MEASURING GRIT: HOW UTAH VALLEY UNIVERSITY USES SHOTTRACKER TO MAKE PRACTICE PERFECT
Ask Utah Valley University’s men’s basketball coach Mark Pope how his Wolverines jumped, in just one year, from 291st all the way up to 29th ranked D1 program in three-point shooting percentage and he will talk your ear off about Grit: The Passion and Power of Perseverance.
“It’s a bestselling book by Angela Duckworth where she uses her research on ‘deliberate practice’ to take the ’10,000 hour rule’ to the next level,” Pope says, referring to the commonly accepted number of hours required to attain expertise in any given field. “My guys never go to the gym just to get some shots up. Deliberate practice means using metrics and measurements to help you evaluate your progress towards a goal.”
For Pope, incorporating metrics used to be a lot easier said than done. In his first two seasons as coach of UVU, Pope and his staff manually statted their practices — a tedious, time-consuming process that too many coaches are still needlessly cursing about under their breath. But not Pope. Not anymore. Not since he discovered a revolutionary tech tool that makes statting your practice automatic: ShotTracker, the sensor-based system that instantly delivers 70+ stats and analytics in an easy-to-use app.
Among the fast-growing number of college programs installing ShotTracker in their practice gyms and arenas — including top-ranked Kansas — UVU was an early adopter.
"We are on the cutting edge of sports technology," Pope says. "ShotTracker gives our players an opportunity to chart every single shot that they take and every single mile that they run in their individual and team workouts. As a team, it gives our guys a sense of what they are accomplishing and what they need to do to get better. The analytics it produces shows us where each player is most effective and in what areas we need to improve. It's a great tool for player development. It's making us better."
During the 2017-18 campaign — their first full season of ShotTracker-powered practices — the Wolverines improved much more than just their long-range marksmanship. Pope paced his team to a 23-11 record, good for 2nd place in the Western Athletic Conference and a school record for wins. (The previous year, UVU went 17-17, finishing 5th.) Pope, who was justly rewarded with a six-year contract extension, proved that having access to detailed, real-time data that goes beyond the box score, including shot charts, zone maps and more, translates into victories.
And this is precisely the result that ShotTracker was designed to produce. “ShotTracker provides coaches with actionable insights allowing them to make the right decisions to impact the game,” says Co-founder Davyeon Ross. “We’re committed to helping coaches and players get the most out of each practice and game so they’ll be in the best position to succeed.”
ShotTracker is proud to help Coach Pope and the Utah Valley University Wolverines continue to find success on the court. If you’d like to talk more about what ShotTracker can do for your team, visit https://shottracker.com/demo.