Making The Case For Technology – Athletics & PE
We go everywhere with technology nowadays. So should it be in our weight room and strength and conditioning program?
I am not saying that it should take over our program entirely as I am a firm believer in personal connections. But I do think it can be something that is a strong branch and dimension of what we do in the world of teaching and coaching.
Going into our 3rd year of partnering with PLT4M, is something that has changed all of our programs tremendously.
At Queensbury High School, every sports team, our PE program, and the S&C program all use PLT4M. It is a tool that is used by our coaches, athletes, teachers, and administrators as an avenue to connect with our students. The key is to look at it as not only a tool but an essential portion of what we now do on a daily basis.
PLT4M has especially helped define our program during our recent societal setbacks. The Covid epidemic has changed how a lot of people view school, sports, and technology, for better or for worse.
So whether you are back at school or looking towards remote learning, here are a few tips when lobbying for technology like PLT4M in your school.
Tip 1: Give facts. (Practicality & Logistics)
Now more than ever, we are being asked to do some impossible tasks. Whether it is coaching or teaching, we never have enough time in our day. We are always looking for something to enhance our efficiency within our programs. Technology is an excellent resource for this.
Sometimes we want to be able to send messages to our students or athletes. Other times we want to create challenges for students to complete on their own, in small groups or outside of the classroom. Technology such as PLT4M gives us the ability to do so effectively.
It allows us, as coaches and teachers, to create a varied and fun approach to completing the sometimes mundane tasks.
More importantly, technology can be used to take our classes or training outside of the strict time structure of class or sport. For our program, we were constantly under pressure from our administrators to have some sort of credit recovery program (our PE classes are a graduation requirement). PLT4M gave us this option and allowed us to create programs for our students.
Finally athletically, the programming for S&C is on point and allows someone like myself to create a program and get it out to all student-athletes effectively. It also allows coaches to hold players accountable for custom programming if that sport tests or wants a specific training program.
Tip 2: Follow the Money
As a school, we are given funds each year that are allocated in different categories. Each department is allocated money for equipment, money allocated for supplies, and then allocated for textbooks. (Each department has it broken down this way, hence the textbooks even for PE.)
Obviously, physical education gets a higher equipment budget than other departments, but we still have the same categories of money. It is also very difficult to transfer funds from different accounts to others. For example, transferring textbook money to equipment is not easy.
So as we looked deeper into the budgeting process with our department, we found technology falls in the “textbook” category of budgeting. This allowed us to use money that already existed, and push it toward our PLT4M subscription.
If the Physical Education budget is not available, another way to allocate money for a program such as this is to look at it in the same light we do as other software programs used in athletics (like Hudl). Programs such as this have such value for all high school sports programs that it deems itself as “worth it” for athletic programs to purchase. It is not like other purchases that might just benefit one team (like buying new jerseys).
Getting multiple teams/programs on the same page from this perspective, money can be found very quickly if all coaches/teachers are pushing in the right direction of updating their programs to the 21st century of training.
Each school will be different for funding and budget, but you can certainly make the case both from a Physical Education and Athletic perspective that it is worth it.
Want to see how you can incorporate PLT4M into your Physical Education or Athletic Department?
Tip 3: Lobby for Image
All Administrators love to brag about what teachers in their building are doing. Technology is always a hot topic in today’s education/athletic world, and this type of technology will give you some bragging rights.
Updating the viewpoint is the first argument that you can use to justify adding technology and allowing you to look like a rockstar. Getting your program to seem that it is in this century is no underrated task.
With technology such as PLT4M being able to incorporate programming for fitness testing, having students interact with each other, and interact with their coaches/teachers, this is the image that fills the 21st-century need for technology.
Having your program look good isn’t the only thing that matters, but it does go a long way to students, parents, and administrators when it comes to proving the value of your program through their own eyes. So being able to lobby about upgrading your program and making it something that fits today’s society is a cosmetic point, but a point nonetheless.
No matter what angle you take with your administrators, colleagues, or community, finding the case to enhance your program with PLT4M is well worth it for any Athletic or Physical Education department.
JOHN MARTIN, CSCS, FMS
Physical Education Teach and Sports Performance Coordinator at Queensbury High School (NY)
2019 NYS NHSSCA Coach Of The Year
- Former Head Football Coach at Mt. Anthony (VT) and in charge of weight room there
- Former Intern at Duke Sports Performance under Coach Sonny Falcone and Football Coach Noel Durfey