Project Background
For my thesis, I wanted to create a project that combined my love of design and sports. I focused in on hockey and lacrosse, as those are the two sports that I have been most involved in. From there, I decided to do benchmarking and basic market research, send out a survey to athletes, coaches, athletic trainers, and equipment managers of all levels in these two sports, as well as conduct initial interviews in the same group.
The Challenge
Through preliminary research, I found that one of the biggest problems in sports was a disconnect between players and their coaches. Some were getting more personalized feedback while others were left behind and had to figure out issues by themselves. The players who were not receiving the personalized feedback were not able to progress at the same speed as others, thus creating a disconnect on the team and creating a sense of inequality.
Playing any sport is a cyclical process of learning something new and putting it into effect. The more times you go through that process, the more you progress as a player. However, sometimes the necessary feedback for growth can take a long time, and players can get stuck at a point in the process. Shouldn't there be a way to allow players to go through this at their own speed?
"You never stop learning–even now that I'm a coach, I'm still figuring out ways to change my game, and in turn, I'm teaching those to my players."  –  Greg Gurenlian, former MLL/PLL lacrosse player, current coach
A team hierarchy map, starting with head coaches at the top level, equipment managers, assistant coaches, and trainers in the second, then team captains, and lastly, the rest of the players. The filled in circles are people I interviewed and their levels on their respective teams.
"The times I was given direct feedback on my specific playing were definitely the times that I was able to improve the most."  –  Ryan Chaban, former college club lacrosse player
Competitor Comparisons
Many apps have the features I'm looking to include, but no app on the market combines statistics and management.
Focusing in on  Athletes
After doing more research, I decided to focus on the app from only the point of view of the athletes. Creating multiple separate views of the app may not be possible in the time frame allotted in class, so I chose to focus in on the athlete's point of view because they are the ones who the app is originally designed for. 
Key Insights
1. People want more transparency between coaches and players, and there needs to be easier means of communication
2. Players want their statistics to be more quantitative. Having data be more visible helps people understand it more.
3. Players need feedback from their coaches, but also need to learn how to coach themselves and give themselves feedback.
Next Steps
Moving forward, I will have to take all of this information into mind, especially the 3 key insights, as I design the app itself. I need to design for the individual while also making sure it is an environment for a team. The information architecture map will be updated, and some basic wireframes of the app will be created.
A very basic information architecture map of the app.

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