The list of industries affected by Covid-19 goes on and on. Many businesses have lost the ability to provide their services due to restrictions and quarantines, and sports coaching companies are one of them. Let’s take a look at how the pandemic forced digitalization in this area and consider a MobiDev case study of a digital solution for sports coaching services created in response to the pandemic.
The Covid-19 outbreak has affected athletes, coaches and support staff who have found themselves outside of their normal work environment. World sporting events were cancelled, causing a large loss of money. But it was hardest for small businesses that lost the opportunity to provide their services. Sports coaching companies were forced to look for new ways to interact with their clients. Luckily, technological advancement has become an answer, especially since the demand for such solutions has grown.
According to Business of Apps, fitness app revenue increased by 84% in 2020, primarily through higher usage during the lockdown. Various studies show that the share of digital sports practitioners has increased by approximately 19%. Even The World Health Organization recommends using “online resources” to maintain a basic level of physical activity during a pandemic. All this has created favourable conditions for the digitalization of the sphere and a change in the business models of sports coaching companies.
The case study below demonstrates how a company can incorporate technology into its business process as a response to the pandemic.
Building A Sports Coaching App: A Case Study
MobiDev created a sports coaching app for the Sport4kids company in response to the pandemic. Sport4kids provides coaching in sports for children in schools, nurseries (kindergarten and preschools), and at UK-based sports clubs.
Before the pandemic, Sport4kids schedules, lesson plans, and assessment of children’s progress were completely paper-based. The pandemic lockdown forced the company to rapidly shift to a digital-based system with a suitable design for cross-platform mobile apps. The greatest challenge was to rapidly re-configure the fundamentals of the program into a digital format that could be used remotely by coaches, children, and their parents.
The project’s goals were to create an easy-to-follow digital lesson plan with progress monitoring for coaches that inspires children and their parents to enjoy sports.
Flutter and the new features for web design offered by Flutter 2 were chosen as the appropriate tools because this technology makes it possible to build native cross-platform apps using a singular codebase.
Flutter is very useful if the project requires developing an application rapidly or if the application logic frequently changes. As a robust cross-platform solution, Flutter’s codebase works with all operating systems. Flutter works as a widget, and the code is a markup. Flutter can dynamically change an application’s logic during the design phase before building out the full system. This project development method saves an enormous amount of time.
Flutter has a business logic components (BLoC) pattern architecture. By taking full advantage of the async methods, permissible structures, and streams, it is possible to avoid any delays in the application performance. The application user interface is kept separate from the business logic by using streams. The core value of the BLoC architecture is the independence of the data from the UI and the system’s reactivity.
For example, when used properly, this methodology allows the animations and screen scrolling to function smoothly while data from the server loads in the background. The BLoC architecture is the best choice for complex systems that process a large amount of data.
In this project, Firebase was part of the solution along with Flutter. Firebase has ready-to-use solutions that include authentication routines, real-time database functions, cloud processing, and cloud storage.
Flutter and Firebase work together superbly, allowing the developers to create the project and deliver results quickly. Having a locally managed Firestore database in the console saved time in developing the application.
This clever approach meant there was no server-side development needed. Firebase cloud functions made it possible to automatically run backend software coding as a response to events triggered by the features of Firebase.
A sports coaching app has to be fun to use to appeal to school children. Implemented gamification features included animal badges for students’ progress, reward cards, special achievements, positive reinforcement, recognition, and score tracking for improvement.
The UX has a design that is as easy to use as possible while at the same time supporting the comprehensive offering of hundreds of digital lesson plans. The main goal of these gamification efforts is to encourage more students to do sports activities at home and make it a fun experience with the virtual communication possible between the coaches, parents, and other students, even while under the pandemic lockdown.
For this project, the MobiDev software developers created 800 digital lesson plans to support 190 coaches for over 6,000 children and their parents.
The list of technological tools used for this project includes Flutter, Flutter 2, Firebase, Firestore, Gamification, React Admin, Sportfusion CRM Integration, UI/UX.
When digitalizing sports coaching services, it is important to choose flexible technologies that allow you to quickly and efficiently create a solution that meets your business needs. For example, Flutter is a great solution for a quick product launch. Also, with the growth in demand for fitness and sports coaching applications during the pandemic, an important task for product creators is to stand out from the competition and provide a high-quality user experience. Gamification is one of the ways to achieve this.