The iPad has massive potential to be a coaching assistant in the professional sports arena, which is something the 120 players, coaches and other staff of the National Football League’s Denver Bronco’s will be taking advantage of for the 2012 season.
This move to digital playbooks will save the team from printing their traditional 500-page paper version for those 120 people, something that was done every week in the past. The savings seen from this change alone makes the iPad a worthwhile investment, not to mention the positive environmental impact, or how much more convenient it is to take home the tablet instead of all those printed materials.
The iPads handed out promise to be packed full of game plans, scouting reports, video clips and any other relevant data that the team determines could be helpful.
Unfortunately, the NFL does not currently allow any electronic devices on the field during games. Tony Lazzaro, director of football information systems for the Broncos feels this is because the “NFL is very protective of the game on the field and not allowing technology to alter the play on the field.” Fortunately beginning this season, the devices are being allowed in the locker room up until kickoff (where in previous years the devices had to be removed 90 minutes before the start of the game).
The app powering the device is courtesy of Parker-based technology start-up PlayerLync. Using the PlayerLync app, players and coaches can write notes, highlight plays and then share those across remote computer screens as well as accessing those saved from previous games and practices –data that has previously been unavailable as it was trashed every week with the paper playbooks.
The other key benefit is the time savings. Where once players and staff had to have a physical hand-off of the printed materials, now they can download everything remotely and wirelessly and updates are very easy to push out if there are changes or additions to the materials.