BlueZone Systems for Sports: Q&A with the Coaches
Recently, we had the opportunity to speak with two great coaches who are using BlueZone Systems for Sports with their teams:
Jim Shapiro Brandon Shaw
Head Football Coach Coach & Dir. Player Development
King's High School Alberni Valley Bulldogs Hockey
With over 35 years combined coaching experience, these two coaches provided valuable insights on how they’re using BlueZone Systems, not just for athletic training, but also for leadership development in mentoring the next generation of athletes and leaders.
Q: What’s your approach for developing athletes in both their tactical skills and in building character on and off the field?
A: Coach Shapiro told us that the core mission of the King’s Football program is to Build Champions while Pursuing Championships. They put the development of the student athlete first, and focus on what that young person can become.
As a team, they are using several different programs, but the one thing that was missing was a platform to connect the players and coaches on a daily basis and create accountability. Shapiro explains that BlueZone fulfills that missing link, and allows coaches to develop the full athlete by prescribing activities focused on academics & community, skills development, strength & conditioning, health & nutrition, and more.
Q: How do you stay connected with your team during the off-season and during this time of social distancing?
A: Coach Shaw says that for the Alberni Valley Bulldogs, BlueZone is an integral part of staying connected as a team – they use it every day, paired with their Player Development Guide. BlueZone provides Shaw’s players with accountability to themselves and towards the wider team, and helps athletes solidify the beneficial habits they need to excel at the sport and move up to the next level.
Q: What’s your strategy for inspiring athletes and creating a character-based team culture?
A: Coach Shapiro said it all goes back to his rules of life, which he tries to instill in his athletes every day: Be with the right people, at the right place, at the right time, and doing the right things.
Shapiro uses BlueZone to reinforce this principle by encouraging intentional actions. Whether it’s on or off the field, King’s High School football players use BlueZone to make a little investment in themselves every day. And Shapiro explains that it also creates a two-way exchange: a mirror for the athlete to see how they’re doing, and a window for them to see what their teammates are achieving.
The reporting function also acts as a window for the coaching staff. Coach Shapiro explains that it provides a quick view into the discipline of each player:
“That daily discipline to do the work and spend 5 minutes in a system are signs as to whether a player is going to be committed, and mentally and physically tough enough on the field.
Q: With your sports being particularly physical, how do you use BlueZone to build confidence and inspire tough minded, fearless competitors?
A: Coach Shaw explains that with the hockey team, they take a day-by-day approach. BlueZone helps keep the team on track and drives the accountability and discipline for players to put the work in and get a little bit better every day.
“Daily discipline creates confidence and that tough-mindedness to become a fearless competitor. If you’re practicing these habits each and every day, you’re going to be confident in your abilities and you know that guy is not going to beat you in the corner, he’s not going to beat you to the net, you’ve got that extra stride on the back check, you’re playing between the dots.”
Shaw also uses BlueZone to foster friendly competition internally. All of the hockey players in the league are vying for positions on college and professional teams, and because players can see what teammates are up to in BlueZone, they’re inspired to achieve that much more every day.
For more insights from the coaches, you can find the full interview in our recent webinar (the coaches begin their interview at 39:00).
BlueZone Systems for Sports
If you’re interested in using BlueZone for your team, check out our demo to learn how you can create daily activity plans for your athletes, keep teams in community with each other, and inspire accountability.
We’ll cover the quick setup process in four simple steps:
Set up your team – Add your players and coaching staff
Set up a baseline activity plan, then personalize a program for each athlete
Assign the plan to your players
Organize your team into sub-groups
You’ll also get a view of the player’s perspective and will see how setting daily goals in BlueZone employs the FitBit concept of earning points by completing activities to achieve that feeling of winning every day.
Watch the BlueZone Systems for Sports Demo to learn more.