As the new kid on the block we often get asked how we're different from other video analysis apps already on the market like Coach's Eye. Well, I'm glad you asked! Let's take a minute to see how OnForm is designed from the ground up to be easier and more useful than its predecessors.
The first difference is the people behind the app and their vision for empowering coaches. Gear Fisher and Krishna Ramachandran, the co-founders of OnForm have both come from experienced business backgrounds working with coaches and athletes for decades. Krishna was the co-founder of Ubersense, which was purchased by Hudl and re-branded as Hudl Technique in 2015. Coach's Eye and Hudl Technique are what we refer to as "first generation" video analysis apps. They pioneered and democratized previously expensive and hard-to-use video technology and made it available for coaches to improve and develop athletes.
Gear Fisher is the co-founder of TrainingPeaks, a very popular training and coaching platform used by endurance athletes. Gear and Krishna joined forces to leverage each of their strengths to create OnForm, a combination of video analysis tools and a coaching platform all in one. So the first big difference is the vision and team around which the company was formed. We have spent our careers helping coaches coach smarter and be more efficient. We're thrilled to have a chance to take that to an even bigger audience through OnForm.
The overarching goal of OnForm was to be a true coaching platform, not just a video analysis tool. We aimed to improve the loop between practice and feedback with video. In addition, we included chat messaging to foster conversations between coach and athlete, and our design allows for others like parents, assistant coaches etc. to be included in that conversation as well. It can be private or shared among a group to get multiple inputs.
This is partly why we designed the core architecture of the app to be 'people-first'. Sure, the main utility is around capturing and analyzing video, but it's always a video of a person, and that means we wanted to make it easy to organize, find and share video among people. Our menu structure and app layout is based on existing team and individual coaching relationships which feels familiar and obvious as you navigate the app.
Because the whole point of capturing and analyzing video is to show your students/clients/athletes how they can improve, we made sharing video seamless and intuitive. The people-first layout means that you simply chat with your students/clients/athletes and sharing video is as easy and natural as a text-message conversation. The benefit of this is that by default, all your video is organized by person, chronologically and automatically just by using the app.
With all that video sharing and recording, we knew storage is a chief concern. We didn't want to have our customers managing 'lockers' or deciding what to keep in the cloud or on the device, we just wanted to take care of it all for you. So, you'll find that we sync all your videos magically to the cloud and we manage the space on your device so you don't have to. In this day and age people expect apps to 'just work' and not be a burden. We take care of it so you don't have to worry about video, archiving, storing, sharing etc.
It's pretty easy to see when you try other apps like Coach's Eye, you'll see that they just don't have sharing, storage and organization figured out quite like we do. Our modern approach to these challenges is what sets us apart both in functionality and with our easy-to-use interface.
The future of video analysis is beyond exciting, we've laid the groundwork with our interface and infrastructure so that we're in prime position to add computer vision and enhanced machine learning/artificial intelligence to empower coaches and athletes around the world with never before seen insights and improvement tools. I can't wait to show you what's coming, but that will be in a future post.
Give the app a try today, for free! You only pay if you need to store more than 10 videos.
Thanks for reading,
Sam Watson of EquiRatings, an equestrian data performance company, considers the future of coaching.
It is understandable why equestrian athletes and their coaches may think online coaching is just a fad; a necessity brought on by COVID-19 restrictions and, at most, a tool to compensate for the lack of face-to-face lessons. But we at OnForm started developing our video coaching solution long before COVID-19 was a blip on the radar.
We believe video coaching is at the forefront of improving your performance in skills sports and an impactful addition to in-person training. So as the equestrian world resumes in-persons lessons and clinics and competition, we know that yes, online coaching is here to stay.
GETTING BETTER IN SKILL SPORTS
When it comes to improving performance, start by asking yourself: what limits performance? The thing about equestrian sports is that we don’t really push natural ability to an extreme level. We test a vast range of skills and attributes which is why, for the horse, we often talk about the importance of ‘trainability’. This is because the skills in our sport can be learned and the attributes can be developed. What equestrian sports push to extreme limits is the capacity to learn.
When it comes to learning in horse sports, I’ll be making specific references to eventing because that’s what I know, but the principles of training for skills sports are applicable across equestrian disciplines.
YOU & YOUR HORSE CAN’T LEARN IT ALL AT ONCE
From flying changes to the narrowest of skinnies, eventing tests a broad spectrum of skills which is similar to other technical sports like golf. Planning how much you can learn in each skill is dictated by how much you need to learn in order to ride responsibly and win. In the same way that a golfer can’t just focus on driving, bunker-shots or putting, eventers have to strike a balance between training time in each phase.
The limiting factors of performance in eventing are essentially time and training load. What I would ask you to think about next is the quality of your time and the efficiency of your training load.
MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR EFFORTS (FOR YOU & YOUR HORSE)
Ever feel like you are practicing your mistakes and making things worse rather than better? Every athlete has and every athlete does, on occasion. That type of training is obviously a poor use of time and an additional training load that horses simply don’t need and often can’t afford.
So, how do we get better faster and how do we make the most of our training time and efforts? There are two ways. Either ask someone (the “give a man a fish” solution) or improve your understanding so you can work it out (the “teach a man to fish” solution). Both methods are important. You will always need to ask people, which is why coaching is so important. However, as you are being instructed, you should also be aiming to learn.
LEARN THE ROUTE
Don’t overlook that last line. How many times has GPS directed you somewhere but if you were to drive that route again without navigation you would almost certainly get lost? That is because you are not trying to learn the route, you are just relying on technology to guide you. This works just fine for navigation, but in sport we must train in a way that prepares us to ride our horses effectively when no one is navigating for us – that is, between lessons.
Likewise, we must also be preparing to ride in competition. In training, we have our coach (the navigator). In competition, we ride solo. Not only that, we also ride a new route with new obstacles and challenges. We need to have the capacity to not only repeat what we have done in training, but also adapt to new situations.
WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH ONLINE COACHING?
So how does this relate to online coaching? Well, it all relates to the requirement to learn quickly, effectively and in a way that develops understanding. When I was a child learning to ride, I had instructors that would bark orders like “walk”, “trot”, “heels down”, “sit up”, “look up”. Actually, my orders were more like “tuck in your shirt”, “stop talking” and “get back on your pony” (as I sat on the ground at the landing side of the fence and the pony grinned at me from the take-off side). To get going, instruction is important. Driving instructors perform a similar role with new drivers – “brake”, “mirrors”, “turn signal”, etc.
Once you are riding on your own, your learning objective changes. The objective is no longer to simply ride, the objective is to understand so you can work things out when no one is watching. And, once you become a competitor, the goal is to perform, on demand and without assistance.
So, when you become a competitor, you should now understand your performance. You should move beyond the “what” (heels down, sit up) and into the “how” (stability, balance). There are two standout ways to better understand how you perform and how you improve.
THE FUTURE OF IMPROVING YOUR PERFORMANCE
It is therefore no surprise that “video coaching” is not only here to stay, it is also the obvious step to take your performance to the next level. Currently, we feel what we are doing and we listen to the instruction. For most, this is like driving with GPS. It is effective, it feels good because we get to our destination quicker, but how much are we actually taking in, learning and understanding? How prepared are we to ride solo under the pressure of competition?
You don’t need to change how you train, you just need to add to it. This will take your performance to the next level. You need to watch your performance and study it, in competition and in training. Become a student of your sport rather than a robot of instruction. When you review your performance, make sure you have the expert feedback from a coach which can help you to identify the source of performance gains and prescribe the solutions that will bring those gains to fruition.
Coaches can help you to plan your training so that your time is well spent. A video coaching tool like OnForm allows the coach to then review your training and competition so that you extract maximum value from your sessions. With a complete review of your video (like voiceover, side-by-side, and visual markup), you can watch your performance and listen to the expert feedback at the same time. So simple, so effective, but such a game changer.
Welcome to the future of performance improvement.
Dawn Britnell has been using OnForm for several months and is one of our early adopters and most engaged users. We asked her to share her experiences with OnForm so other's can learn how a seasoned coach managed to adopt new technology with their coaching business. The following interview was conducted via email.
Tell us about yourself (disciplines you coach, how long, successes etc)
What are the main things you use with the app?
Getting started for free
We designed our subscription billing system around the simple idea of a "freemium" service. Getting started with OnForm is totally free, and you can test out the system by connecting with as many people as you'd like. We only limit each person to having 10 videos in our free mode, but they can exchange unlimited text messages. You can use it forever this way, but you'll have to delete videos as time goes by to stay under the 10 video limit. We believe that 10 is a reasonable number of videos to get a good feel for the value of our platform and tools.
What's the main difference between premium and free?
Premium accounts have an unlimited number of videos and storage. We'll also be adding features and content in the future only for our premium members.
We've designed each premium package so that you have a premium account for yourself and can also give a premium account to a designated number of people based on the package level. For example, if you're a coach with 8 clients, you'd probably want to choose our Coach Bronze level which gives you a premium account and you can give 10 clients a premium account.
You pay for your clients or clients pay for themselves
We also have a very useful and flexible option where instead of paying for premium on behalf of your clients, you can simply purchase the most affordable level for yourself (including Personal package if you'd like) and then ask each of your clients to purchase their own Personal package. That way, you pay for your account and they pay for theirs. The benefit of this model is that even at the Personal package level, you can still give 2 other people premium, and your client that purchases a Personal package can also invite 2 others to have premium. You'll reduce your cost and leave the accounting and payment to each of your clients.
How do I pay?
We've chosen to use Apple's in-app payment system. It's the easiest, most trusted way to conduct commerce, and you can simply make an in-app purchase when you're ready.
We are happy to customize a package option for larger groups. In addition to a custom number of premium accounts, we also bundle white-glove setup service and premium support options. Contact us by emailing: email@example.com to discuss, we'd love to hear from you!
When it comes to giving feedback, you've heard the saying: a picture is worth a thousand words. We've taken that to another level by enabling you to provide voice-over video feedback with pinpoint instruction.
Because the voice-over is such a critical component to your coaching feedback and the app's functionality, we want to make sure you are equipped with a few tips and tricks to ensure your voice-overs are as good as they can be. Follow our five best practices and you'll be a pro in no time.
Five tips for creating a voice-over
Following these key tips will make you a voice-over pro! After a few attempts, you'll get the hang of it and you'll be helping your clients reach their true potential, even when you're thousands of miles apart!
Being organized saves you time and frustration. That is why we created a user friendly video library so you have easy access to every video, no matter when or by whom it was recorded. You no longer need to scroll through your phone's camera roll, full of personal photos and videos to find what you're looking for. In fact, we've made the library searchable, so scrolling through hundreds of images and videos is nearly obsolete. Give your thumbs a rest!
The OnForm video library is where all your videos that you've captured or that have been shared to you by a client are all located in one single place. By default, if you record a new video in the library, it's private and only you can see it. You can long-press any video and share it to a client at any time. We provide quick filters to show all videos that are simply "Private to me" as well as an "All videos" option to see everything.
Videos are automatically synced to the cloud and across all of your devices eliminating the need for manual storage management. Space on your device is smartly managed to always give you room to record as many videos as you need.
Labeling and Searching Videos
OnForm has made searching for specific videos easier than ever. All videos that are shared between athlete and coach or are private to the user, are organized chronologically with the newest videos at the top. For improved searching, we recommend that you title your videos with brief descriptions. Anytime you need to find it, just type the key words you're looking for into the search bar at the top of the library page.
Below we show you how to title and search for your videos in the OnForm app.
OnForm makes it easy to share the videos you've taken with other people using OnForm. You can easily share a video privately, or to an "everyone" channel for a team that you might manage. Or, if you choose to "share externally" via email, text or perhaps to social media, as shown in the image below, you'll be promoted with those options as well.
At the core of the OnForm design, is the ability to model real-life coaching relationships. Through many years of experience, our approach was to ensure that both teams and individuals can be easily supported in our app.
When you create a new team in OnForm, you're creating a workspace and then adding team members to it. Those team members might be athletes, parents, coaches or assistant coaches. All text messages and videos are then part of the workspace. As players may come and go or coaches change, the workspace will remain constant, keeping your videos and messages all in one place.
Individuals work the same way, but instead of a "team name" it's simply the main individuals' name that is used for the workspace name. If you are a golf instructor and have a client, "Jane Smith", the workspace will be named "Jane Smith". This way, all communication of chat messages and videos are part of "Jane's" workspace.
We've learned that even though you might be working with an individual client, they often have multiple coaches interested in keeping tabs on the athlete, so even for individual workspaces we allow multiple support team members to join. In addition to the primary coach that is connected to the workspace, there might also be others, like a nutritionist, physiotherapist, mental coach or skills coach as well.
The model is very flexible and allows for both large teams with lots of players, assistant coaches and even parents as well as 1:1 relationships with a single coach-athlete.
Many skill-based sports and activities are taught, coached, and performed in person. Whether you're at a studio, the ball-field, arena, court, gym, or course, the typical scenario that plays out is: the athletes just do what the coach says, they get some feedback here and there, and once the session or practice is done, the learning is over.
But what if you can extend the lesson? What if you can learn from the best coach, not just the closest coach? This is where OnForm comes into play. Coaches and instructors can extend their help to athletes from afar, and athletes can get even more feedback, further refining their skills on their own time. For example, using the side-by-side comparison tools in OnForm would allow your client to study their practice session well beyond when the lesson was over.
So how do you become an online coach or instructor? Below we've laid out some helpful tips so coaches and athletes can get the most out of online coaching.
Communication is Key
Whether you see your athletes in person a few times a week or you are a fully online coach, communicating is incredibly important. OnForm makes text communication easy. You can send messages to individuals and the whole team right in the app. Coaches should also consider scheduling periodic calls to check in on their 1:1 clients.
Make a Plan
As a coach, you'd normally have a plan for each practice or lesson. You'd know what skills to focus on, what drills you'd like to run, or what techniques you want your athletes to refine. The same holds true for online coaching. The only difference is, instead of showing up to practice and giving instructions on what to do, you can now do that remotely on the OnForm app. It is important to establish when you'll communicate to your athlete what you want them to work on. For instance, if you're working with a baseball player, maybe each Monday you give them a plan for the next five days. You communicate that you want 3-4 videos of each assigned drill. Or let's say you're working with a yoga client. You can check in with them a few times during the week and assign different poses to work on that day.
Traditional coaches charge athletes and clients per lesson, session, or season. Charging for time spent analyzing videos, talking on the OnForm app or on scheduled calls, is a foreign concept. Whether you are using video analysis as a supplement to your in-person coaching program or you are a fully online coach, forming a comprehensive pricing system is essential to running your business.
A tiered pricing structure is generally what most online coaches settle on. Each tier increases in price, but also increases the amount of contact the coach and athlete have via email, phone, and app communication. Higher tiers can offer more workout and training schedules, plus even more video analysis. Make sure that your pricing is a reflection of how valuable your time and expertise is, but also fair so your athletes will want to use your online coaching services.
It's About Access to your Knowledge
People hire you, the coach, to gain access and guidance to your knowledge. With OnForm, you can monetize your knowledge beyond the in-person lesson or practice. You can create new revenue streams, gain back control of your time and provide even better guidance and instruction by being available as needed, and getting paid for your availability too! We've made it easy to share video, to voice-overs and provide messaging feedback, give it a try and grow your coaching business today!
A video is worth a thousand words. But what about a video with a voice over it, offering up helpful advice on technique? That’s worth a whole lot more, which is exactly why OnForm has a voiceover recording feature on our app. The voice over feature easily allows online coaches to provide direct feedback to their athletes and clients.
You can easily re-record over any video that is sent in a chat or one that is stored on your library. Here is an easy to follow step by step guide to show you how to easily record your message over a video.
Tap on any video in your chat or your video library. Or as highlighted by the green circles below, you can also import a video from your phone’s library or record a new video.
After you've selected, imported, or recored a new video into OnForm, the video will be loaded onto your screen. This is where you can easily edit the video, draw on it, or record your recommendations and observations over the video. Simply tap microphone symbol at the top of the screen to get started.
After you press the microphone, you might be prompted to "Allow screen recording in 'OnForm'?" You should select the first option, Record Screen & Microphone if you intend to add comments via audio.
A red bar will appear at the top of the screen. It's time to leave your comments, you're now recording. You can hit pause on the far left side if you need to stop. You'll see a timer on the far right side of the red bar. That's just letting you know how long you've been recording. You can use the pencil icon under the time to draw over the video. When you are finished, simply press the "Stop" button in the middle of the red bar.
After you've pressed stop, you're all set. You can save the video and upload it back to the chat so your coach or athlete can see your suggestions and hear your comments. If you need to edit the video, simply use the scissor icon. If you need to start over, just discard your edits. If you are satisfied with your comments, simply save the video and it will be saved to your library or sent to the chat.
When we started OnForm, our vision was to bring new technologies to skill sports in order to make video feedback and structured training accessible and useful. Having worked on a similar problem for the last 20 years at TrainingPeaks, I was very familiar with the coach-athlete communication loop of creating a plan, doing structured training, getting feedback and repeating it until mastery.
While doing research for our new product, I learned of a company that was taking a similar approach to performance analysis in equestrian sports. That company was EquiRatings and we developed a great working relationship over the last year.
I'm happy to announce a formal partnership between EquiRatings and OnForm to introduce our platform to equestrians everywhere. We've worked with their team to ensure the needs of equestrians are met with our coaching and video analysis tools, for remote or in-person usage, an example of which is below:
Look for much more to be announced and developed from this partnership, as we aim to educate trainers and riders around the world on the best practices of remote coaching, athlete development from taking a structured approach to training, and making the most of the special bond between rider and horse.
Learn more by visiting EquiRatings and downloading OnForm today!