This week, the NCAA will host its annual Convention in Nashville, TN. During this event, there will no doubt be countless discussions around the important challenges and issues facing college athletics today. One of the most notable being student-athlete time demands.
Over the past several years, there has been much ado about the schedules, pressures and time demands of student-athletes. These issues are primarily due to the fact that many student-athletes already have so much on their plate for sports and school, that when it comes to preparing for life after college athletics, there is little to no room. This is especially true when it comes to taking advantage of potential internships and even studying abroad.
In 2016, we released the Journey of the Student-Athlete. It is a model that allows those working with student-athletes (i.e. coaches, advisors, administrators, etc.), or what we call “stakeholders,” to guide and measure the progress and development of the student-athlete marching ultimately to a successful life beyond college athletics.
These stakeholders carry various responsibilities and are all measured differently. One common theme across each of them however is that they are all competing for the most important natural resource of the athletic department – a student-athlete’s time.
These stakeholders also have a limitation when it comes to communicating consistently and efficiently on the development of the student-athlete. Talk with individuals in any athletic department and they will readily admit, that the right hand rarely talks to the left hand.
So, how do we create new ways in which we can improve the student-athlete experience all while improving efficiencies for the student-athlete and stakeholders?
We first must address the student-athlete’s digital experience and also the concept of “platform fatigue.” Across the journey of the student-athlete, stakeholders have procured various forms of technology to help enable their ability to perform their roles better and to support the student-athlete in their development. As these technologies proliferate, they do so in their own “silos.” While they perform one function and are capable – they lack a comprehensive approach. They lack any unification. This is essentially what leads to “platform fatigue” amongst student-athletes, coaches and advisors alike. Meaning — there are simply too many platforms performing too many fragmented, micro tasks.
As Game Plan builds our product strategy, we value the time demands of the student-athlete. We understand the value of managing the student-athlete experience in a comprehensive, unifying way. It benefits the athletes and their ability to do more on campus and beyond. We also recognize the benefits of unifying the stakeholders and the efficiencies that comes with this.
In a similar way, we believe there is a significant opportunity to manage the digital experience of the athlete more comprehensively — for the good of all.
Enhance the student-athlete experience to include their digital experience as well. Eliminate platform fatigue. Make stakeholders more efficient. Save money. Consolidate and leverage resources.
If done well, the digital experience will be an asset to the student-athlete experience. More will be accomplished. Better outcomes achieved. And we come full circle to free up time for student-athletes and stakeholders alike.