Saving time with play diagramming

September 1, 2018 / Basketball

{Sponsored} Many coaches often serve in multiple simultaneous roles — any combination of coach, teacher, athletic director, etc. Throw in budget cuts and coaches need to work more efficiently as ever. For Doug Brotherton, an assistant athletic director and girls varsity basketball coach, play diagramming software has transformed his program by offering organizational improvements at an affordable price.

Doug Brotherton. Photo: The Village School

Brotherton is entering his seventh year as girls varsity basketball coach at The Village School in Houston, Texas. Leading a basketball program ranked in the state’s Top 10 list for private schools, he relies on FastDraw’s play diagramming and playbook software to communicate effectively with players and share plays with other coaches.

With FastDraw Brotherton draws, organizes and shares plays and drills with ease. He first heard of the program from a coaching friend that showed him the software on his laptop.

“I immediately knew it was a tool that could help our program improve and help our coaches improve and get better,” Brotherton said. He’s now been using FastDraw for about five years and he said other coaches have catched on. “Most of the coaches that I’ve had the opportunity to show FastDraw to, they tend to jump on board pretty quick as well.”

Brotherton was impressed by how easy it was to set up FastDraw and how much it streamlined the organization and distribution of plays.

“I don’t know that there is anything more valuable to us as coaches than our time,” Brotherton said. “It’s so user friendly. As coaches we’re so busy, trying to find the time to learn something that’s really difficult to use is hard. I can diagram a play, put in my library and easily access it later at any time.”

The ability to save money on top of time was the winning touch.

“It’s very reasonable for coaches, and I’m speaking specifically to high school coaches,” Brotherton said. “A lot of times colleges have bigger budgets but for high school coaches with fewer funding, FastDraw is very much something you can work into your budget.”

Throughout the years, the play diagramming software has proved beneficial for both coaches and players. Before using FastDraw, Brotherton hand drew plays and made photocopies for players. It was a tedious task that was inefficient, took extra time and required players to keep track of play binders.

With FastDraw, Doug Brotherton is able to easily draw and share plays with his players. Photo: Doug Brotherton/FastDraw

Now, Brotherton can electronically sharing FastDraw diagrams with payers, or even packaging drills into PDF playbooks.

“It’s really easy to get the information in the hands of players,” Brotherton said. “I can share it with them by copying and pasting diagrams to a group chat. I can send it to them in an email. I can send it as a PDF file if it’s a playbook.”

This streamlined approach to distributing plays and information saves invaluable time for Brotherton. Since players receive plays or playbooks electronically, they can access them anytime for quick review.

“Our players better understand what they are looking at, as we can add coaching notes to the diagrams, and it leads to better execution on the court,” Brotherton said.

Communication has also improved between coaches on the basketball team.

“It’s a great tool for our coaching staff to be able to sit and discuss Xs and Os, whether we’re using it for scouting an opponent or trying to develop our own plans for the upcoming season.”

Brotherton credits FastDraw with helping push the program to a new level.

“I would give FastDraw quite a bit of credit for being the tool to really help elevate our program to another level,” he said. “Its ability to improve our scouting and improve our execution has played a role in our success.”

An added bonus for coaches is access to PlayBank, an online library of plays and playbooks hosted by FastModel (the company behind FastDraw). The networking opportunities offered by the FastModel community have been a unique benefit for Brotherton.

“That’s probably where personally I’ve gotten the most out of FastModel — the ability to take these diagrams and post them on social media and have open discussions with coaches about what we do,” he said. “You can share your sets or your playbooks with other coaches to learn, grow and develop professionally.”

Brotherton encourages other coaches to take advantage of the PlayBank resource, either to download plays straight to their own library or share their own plays to social media for easy discussion and review. With more than 6,000 plays and drills in the PlayBank from the coaching community, he is never out of ideas to bring into his program.

“The options for coaches to find any plays or any answers they need to help their team win are readily available for them on the website.”

Leave a Reply