3 Reasons Zoom is NOT sufficient for Virtual Sports Coaching in 2021

MaxOne on November 23, 2020

How Zoom is Being Used in Virtual Coaching

There is no question that COVID-19 has accelerated certain trends in youth sports. For years early adopters have been utilizing innovative Virtual Coaching tools and platforms to supplement in-person practice and play.  Now, more so than ever before accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, Virtual Coaching is quickly becoming the ‘new normal’ as sports organizations transition to hybrid and remote training models for the unforeseen future. 

The spike in the adoption of virtual coaching tools includes the adoption of digital platforms previously only  used for business applications (e.g. Zoom, Google Hangout), social media, and other tools for sharing documents. Here’s some data from a recent survey of youth sports programs adopting new technologies during 2020.

  • 60% of organizations began using Zoom or other web-based platforms
  • 30% using social media such as Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook
  • 10% sending training and workouts via email

Zoom. A Great Resource for One to Many Broadcast Communications

For some, Zoom serves as a great resource for one-to-many group instruction, allowing coaches to broadcast live and have collaborative team meetings. . For programs with only this one-to-many broadcast communication model  in mind, a tool like Zoom is sufficient. For those youth sports programs seeking to achieve a more dynamic live coaching experience, Zoom is not a viable option. Zoom just wasn’t built to be a live remote digital training experience built to help coaches coach athletes more effectively.

While Zoom has served sports programs as a temporary workaround, it will ultimately not provide the comprehensive solutions required for effective virtual coaching for several reasons.


1. Zoom is Not Built for ‘Live’ and Engaging Coach to Athlete Coaching

One of the most reported issues sports organizers and coaches face with business-focused meeting tools like Zoom is that they don’t facilitate team-building opportunities or customizable training capabilities like:

  • Live video replay, movement analytics, and annotation
  • Individualized workout building and assigning tools
  • Player feedback, performance logs, and leaderboards
  • Cohort training based on age or competitive level
  • Archive digital assets such as skills and drill videos
  • On-demand training from anywhere 

The lack of sport-specific offerings has been shown to cause significant problems like low athlete engagement, lack of accountability, and no coaching consistency.

2. Zoom is Not Sufficient as a Standalone Communication Platform

Many online meeting tools also lack any communication capabilities outside of when the meeting is currently in session. Effective, multi-channel (i.e. text, chat, and email) messaging is a key component of successful virtual coaching. Also, many coaches have reported experiencing significant emotional and physical drain after using programs like Zoom; this is commonly called “Zoom fatigue.” While it can offer simple real-time 2-way communication, Zoom’s potentially negative side-effects can be mitigated by combining dynamic live coaching sessions with a cadence of programming delivered on a schedule pre and post-meeting to deliver skills & drill, technique, and educational content on a scheduled calendar, with push notification reminders on the player’s phone.

  • Fight fatigue by combining Zoom with customizable training programs that allow players to proceed at their own pace – taking breaks as necessary to retain their focus and concentration.


3. Zoom Does Not Support Sustainable Program Growth

Zoom does not provide the framework nor workflows to help a youth sports program generate new and incremental revenues.

The alternatives to online meeting tools and social media applications are modern Virtual Coaching Platforms (VCPs) designed specifically to facilitate remote communication, athlete training, and team building. 

Comprehensive and customizable VCPs like MaxOne provide organizers the ability to assure players and parents that their program can offer safe, compliant, highly effective, and engaging virtual experiences, and help:

  • Create additional revenue streams to support the long-term financial health of the organization.
  • Mitigate the risk of future organization impacts due to COVID recurrence.
  • Differentiate program offerings with the most powerful virtual training experience available

Interested in learning more about Virtual Coaching Platforms?

Regardless of how COVID-19 continues to impact youth sports, new research clearly shows that forward-thinking organizers are focused on becoming more flexible, ensuring operational continuity, and providing the most value possible to players and parents.

Experience the power of MaxOne’s Virtual Coaching Platform, and book a call today.