Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Review of the Review

Back in August I talked about the importance of the practice review. Well, over the University season we implemented the concept using simple blog technology. We wanted to keep the reviews as somewhat of a secret, but many of our opponents got access and reviewed our reviews. We didn't really worry too much about this, and distributed any sensitive information through e-mail or our forum.

So, here's the link for the rest of you who haven't seen our team reviews for the Canadian University season:

Now, that the season is finished let me make a few observations on the good and the challenges with the daily reviews.

The Good:
  • The review is a great point to make announcements. As long as everyone checks it you can constantly give reminders.
  • Keeping a check on how many people are reading the blog keeps the team aware that they should be reading the review and keeps everyone focused on the goal.
  • Absentees had at least an idea of what went on at a practice.
  • Great for the captain to review what happened at practice and take additional time to think about the successes and challenges at practice.
  • As a captain, I payed more attention to other people's comments during practice to make sure they were included in the review.
  • Historical archive for team practices and tournaments. This will prove beneficial the next season.
The Challenging:
  • It takes time to write a review for each practice.
  • As the season progresses it gets harder to bring up review points that are relevant (you run out of material). By the end of the season we were just listing what happened.
  • Lack of security meant we couldn't go into details about specific strategy discussions. This might suggest that a more secure review system is needed.
It is my belief that the review is one of the simplest things a coach can do to keep a team on track. They really aren't that hard to do, and the benefits seem to be major.

Releasing this information to the general Ultimate community will give teams an example of how we run our season. At this point in the development of the sport, I believe that releasing this information can only help the sport by passing information around so we can keep pushing the Ultimate envelope. Hopefully, at some point we will have a collection of seasons to take a look at.