At the beginning of training camp last year, Flip Saunders gave the entire team IPod Touches containing training videos of the Hawk-style system that Flip wanted to install as well as footage of players that Flip wanted certain Wizards to emulate. The equipment was very popular among the Wizards players, as some such as Antawn Jamison took to wearing their IPod Touches on lanyards around their necks.
Another year has seen another upgrade for the Wizards, as Flip has distributed I-Pads to his young charges. The I-Pad has now taken the place of a conventional playbook and allows the Wizards' coaching staff to send video to the players during off hours.
Here is Fiip on the I-Pad:
It's great learning tool. There's a lot of things that we are able to do with it. From the standpoint of a video playbook. Now the playbook is on the I-Pad....I think its very useful for our players. We are able now to send them video or edits and they can get the video and watch it in their room.
On whether the IPod Touch was useful last year:
I think it was effective. I think it's different now because we have so many young guys. We can do this (video) and other things so much easier because it is bigger.
(Special thanks to Wizards video staff and CSN for providing audio)
The I-Pads in question were not to be seen during my time at practice yesterday, as play was winding down and many players had already left the court. Obviously, the application of the technology can only be seen as a positive for both Wizards players and staff as it will allow a greater access to information at their leisure, and limit the need to be in an assigned place to review tape. However, technology is only as good as the people implementing it, so it will be up to Wizards staff to continue using the I-Pad to its greatest capability throughout the season and not represent another shiny bauble to be discussed at the beginning of training camp.