The off-season is a sacred time for football coaches, and is often the tipping point for programs looking to get ahead of their competition. With the COVID-19 pandemic leaving its mark on the 2020 off-season, every coach and program in the nation has lost some of the most valuable time spent with their team. However, for every crisis there is opportunity, so we spent a few minutes with Verrado High School (AZ)‘s Head Football Coach Shawn Copeland to hear about how he’s using the VNN Team app to make the downtime work for his Vipers.
The Weak Become Weaker, the Strong Become Stronger
Shawn Copeland, head football coach at Verrado High School (AZ), isn’t one to let a global pandemic bring down the most important and critical part of the year for his football team. Coming off a 5-6 record in Coach Copeland’s first season as head coach, he stated that it was the “most successful losing season in history,” referring to the fact that each of their six losses came against a top 10 team in the state. Coach Copeland knew that if his team was to get over the hump and join the company of the elite, it all came down to the off-season – the time where the coaching staff builds relationships, athletes get stronger mentally, physically, and emotionally, and most importantly, the team can comes together as one unit.
With COVID-19 on the rise, and sports being canceled across the country, Copeland’s knew this would be a watershed moment for the Vipers. This situation would make the weak programs weaker, and the strong program even stronger. He knew exactly the side that he wanted to be on.
Taking back the Off-Season with Virtual Training
The weight room, the heartbeat of the off-season was off limits, so Copeland’s first action in trying to find a solution to began with YouTube clips which were sent to to his athletes daily. They were prompted to complete certain activities and drills from home. However, accountability was a pressing concern. How could he ensure his athletes were putting in the work without a way to track their results?
After online research into alternative solutions, Coach Copeland found VNN Team, the training and communications app, which allowed for delivery of workouts to an athlete’s phone and a way for he and his staff to check in . Coach Copeland was immediately drawn to the fact that he could use this technology to eliminate excuses, and bring back that sense of accountability with each individual on his team.
“Implementing the VNN Team App was a no-brainer for our program. The fact that I can use leaderboards to prove that my kids are completing assigned programs and putting in the work has been an absolute life-saver for Verrado High School Football.” – Shawn Copeland
Not only has the Verrado coaching staff appreciated this added accountability, the athletes have bought in as well. Most of the athletes on Coach Copeland’s team don’t have access to personal trainers or home-gyms making VNN Team their only option to compete with their teammates.
“When the kids are going through a workout, they have to complete one exercise before moving onto the next. As they enter their numbers it turns into points. Our current leader has 2,000 points. If I’m a kid and I’m only at 200, I know I need to work harder.” – Shawn Copeland
Training Sophistication: Custom Workouts from Home
Beyond assigning and tracking, Coach Copeland builds custom workouts, and implements programs. Pre-loaded “at-home” exercises and customized workout programs are now a part of the daily training regiment via VNN Team that he has been assigning to his athletes directly through the app.
“The ability to customize my workouts has not only helped now with at-home training but is built to set us up for success when we get back on the field. Once we regain access to weight rooms, I’ll continue to build custom workouts for athletes, personally catered to shoring up their weaknesses.”
– Shawn Copeland
There’s uncertainty everywhere surrounding the COVID crisis but one aspect stays intact for everyone: this crisis will end.
“I’m excited to keep using the VNN Team App heading into our season this fall. It will make my life much easier to use the communication features to keep my parents on the same page as well as continuing to build on the training programs that were built this summer. The fact that everything is in one spot makes a huge difference.” – Shawn Copeland
Take Back Your Off-Season with VNN Team
Shawn Copeland and the Verrado High School Football program is one out of hundreds that have implemented VNN Team into their programs to assist them in this crisis, and to add technical sophistication to their program once the dust settles.
“As coaches, we should always be looking for opportunities to give our kids the best experience possible and this is something that you have control over. You can deliver your training, your workouts, to see your results and you can jump in today and start implementing it in as little as a few hours.” – Shawn Copeland
Interested in using the VNN Team app to improve your program? Get started with communication features free. Access through your GetVNN Dashboard, or download the app directly on the App Store or Google Play.