It’s rare to find a football coach who has NOT played football during some period of his life. For most, it was junior high and high school. Some were lucky enough to play at the collegiate level, and for a fortunate few, the professional level. Every coach has memories from back in the day of their coach holding up a 3-ring binder, stuffed full of plays, making sure the team had the best scout look possible each week. Little did the players know how much time and effort went into preparing these scout cards, and how much (or little!) coaches liked running scout teams. Now as coaches, there is a definitive appreciation for the amount of work that goes into preparing scout cards. Whether at the high school level, where the HC or DC is usually the one prepping the cards, or the collegiate and professional levels where assistants take care of this task, scout cards are a must; somebody on the staff is in charge of getting them ready. Consider yourself blessed if you are on a staff where this task is shared amongst several coaches!
In 2006, Jason Kazar, a defensive GA at Bethel College (KS), was in charge of drawing all the cards for the week and assembling them into multiple 3-ring binders using the clear vinyl sleeves. Given the technology limitations of the time, the scout cards were hand drawn using a black permanent marker, unless you were on a staff where a copied version of…well, we don’t want to get anyone in trouble. Suffice it to say, many of you reading this can relate. Through his coaching career at large high schools and small colleges, Kazar was constantly in pursuit of improving the scout card process. With every new evolution in the tech industry, Kazar saw opportunities to help himself and other coaches become more efficient and effective, allowing them to spend less time “in the office” and more time with their families. After years of constant work and development, Kazar has finally merged traditional hand drawn scout cards with the efficiency of technology in: The Coachpad!
The Coachpad (www.thecoachpad.com) is a unique product that provides the capabilities and capacity of a tablet with the look and feel of traditional paper. Kazar says, “Flexibility is critical. We all know there are some great digital drawing programs coaches can choose from, but there is always the need to draw on the fly. The Coachpad is versatile because coaches can load their digital scout cards, draw plays by hand, and even annotate any of the cards they have loaded.” Easily integrating with a computer via USB or wireless connection, The Coachpad has the ability to connect directly to cloud platforms like Dropbox. The ability to display multiple templates, to draw on top of cards, to erase mistakes on the fly, and to store an entire season of cards in a single repository is fantastic, but if players can’t see it in the huddle under direct sunlight, it doesn’t do much good. That’s why The Coachpad uses specialized technology to retain the look, feel, and functionality of paper. While other tablets are subject to glare or have screens that just aren’t bright enough to see outside, The Coachpad excels in every lighting environment. “Using The Coachpad,” says Kazar, “coaches can have all their cards ready to go for practice in seconds, and then show them to the players without worrying about visibility issues. Personally, I won't get prepared for scout teams like I did in the past ever again. This device has allowed me to save time and be more efficient as a coach. I spend more time on important tasks, not stuffing a binder!”
In early 2020, Kazar and The Coachpad team partnered with Sideline Power to bring The Coachpad to the national marketplace. Sideline Power works diligently to find and bring cutting edge technology to the football industry, and The Coachpad is definitely cutting edge. Since partnering up with Sideline Power, coaches from all over the country, and at every level from middle school to the NFL have purchased The Coachpad to utilize for their programs. Schools that utilized The Coachpad in the fall of 2020 got to experience exactly what Jason designed The Coachpad to do: provide a much better experience when preparing and using scout cards week in and week out. With an estimated 80% of users drawing scout cards in Hudl Practice Scripts, they were now able to load those on The Coachpad in seconds instead of stuffing a binder of clear vinyl sleeves before practice. Coaches also commented about how they no longer had to carry 2-4 binders out to practice. The folders on the device allowed coaches to easily access inside, 7-on-7, team, or even all three facets of scout cards all on the same device. From the southern tip of Texas to the northern plains of the Dakotas, coaches were utilizing The Coachpad last fall. With some states on the East and West coast playing this spring, the features and advantages of The Coachpad are being proved with year-round use. Pictures from practices taken by users are posted on the @thecoachpad twitter account, as well as on The Coachpad website, so coaches from all over can see how crisp and clear scout cards are on The Coachpad. Jason really enjoys hearing from coaches who have tried other tablets but were always frustrated at not being able to see them outdoors on the practice field. Now with The Coachpad in hand, players in the back of the huddle or yards away can easily see scout cards or plays as easily as if they were written on paper.
With COVID restrictions lifting in some parts of the country Jason and Sideline Power are eager to get back out on the road to attend in person clinics to share The Coachpad with more and more coaches as they prepare for spring ball, then the summer practices and hopefully a fall season where the entire country is playing at the same time again. The Coachpad is definitely a tool coaches don’t stash away in the equipment room with other football equipment that just sits for months. Coaches across the country are continually utilizing The Coachpad as they game plan in the off season and putting those clinic/zoom notes in a place where they will be easily accessible year-round and not on some napkin or sheet of paper they borrow and never find again a week later after the clinic. Giving coaches back time is what Jason is hoping to do for coaches especially when they are working on scout cards.
If you are ready to help yourself and your staff experience the next level in scout card technology and coaching efficiency, Sideline Power is ready to get The Coachpad in your hands. Visit www.sidelinepower.com or call 800.496.4290.