Deep Dive – Practice Plan Builder For Wrestling Coaches

Deep Dives are articles about how, and why, WrestlingIQ has decided to add specific features. I write them to transparently explore the creation process, and to solicit feedback from the wrestling community.

There are many generic practice plan builders for coaches, but very few designed for wrestling. My goal with this feature is to create a modern, drag and drop practice builder built by wrestlers for wrestlers.

Why?

Coaches who are good planners tend to be very structured with pre-competition practice planning, and flexible enough to adapt on the fly once competition starts.

Today these practice plans usually live in an isolated corner of one coach’s life. Word documents with custom templates, paper, an email inbox, or an app that lives on a single device. These solutions work because coach’s have been fine tuning their processes for a long time and creatively work around technological limitations, but it is far from ideal. No easy way to share with other coaches, creating templates are time consuming, calculating run time is clunky, etc etc. To top it off, practice planning is also one of the most intimidating parts about being a new coach.

I want to make a practice plan builder that addresses those issues and is easy to use for new and experienced coaches alike.

Version 1 Design Goals

  • Practice plan categories should make immediate sense to wrestling coaches.
  • It should be easy for coaches to adjust practice plans as their season unfolds.
  • The running time of the practice should be automatically calculated.
  • Coaches should be able to review, or edit, practice plans created by other coaches.
  • The builder should be good enough that it’s an obvious choice over other practice plan builders.

Version 1 Demo

Future Work

The demo above does not represent the final form of this feature, just a solid foundation to build upon.┬áListed below are the features that I believe will take this from being a ‘good enough’ practice plan builder to a fantastic one:

  • Reusable sections.
  • Configurable category blocks on the right hand side of the builder
  • Ability to create ‘templates’. If 80% of your practices follow a similar outline (announcements, warm-up, drill, technique, live, conditioning, cool-down), you should be able to click one button to auto create those sections for you.
  • Ability to clone practice plans, particularly for re-use from season to season. If the first 5 weeks of your practices are the same it should be super easy to drop the first five weeks into your schedule.
  • Library of pre-made techniques and drills.
  • Library of entire practice plans done for you. Especially for the brave coaches who take on a team without much wrestling experience (thank you btw!), having pre-built plans from experienced coaches will help keep our programs alive and well.

Suggestions

If you have any suggestions for me based on this blog post please post a comment, or reach out to me directly at matt@wrestlingiq.com; I am always looking for insights and would love to talk with you.