I have written several blogs on the importance of Excel, but I haven’t focused on how we can help students develop their Excel skills. Here’s an idea for coaches of high school athletes: Require student athletes to create an Excel spreadsheet where the columns are practice days and the rows are practice drills, weight amount and reps, and time spent practicing. Then ask your athletes to create a trend line graph for each variable to show their progress.
Not only would this improve Excel skills, it would introduce the very important skills of evaluation and problem solving based on what they do with this information. Student athletes that I know tend to perform better on many of the 10 skill sets such as taking responsibility and working directly with people than students who do not participate in school athletic programs. Adding Excel practice will give them an even greater advantage on and off the field. Student athletes already know “it’s the skills stupid” in their sports. They just need to be pushed to be more analytical so they can apply Excel to their school work and jobs.