Today I want to tell you about a website, BallSide.com, I’ve discovered some time ago. BallSide.com was developed at the German Sports University in Cologne and has been online since early 2010.

Disclosure: I’ve been provided with a scout account to have a close up look at their offered service! Nonetheless this will not affect my opinions I will be sharing with you in the following articles.

In short, coaches can use this free Basketball Coaching Software to easily organize their teams, analyze detailed player and team statistics, and save a lot of time by doing this. For example, it is no longer necessary to create elaborate mailing lists, only to find out that the e-mail address of a player is wrong and you are not able to get important information out to the right place.

The whole service is a huge database, which many coaches already use to track and compare their team stats with other teams around the world. Dirk Bauermann, the men’s national head coach of Germany praises BallSide.com highly. Opposing coaches, players or fans can view these statistics in detail, and prepare themselves for an upcoming game. Talent scouts have access to a variety of player statistics in order to find the next Dirk Nowitzki.

When entering their team and player statistics, coaches who maintain proper stats also benefit monetarily. Every time someone retrieves the statistics of a team, the coach gets earns a couple cents. This is how BallSide.com let’s active coaches earn for the service they provide. These organisational tools and the statistics tool are the main features, which are very helpful, but BallSide.com can do much more.

By entering the statistics for my particular teams, I probably won’t get get rich soon, as we play in the lower league. But I want to show you how I use this tool for the teams that I am responsible to organize myself efficiently. I will do some kind of long-term tests and spend the entire season with this Basketball Coaching Software. From a quick glance I can tell, that BallSide.com will be a valuable enrichment in managing teams, and if I can find suggestions on how to improve the service for coaches using it, I’ll let you know here and constructively forward suggestions to the developers.

Starting off, I will look into the two main areas, which I’ve mentioned before. In subsequent articles, I will then go into detail, and show you which web-based tools are available, and how they support my regular coaching duties.

BallSide.com - MessagingOrganization
A big problem I had last season was that some players weren’t aware of the scheduled games ahead. I’m sure you’ve heard questions like “Oh, when’s the next game again?”, despite the fact that you’ve handed out a copy of the game schedule in the beginning of the season. Also appointments for special training sessions or organizing the transportation to away games can be challenging in the team communication.

With BallSide.com’s calendar tool things like league games, training sessions and other important appointments, can be planned and communicated quickly, including location and map information from Google Maps. The information can be sent via the mailing tool, or viewed online by the players directly. Each of the team members (players and coaching staff) have a separate account and with this tool they’ll always have current information on their hands.

Players can issue an acceptance or rejection notice to the relevant date. If they decide, the calendar system makes notes on who is absent on the particular date, and coaches can track the entire attendance of players over the course of the season. Especially for short term scheduling this is very valuable for planning. If you have to coordinate transportation with parents, this can be handled via the mailing tool, too. This can come in handy, if eg. a game has been postponed within a short notice.

Another great tool is the file space you have access to. In this area of the site, important documents, such as play books, training and game schedules and registration forms can be made available. These documents can be stored online and the coaching staff won’t have to look for it on their computer’s hard disk, when needed. Simply keep a current file online in the team file area for download, and you have one more thing you won’t have to think of. I’ve saved a lot of time by sending out my hand outs via E-Mail (PDFs).

In particular, the calendar and mailing tool have helped me greatly to keep track of the task in organizing my teams. I can now handle the full game and practice planning online, and don’t have to waste my precious gym time to do this.

Statistics
In the detailed statistics tool, the stats of each player and the entire team can be viewed based on different categories. Strengths and weaknesses can be analyzed, and then can be addressed in practices accordingly.

The basis for this tool is the stats scouting sheet that you can download from BallSide.com. In basketball-specific categories such as field goals, free throws, rebounds, assists, etc. the entries are recorded manually during the game, and at home are then entered via the online interface.

One other great thing about the statistics tool is you can track the whole game point by point by using the official game protocol from the scorer’s table. Using the protocoll you can then track points by player, made/missed freethrows and fouls, for example, and you get a detailed “live score” history of the game. These statistics are then automatically added to the existing statistics of the player and team. When the statistics have been entered and stored, they are available for the team and the other members (other coaches, players and fans) of BallSide.com.

In my next articles of this series I will go into detail a little more. I’ll show you how the team management and statistics function of this great Basketball Coaching Software can be used for your benefit, with some practical advices. Stay tuned!

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