Skip to content

Using a graphing drawing tablet for soccer schematics

As part of my Ohio University master’s program, I’m required to put together practice plans using the cloud-based Sports Session Planner. I’ve previously used a different tool – Tactics Manager – to do similar layouts for my club and high school programs.

I do my work on a MacBook Air (2012). I’ve found that I have a difficult time making the drawings work, especially with the laptop’s trackpad. Plus, I don’t like the play on the laptop keyboard.

So, I made up a couple of changes:

  • I pulled an older USB keyboard out of storage.
  • I started using a Tecknet Bluetooth mouse.
  • And, I bought a Turcom drawing tablet.

I don’t have particularly good fine motor skills and I gave up being an artist somewhere in elementary school. ¬†Given that, I was curious to see how using the drawing tablet would compare to using a mouse or trackpad.

My biggest challenge in using the mouse is getting drawing lines to work out. The graphing tablet comes with a pen/mouse device and ample surface to cover the screen real estate. I’ve found that I rarely use the mouse “buttons” on the tablet pen – it’s simpler to just set the pen down and use the mouse directly.

The biggest “win” in using the graphic tablet is being able to quickly select and move¬†objects across the screen. It is a very natural motion, one which requires more work to do with a mouse.

The next biggest “win” is in being able to be more precise with lines. I think the mouse is a good tool for less precise operations but the ability to use a pen to directly place an object is less error-prone.

I am still adapting to the Sports Session Planner software – this is a topic for another day.