The Spreadsheet Jungle And Becoming a More Productive Coach

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Sydney Williams January 22, 2021 Founders Corner

Traversing The Jungle

When we were designing Stride, coaches mentioned how frustrated they were at managing basic data. They were wasting too much time. Simple actions such as planning practices and tracking progress had become burdensome.

Nearly everyone said that they worked in spreadsheets, mostly Google Docs.

  • Excellent at listing information in rows and columns, a spreadsheet doesn’t easily relate data points to each other.
  • A spreadsheet also doesn’t easily accommodate different types of users.
  • Plus there’s little advantage in multiple spreadsheets because they don’t easily interoperate.

What about media files (videos and images)? Forget it. That information has to be stored elsewhere.

That’s not to say folks are abandoning spreadsheets. Coaches have grown up on spreadsheets.

They’ve invested considerable time in building them. And—wow!—have we seen some fantastically elaborate ones.

But to what end? What’s the return on all that time and effort in actual performance?

Lost Opportunity

Too often, spreadsheet users mislay and overlook key information or can’t uncover important trends.

For example:

  • How does the practice a coach leads today compare with the same practice a month ago, a year ago, or five years ago?
  • Are athletes responding to a particular training regimen. If not—or if they are—why?
  • How do different reference points affect how athletes respond to training regimens: time, individual goals, types of workouts, etc?

Plus what happens if a spreadsheet-owner leaves an organization? All the data that that person recorded on behalf of others potentially goes away as well.

Orders Of Magnitude More Data

In Stride, we built a relational database to keep user information safe and organized. Coaches, athletes and supervisors dynamically interact with each other and hundreds of data points—from simple yes/no responses to large media files—each point instantly searchable and relatable.

Stride’s intuitive workflow helps coaches transition away from a favorite spreadsheet. Coaches follow easy steps to create and log practices, and share assessments. They can choose to approach Stride fully and use its full set of tools, or, more gradually, and still retain that spreadsheet.

Stride, at the end of the day, captures and sorts orders of magnitude more data than a coach ever could on Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel. Information no longer coalesces into a dense, impenetrable spreadsheet jungle.

You manage all of its rich detail in ways that best serve you, your team and your organization.

Sydney is Stride’s Founder.