“Time is not a coach’s friend.” These words from former NFL and NCAA coach Charles Coiner capture the dilemma faced by many football coaches every day. For most coaches, the biggest challenge is coming up with good strategic plays that will work year after year, while still finding time to actually train and develop players under their charge. This is a problem faced by both pros and amateur coaches, but more so by those who work as part-time coaches in the high school, small-college, and youth-league ranks.
How it all began
Back in 2011 when Coiner was taking a break from coaching, he began digitally converting dozens of his playbooks, which had an estimated 10,000 plays sketched out on paper, so he could find plays more easily when he returned to coaching. Midway through the scanning process, a software developer friend of his saw the potential for an app in what Coiner was doing and this inspired Coiner to develop FirstDown Playbook, a mobile app that helps coaches find plays with speed and efficiency.
Targeted for coaches of all levels, FirstDown Playbook solves the time-consuming problem of sorting through old playbooks, allowing coaches to spend more time developing football players rather than designing plays.
“With this app, coaches can quickly search for and browse plays that give them a competitive edge in the next game while still fitting the plays within their offensive philosophy. Coaches will appreciate how quickly they can find information and how much they can find,” says Coiner.
Features and highlights
The app has a database of more than 5,000 plays – many used in real game situations by Coiner over his career. It allows coaches to create, organize, and study plays. They can choose a formation, pick a receiver, pick the route, and have instant access to play options.
And it’s not only for coaches; in fact, the app can be used by the entire team. The interactive tool of FirstDown Playbook allows teams to browse through plays, tag and save favorite plays, create customized playbooks, and even share plays through emails. Overall, it is a great mobile reference tool for offensive systems and plays as well as a creative resource that could help young coaches and their teams develop their own playbooks.
The app currently charges $1.99 per month but different packages are available at different rates to suit the needs of each individual coach. At present, the app is only compatible with Apple devices, particularly, the iPhone and iPad.