Thursday, January 21, 2010

Coaches Need This! A Review

Basketball Playbook, produced by Jes-Software, is about as self-explanatory as a piece of software gets. The program allows its users to create animated diagrams of offensive sets, defensive sets, and even practice drills. I intend to highlight some of its best features here and also show some areas that I had to learn from. I have not been in contact with the software creators, so this is my honest opinion of a piece of software that I use myself and am not being endorsed in any way.

What makes this software worth downloading?

• Ease-of-use: I was able to pick up the software and begin designing plays right away. The only slight learning issue I had was with animation as the players move in between the slides you create. However, this system made sense when I realized that it was not dependent on the arrows you can draw to explain the motion. The player will not just move down the line. Nevertheless, in under an hour most people will have a solid grasp on how to use this program and most of its features.
• Price: Initially, you will download the full version of this program and have full use of it for 30 days. Then, you will have two options: you can pay $34.95 for continued use of the full product, or you can continue to use a more bare bones program that still has many of the same vital features. The reason I wanted to possibly upgrade to continue with was because once the free trial kicked on, I was not able to choose the option that allowed the diagram to be displayed with the high school and college three point line. However, I found a way around this; make sure that you create at least one play before the free trial is up that uses the high school three point line. After the free trial is over, rather than creating a new play, select the Copy Play option from the file menu. Choose the play that had the high school three point line, and you will have another file that has accurate court dimensions. All you need to do then is rearrange the players and/or delete unneeded players to have another accurate play without paying the price. All the features I needed were in the free version, so I believe that this software is a great bargain.

Most basketball coaches are looking for easy ways to explain their plays to young minds. I believe that this animation makes the learning of the plays much easier simply because the players on-screen move instead of just having arrows pointing to where they go. I highly recommend this product to any coach who wants to actually show their genius to their players rather than just talk about it.

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