Universal Coaching Tools

Deutsche Sprachvariante
English version of this page

The UCT: StopWatch is an innovative training tool for use in training and teaching. The relevant performance data and persons are recorded together. Trainers and teachers are relieved of annoying bookkeeping, and the direct guidance of the athletes and students comes back into focus.

ANOTHER stopwatch app?

For the impatient: Here is the manual!

Before: A common outdoor winter track&field training session

Its dark, its rainy, its cold and you are standing beside the track during winter training, where your group of youths are doing their multiple series (is it 10 today? or 15?) running routine. The fastest few go into heat 1, the next fastest into heat 2, the remaining ones into heat 3. You want them to succeed, so you constantly want to check on their individual progress, so you try to take and record the time of each athlete of each of their races.

How the heck are you expected to do this with you old conventional stopwatch? If your stopwatch can record multiple times per run you are lucky; you are lucky right to the point where you have to write down the time of each athletes somewhere. Good luck writing on your wet pen and paper notebook! Good luck typing on your smartphone with your cold fingers! Good luck dictating siri during this sh.. weather. And besides: Heat 2 is standing on the track getting soaked while waiting for their turn to run, not to mention heat 3, so you better hurry!!!

You might have the idea to use your smartphones stopwatch. Good luck to correctly hit the microscopic start button while having your eyes on your athletes; they are standing 200m away after all, and have I mentioned that it is raining and they won’t hear your “GO!” over that distance so they have to start on their own?

You might have the idea to record the whole run with video. Good luck explaining your family after coming home, that now you have to spend another hour just to watch the recorded videos and get all the dozens of times of the multiple runs of all of your athletes.

Live as a coach IS painful.

Now: The same training session with UCT:StopWatch

You are again standing in the pouring rain. But this time you have your trusty iPhone in your hand. You have prepared the running routine for today at home .. have you? It doesn’t matter, you can fix this later. Focus on getting the boys and girls running and getting each of their times right. They start running, you make your mobile do the recording work with a simple and safe gesture. In the break between the runs you can assign each athlete his/her correct time with ease, because the finish of each heat is recorded as a series of photos – if you want/need this.

Everything was done so smooth and effortless, that you can look into the eyes of each of your athletes and can thruthfully send them the message: “I was not distracted by other things, I have paid attention to what you did!”

And afterwards, when coming home, your mobile already synced all data (like the athletes, their times and distances, date and time of the heats, the weather etc.) with your training database.

Universal Coaching Tools

The UCT:StopWatch is the first of the "Universal Coaching Tools", which will be extended to a collection of solutions for the everyday problems of coaching.

The Author

This softwares author is software developer and track&field coach himself, and has been despairing about the lack of smartphone based solutions for the everyday problems in coaching.


Dr. Michael Portz, Aachen, Germany

Email: michael.portz@wamms.org