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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.