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Garmin has an app that helps sports teams train together during COVID-19, but there’s a catch

COVID-19 has changed a lot of things including the way athletes and sports teams train. With social distancing requirements in place, this proves especially tricky for coaches trying to maintain their team’s performance while keeping everyone safe from the virus.

Garmin has introduced a new app that may solve this particular problem faced by coaches. The app, called Garmin Clipboard, is claimed to allow socially distanced coaches and athletes to train together once again through the use of technology. 

According to Garmin, the app lets coaches track and analyse the overall health of the team and monitor each athlete’s workouts as well as their daily sleep/ stress metrics. It consolidates all available data into a single view for them to analyse areas that need improving.

Of course, with this being a Garmin app, it is restricted to only work with Garmin devices. Which you may ask? Well, so long as you have a fitness or outdoors device that works with Garmin Connect you are good to go. The only other catch is that the Garmin Clipboard app is only available on iOS for now, which may be a problem if not every member of the team has an iPhone.

But, assuming that everyone on the team has an iOS device, the coach can begin by downloading the Garmin Clipboard the App Store. Once launched, the app has a simple set up process that allows coaches to form a team and even sub-divide it into smaller groups of athletes (like having an A team and B team). They can even assign different team mascots, colours or images to identify the different teams.

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Once that is set up, the app will generate a QR code that allows the coach to invite athletes into the group by having them scan it with their smartphone. Alternatively, team members can join by going to a URL generated by the app. 

Regardless of which method team members sign up, they will need to visit a website where they need to authorise their Garmin Connect account to share their information with the coach. Athletes are given a choice to approve the app’s access to other metrics such as stress and sleep tracking data, separately from their workout data.

After all athletes on the team synced their devices to the Garmin Connect app, their data will automatically upload to Garmin Clipboard. Coaches are then able to get a complete summary of their team’s performance from this one app. They are also able to see different metrics such as an individual athlete’s daily distance run, average pace, activity heart rate, stress, sleep and VO2 Max.

With all this data at hand, coaches can customise the metrics that they want to see. There’s also the ability to view measured metrics like best total distance, longest run, fastest run or worst average sleep.

Pulling out to a more macro view of the team’s overall performance, Garmin Clipboard is able to generate graphs that visualise all gathered data. This would enable coaches to make a quick comparison of the various team members at a glance, identifying those that are performing the best as well as those that need to improve.

Perhaps the only thing lacking in the Garmin Clipboard is the ability to communicate within the app. It is odd that something so crucial is missing from the app as coaches will definitely need to give feedback to athletes after assessing their performance.

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Garmin was quoted on the blog DC Rainmaker saying: 

This initial version of the app is targeted towards running coaches at middle schools, high schools and colleges/universities and also coaches of running clubs. Garmin created this free app after realizing more could be done to support coaches and promote running. We wanted to bring the benefits of wearable technology to all athletes so the coach can better monitor training and more effectively design workouts.”

We reached out to a Garmin representative in Malaysia to ask whether the app is available in our market. Unfortunately, the app is only available in the U.S. but the company did not discount the possibility of Garmin Clipboard making its way to Asia.

What do you think about this app? Would you be more motivated to work out more frequently if your sports team were to use Garmin Clipboard? After all, you wouldn’t want to let your team down, would you? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.


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