponent for measurable results and has the metrics to show that Shoreline Lacrosse’s decision to take a more sophisticated approach to Virtual Coaching and use MaxOne has paid off. Since the implementation of their custom branded Virtual Coaching Platform, where shoreline lacrosse has their own custom branded app available in the app stores, he has seen a 5x increase in player engagement in at-home and on the go training.
Most of all, Wheeler finds having an all-inclusive Virtual Coaching Platform helps him to execute his virtual coaching requirements more quickly, saving him valuable time on administrative work, and meeting his organization-wide and personal goals of heightened player engagement.
Nate and the Shoreline Lacrosse executive team understand that the future of Virtual Coaching in Youth Sports is a combination of traditional effort and innovative technology, where your coach is productively involved in your day-to-day , even when you can’t be there in person. Whether that’s a custom-built workout program each week, results and progress tracking, or nutrition and educational advice, it’s apparent that to stay relevant in a youth athlete’s life, you need to meet them where they’re at.