MatBoss recording screen on the iPad (Freestyle/Greco-Roman score pads shown)
As a wrestling coach, you want -- and expect -- your wrestlers to constantly improve. To gain new skills. To perform better each time they step out onto the mat. In the highly competitive environment that is wrestling, maintaining the same level of performance just isn't good enough.
That same idea of continuous improvement drives the folks at MatBoss, the product arising from a joint venture between InterMat and JP Chaos that brings together stats and video in one seamless solution that incorporates the technology of a tablet that most coaches and wrestling programs already have. The MatBoss App for iPad integrates wrestling stats directly into the video recorded for each match, eliminating the need for traditional, labor-intensive pencil-and-paper scoring.
John Peterson, former wrestling coach at Elk River High School in Minnesota for nearly three decades, is the "boss" behind MatBoss ... and what he describes as new "bells and whistles." These new features for 2016 make this already proven app even stronger and better for the upcoming season, helping coaches save even more time and labor, while gaining additional flexibility for a competitive advantage.
A proven winner, now made even stronger
MatBoss was already incredibly easy to use, allowing wrestling coaches to easily bring together match video, scoring information and statistics, and additional notations in various forms, all for the purpose of providing enhanced instruction to wrestlers ... without the time and effort of traditional methods that made separate functions of filming matches and keeping stats using paper and pencil.
MatBoss offers various options for a coach to annotate match footage with his own comments or illustrations. The coach can offer verbal instruction with a voice-over ... or written commentary, with words that appear right on the screen ... or with illustrations, using a "telestrator" feature added last season that allows the coach to make markings, directional arrows or other drawings on the screen -- just like sports commentators on football telecasts, or your local TV weather forecaster -- as an instructional tool for wrestlers.
New SpeakToScore feature
Now it's even easier for MatBoss users to annotate match footage, thanks to the brand-new SpeakToScore feature for the 2016-17 season.
A user with a headset and microphone can speak into the mic to note a specific scoring action -- for instance, saying "takedown, red" -- and MatBoss automatically puts the correct number of points on the board for the right wrestler. The feature recognizes verbal commands for standard scoring procedures, such as "takedown" and "escape."
"With SpeakToScore, the user doesn't need to look at the scoring pad," according to John Peterson. "Though, if they prefer to use the buttons on the screen to note scoring, they can still do that. The user has the option to turn the voice-activation feature on or off."
"SpeakToScore has been thoroughly tested," Peterson added. "It has worked very well in our testing, even in large spaces with lots of background noise. It recognizes standard scoring terms, as long as they are accompanied by an ID of who scored the move -- for instance, 'takedown, green' or 'escape, red.'"
New zoom-while-recording feature
It can easily happen at any wrestling event, especially a big tournament. You're recording a match right in front of you. As that action wraps up, suddenly one of your wrestlers is stepping onto the mat across the gym. How do you get a clear view of that match without flying across six mats?
With MatBoss' new zoom-while-recording feature, a coach, team trainer or anyone else operating the iPad with the MatBoss app can easily zoom in on distant action without having to purchase a separate zoom lens. That way, a team can record and annotate the action of all its wrestlers, without having to purchase additional iPads or train additional users.
New freestyle/Greco scoring
"We've received requests from coaches whose wrestlers also compete in freestyle and Greco-Roman as well as traditional folkstyle," Peterson said. "Now MatBoss incorporates scoring symbols for freestyle and Greco along with folkstyle. This new feature allows wrestling programs to use MatBoss to record and score folkstyle, freestyle and Greco within the same event, all at no additional cost."
This new functionality is great for programs with wrestlers who take to the mats beyond the traditional high school and/or college season to also compete in freestyle and/or Greco-Roman.
Match viewer accessible from inside customer's online account
Easy access to new features, greater functionality
Even with these new features, MatBoss remains an easy-to-learn, easy-to-use recording-and-scoring tool that simplifies things for coaches, trainers and others who maintain stats and records for their team.
"We offer users access to an extensive library of instructional videos -- what we call MatBoss University," said Peterson. "Tutorials, refresher courses, all designed to provide clear instruction to our users. We want every one of our users to get full functionality from the MatBoss app."
As Peterson proudly pointed out, a number of these new features are the result of comments and suggestions direct from existing users. "I'd say at least 70% or more of our new features come from existing users," according to Peterson. "As coaches contact us with ideas for new features, we start working to see how we can add them to our existing product."
"Once we incorporate a specific new feature and test it thoroughly, we then roll it out to our customers as soon as possible, at no extra charge."
Upgrades to the MatBoss Cloud
One of the best aspects of the MatBoss app is that makes it easy to archive (save, store and file) video footage of each wrestler. All footage is saved to the Amazon Cloud. To save footage, simply hit the 'start' button. It takes only about 2-3 minutes per match to upload to the Cloud. This eliminates the need to make DVDs for each wrestler. What's more, because footage is stored to the Cloud, a wrestler or his friends or family can call up their matches on a smartphone, tablet, or laptop, and watch anywhere, at any time.
New for the 2016-17 season, coaches can order highlight clips that can be dropped directly into video editing software to make highlight videos. "Coaches can notify us for memorable clips from their wrestlers," said Peterson. "This is so much easier than the coach having to review hours of footage and edit just the best parts for a highlight reel."
"This feature is great for end-of-season highlight videos for team banquets, the team website or Facebook page," Peterson added.
Another feature for marking memorable moments: MatBoss can alert coaches as the team or individual wrestlers are about to reach a milestone (for instance, 100 wins) or break a record. That way, the historic moment can be acknowledged and celebrated right away; no worries about missing a big event in the lives of athletes and their families.
New 'Career Leaders' report
MatBoss also provides career reports for users that have been using this innovative technology tool for multiple years. For example, coaches can request individual or team records over the years to acknowledge milestone performance achievements, and for motivating athletes to attain goals.
Enhanced interconnectivity = time-savings
MatBoss' Cloud feature also now offers additional connectivity tools that make life easier for coaches ... so you can concentrate on instruction and motivation, not paperwork and record-keeping.
For instance, now MatBoss users can easily email their lineups to opposing coaches without having to retype the roster for every event. Enter the roster once; MatBoss stores it so you can easily share it with others in seconds.
What's more, MatBoss makes it easy for coaches in Illinois and Ohio to fill out paperwork online, in full compliance with the athletic associations in those states ... without giving a second thought as to "did I do this right?"
MatBoss can work with state athletic associations, districts, conferences, regions and other competitive divisions to provide seamless solutions for record-keeping and compliance ... making life so much easier for individual coaches, and for the athletic organizations they work with.
In fact, MatBoss is already working with officiating organizations in three states -- Minnesota, Missouri, and Tennessee -- by providing features sure to be a valuable tool for wrestling referees and other mat officials. For instance, state officials can review officiating of any event -- whether it's a dual meet or a tournament -- remotely, by seeing the same match video with scoring annotations as seen by any coach or staff member on a team.
"With these features, state officials can now review (on-site) officiating from anywhere, make comments, add notes," according to Peterson. "It can save hours in travel time."
Making MatBoss better
As stated in the opening of this article, the most successful wrestling programs are the ones where individual athletes and coaches work together towards improving performance and enhancing competitive advantage. That philosophy is at the heart of how MatBoss works.
"We're constantly growing and improving MatBoss as time goes on," Peterson said. "Our yardstick is: 'Is it easy to use?' We want our tools to be easy and intuitive to use. We strive to make MatBoss a robust, all-encompassing solution that makes life easier for wrestling programs."
It's the basic functionality of MatBoss -- along with a quest for constant improvement to make life easier for coaches and more rewarding for individual wrestlers -- that makes this app so popular with programs at every level, from youth groups to high schools to colleges. In fact, four of the top eight NCAA Division I wrestling programs (as ranked by InterMat) now use MatBoss.
For more information on MatBoss, wrestling's premier VideoStats app, visit www.MatBossApp.com.