When NBA All-Star Kobe Bryant wants to size up the competition before tip off he often turns to Mike Procopio, owner of The Hoop Consultants for advice. When Procopio’s company needs help gathering data on hundreds of basketball players, they turn to their iPads.
A former scout for the Boston Celtics, Procopio keeps tabs on rising college players and NBA stars, and reviews more than 1,000 games each year. While it might seem a monumental task, Procopio and The HoopConsultants company he built made the process easy with a custom iPad database built on the FileMaker platform and the FileMaker Go for iPad app.
With no previous programming experience, Procopio built the tool that streamlined the company’s process of collecting, analyzing and displaying statistics - putting it right to Procopio’s fingertips courtside. By using an iPad and his database, he eliminates the need for players names and stats scrawled in spreadsheets or notes scribbled in a notebook. He now spends the time assembling and delivering to his clients the strengths, weaknesses, and court tendencies of opponents.
“With my iPad, I can pull up two teams and compare the roster,” Procopio told TabTimes. “Then tap on each player and instantly bring up the scouting report on him. It saves an amazing amount of time.” His database also includes a personal directory of NBA coaches and general managers, which he says helps keep a wide range of information on each player all in one place.
Procopio is known for analyzing an upcoming opponent and sending video clips, as well as descriptions, of the moves players such as Bryant weren’t making and the plays he should make in the next game. This is done in an unvarnished fashion that may stray from what a star basketball player wants to hear.
In addition to working with Los Angeles Lakers star Bryant, Procopio has worked with Kevin Durant, Dwyane Wade, Devin Harris, Channing Frye, Caron Butler, Michael Finley, Juwan Howard and over 150 others to refine their games during the off season – and achieve breakthrough successes during the season.
Not an easy road at first
In the past, Procopio says he would spend four hours each night typing up Word files and entering data into a spreadsheet. Producing a composite profile of a player would then take up to two hours. Procopio decided there had to be a better way.
There were custom-developed, web-based databases to consider, but the question was how to tailor the software to The Hoop Consultant’s unique – and highly mobile – needs. Procopio says it wasn’t always easy to get his FileMaker program to work exactly the way he needed it to, but found the answer in an online forum.
“I started hanging out on the FileMaker Forum with an independent developer, Phil Caulkins,” says Procopio. “I’d just type in questions and Phil would get back to me with answers in less than ten minutes. He walked me through the formulas and scripts I needed, which was an integral part of making sure the solution worked the way I wanted.”
Procopio was so pleased with his success, that he was eager to share what he learned with colleague Dave Telep, ESPN’s college basketball recruiting analyst as well as his co-workers at Attack Athletics
The iPad deployments are becoming more commonplace in sports analysis where it is used by teams and consultants alike. The Phoenix Suns NBA team has issued Samsung Galaxy 10.1 tablets to its players and coaches. National Football League teams Indianapolis Colts, Denver Broncos and Miami Dolphins are high-profile examples of how teams are replacing 500-page playbooks with slimmer tablets.
[Mike Procopio will be speaking at the Tablet Strategy conference in New York City on April 30]
(Mike Procopio photo courtesy of Attack Athletics)