Practical Tips:

Miscellaneous tips offered by users.  New tips always welcome! (send to info@istopshots.com)

- Arrive early

  • it takes a little time to find the best location to set up
  • it takes a little time to key in the team and player data

- Battery Charged

  • while this application is not particularly power hungry, you don't want to run out of juice at the start of the 4th quarter
  • if your budget allows, invest in one of those back-up battery packs (mophie makes one) - and make sure THAT one's charged

- Screen Brightness

  • If you're going to be out in the bright sunshine, check out your screen brightness before the game too
  • Check screen brightness with your sunglasses on.  Makes a difference

- Hats & visors help

  • with both screen brightness and the ability to see shots and saves

- Which way did the goalie turn?

  • if you couldn't tell if the shot was placed on the near or far side of the goaltender (depth perception issue), note which way the goalie turned. While they may be late on the shot (hence a goal), they are seldom completely off on the left/right issue.  Example: if you see a goal pop the net with the goalie spinning in vain to their left, the shot likely went on that left side of them.

- If you also videotape the goalie...

  • use a tripod, aimed at the goal.  Don't zoom in so close that you can't see the developing play when viewing later
  • leave it on all the time.  It's easier to fast forward later than remember to turn it on and off all the time as the play arrives or departs

- A digital voice recorder can be handy

  • keep one in your pocket and just speak corrections into the thing ("shot #6 was top left, not top right", etc.).  Easier than trying to make a detailed correction in a fast-paced game.  Cheap drug store kind is fine.

- Pay attention to goalie substitutions

  • They can happen quickly and without notice.  You will need a moment to change the goalie, and if they're not already in your system, to "add new" goalie. 
  • Alternatively, you can focus on just one team and not bother keeping stats for individual goalies on the other.  Your scoring for the other team will simply be the aggregate goalie performance for that team.

- If you're new to the game, stand by someone who is not

  • Don't confuse mere loud voice with knowledge and experience. But if you know a person who actually played the game or is a veteran observer, let them know what you're doing and discuss what you saw.  Their experienced eye can help you develop yours.  [Eyes only, however, unless they themselves played goalie; most ordinary lacrosse players, coaches and parents don't know anything about the position.]

- No matter how your goalie played, don't force the stats on them

  • when they're ready to see them, they'll ask.   Many goalies need some time to cool down, especially if it's been a rough day.

- Share the stats in private

  • same deal.  Unfortunately, at some point in their career, most goalies have been unfairly blamed for a loss. Either by ignorant teammates or - outrageously - even by their own coaches.  Rookies will often blame themselves.  The stats are meant to help them understand their performance in an analytical way.  In almost any loss there are always some things to feel good about.  You'll find them in the stats.

- Pack a few quart-sized ziplock bags

  • if it's only a light rain, you can enclose both hands and your device in the bag and still score the game with taking undue risk of harming your hardware. 

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