Bring It In: Using Stats as a Coach

Tracking stats can add a new perspective to your coaching.

Aurora, CO–Anderson and her iPad on the sidelines at the 2019 Pro-Elite Challenge. Photo: Niko Duffy

Bring It In is a coaching-focused column by Keith Raynor.

Since I began coaching, I’ve had “the numbers” in my hands on the sideline. That once was the clipboard — I was quite fond of those hard plastic cases that could hold paper and writing materials and had a clip attached to the exterior — and has since become the iPad. The players sometimes talk about the device as if it were a team member, an assistant coach I carry with me. Despite understanding that dividing my attention between sideline coaching and stat-keeping probably hinders my in-game coaching ability, I’ve become accustomed to it, and the digital stat sheets help me call lines during games.

But I’ve also found it something of a black box to players and other coaches alike. What is being tracked? How does it help my team? And could it possibly be more helpful than the team getting my full attention? Ok, I won’t be able to address that last part, but maybe I can make a case.

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