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Unlocking the Power of Clipboards in Coaching: Types and Materials

Coaching can be an incredibly rewarding profession, but it’s not without its challenges. One of the most significant obstacles faced by coaches is effectively communicating game plans and strategies to their teams.

That’s where clipboards come in. A clipboard may seem like a small, insignificant accessory, but it’s an essential tool in any coach’s arsenal.

In this article, we will explore the different types of clipboards and their uses in coaching. Types:


Dry-Erase Clipboards

Dry-erase clipboards are perhaps the most commonly used type of clipboard in coaching. These clipboards have a whiteboard surface that allows coaches to sketch out diagrams, game plans, and plays using a dry-erase marker.

They are particularly useful in basketball because of the sport’s dynamic nature, which requires constant adjustments to tactics and strategies. Basketball coaches use dry-erase clipboards to sketch out court positioning, player rotations, and defensive schemes.

They’re also useful for drawing up plays and practicing them during timeouts or halftime. Because the dry-erase surface of these clipboards is reusable, coaches can quickly erase sketches and update them as needed.

2. Magnetic Clipboards

Magnetic clipboards, as the name suggests, are clipboards with a magnetic surface.

They come with a set of magnets that can be placed on the surface to represent players, balls, and other elements on the court. These clipboards are useful for coaches who prefer a tactile approach to coaching and enjoy physically moving pieces around to represent different scenarios.

Magnetic clipboards are particularly useful for football coaches who can use them to represent different positions on the field. They’re also popular among soccer coaches who use them to represent the positioning of players on the field.

These clipboards can be a handy tool in demonstrating different positioning and tactics to the players. Conclusion:

Clipboards may not seem like the most exciting aspect of coaching, but they’re an essential tool for effective communication between coaches and their teams.

Dry-erase clipboards allow coaches to easily sketch out diagrams and update tactics, while magnetic clipboards provide a more hands-on approach to positioning and play communication. By effectively utilizing these types of clipboards, coaches can streamline their communication and enhance their team’s performance.


Coaches often use clipboards for extended periods, and so it’s essential that their clipboards are durable and long-lasting. Here are some of the common materials used in making clipboards:



Aluminum is a sturdy and lightweight material, making it an excellent choice for coaches who value portability. Aluminum clipboards are also rust-proof and weather-resistant.

They mostly have a smooth, polished finish and can withstand wear and tear and daily use. 2.


Foamex is an expanded PVC material that is waterproof and moisture-resistant. Coaches can use Foamex clipboards for outdoor events without worrying about damage.

They’re lightweight, making them easy to carry around. However, it’s essential to choose high-density Foamex for added durability.

3. Hardboard

A hardboard clipboard is a great option for coaches who prioritize durability.

Hardboards are made up of compressed wood fibers, making them more robust than some other lightweight materials. With proper care, a hardboard clipboard can last for several seasons.

4. High Impact Polystyrene (HIPS)

High Impact Polystyrene is a thermoplastic material used in various applications, including clipboards.

It is a sturdy material that can withstand rough handling, making it ideal for outdoor sports such as football. HIPS boards have excellent impact strength and are lightweight, making them easy to carry.

5. Polypropylene

Polypropylene is a thermoplastic polymer material used in clipboards.

It is durable, lightweight, and easily customizable, making it ideal for sports teams. These clipboards can be molded into different shapes and sizes, making them suitable for various sports needs.

6. PVC

PVC is a dense and sturdy material that is widely used for clipboards.

It is stronger than other lightweight materials like foamex and polypropylene, making it suitable for long-term use. Due to its density, PVC clipboards tend to be heavier than other materials.


When choosing a clipboard, it’s also essential to consider some factors beyond the material used. Here are some key considerations to keep in mind:



If you plan on using your clipboard frequently, you’ll want one that can withstand regular wear and tear. Aluminum, PVC, and hardboard clipboards are the most durable options, while foamex and polypropylene are ideal for lighter use.

2. Color

In some cases, you may want to customize your clipboard by adding your team’s colors or branding.

Many clipboards are available in a range of colors, including black, white, blue, and red. 3.


Clipboards come in various sizes, and finding the right size will depend on your specific needs. For example, if you frequently travel with your clipboard, you may want a folding clipboard that’s compact and easy to carry.

A letter-size clipboard is a standard size that can easily fit legal pads, and it’s the most widely used size for game plans. 4.


The cost of a clipboard can vary widely depending on the brand and quality. Double-sided clipboards may be more expensive because they offer more space for notes and diagrams.

Ultimately, your budget will determine the type of clipboard you choose, but it’s essential to balance cost with quality to get the best value for your investment. In conclusion, a clipboard may seem like a small accessory, but it’s an essential tool for coaches to communicate their strategies and tactics to their team.

When choosing a clipboard, it’s crucial to consider durability, color, size, and cost. Your choice of material will also depend on your specific needs and preferences, but aluminum, hardboard, and PVC are some of the most durable options available.

By carefully considering these factors, coaches can choose the best clipboard for their needs and enhance their team’s performance. FAQ:

As a basketball coach, you may have questions about using clipboards to communicate your team’s game plans and strategies.

Here are some of the most common questions about basketball coaching clipboards:

1. Why do basketball coaches use clipboards?

Basketball coaches use clipboards to communicate their team’s game plans, strategies, and tactics. Clipboards allow coaches to sketch out diagrams and plays, make adjustments during timeouts, and make notes during the game.

They’re also useful for keeping the team organized and focused during practices and games. 2.

What size clipboard should I use for basketball coaching? The most common size for basketball coaching clipboards is the letter size, which can easily fit legal pads and provide ample space for diagrams and notes.

However, coaches can also opt for larger sizes if they need more space, or choose a smaller size if they require a more compact clipboard for ease of travel. 3.

What materials are best for basketball coaching clipboards? When choosing a clipboard, coaches should consider portability, durability, and moisture resistance.

Aluminum and PVC are popular choices for their durability and weather resistance, while hardboard and HIPS are preferred for their sturdiness. For lighter use or travel, coaches may choose foamex or polypropylene, which are lightweight and easy to carry.

4. What features should I look for in a good basketball coaching clipboard?

A good basketball coaching clipboard should have a sturdy clip that can hold papers and a dry-erase or magnetic surface for sketches and diagrams. Double-sided clipboards offer more space for notes and diagrams, and foldable clipboards are a great option for coaches who frequently travel.

5. How should I organize my basketball coaching clipboard?

A basketball coaching clipboard should be organized in a way that is easy to understand and access. Coaches can label different sections of their clipboard based on game strategies, plays, and positions.

They may also use different colored marker pens or magnets to represent different players or team members. 6.

Where should I store my basketball coaching clipboard? A basketball coaching clipboard should be stored in a safe and accessible place where it won’t be damaged or lost.

Coaches may choose to store their clipboards in a bag or case for added protection. An organized clipboard storage system also helps coaches quickly access it when needed.

7. What are the advantages of using a magnetic clipboard for basketball coaching?

Magnetic clipboards can come in handy for basketball coaching, especially when demonstrating positioning. Coaches can use magnets to represent players, the ball, and different positions on the court.

This tactile approach allows for a more interactive and effective way of communicating plays and strategies. 8.

How can I keep my basketball coaching clipboard clean and well-maintained? To keep your basketball coaching clipboard clean and well-maintained, use a soft cloth to wipe away any marker or dirt after each use.

Avoid storing the clipboard in damp or humid areas, which can cause the surface to peel or warp. Finally, choose a sturdy clipboard that can withstand regular use and maintain its quality over time.

In conclusion, a basketball coaching clipboard is an essential tool for effective communication between coaches and their teams. When selecting a clipboard, coaches should consider size, materials, features, organization, storage, and maintenance.

By utilizing the right clipboard for their needs, coaches can help improve their team’s performance and achieve success on the court. Clipboards may seem like a basic accessory, but they are a crucial tool for coaches to communicate game plans and strategies to their team.

When selecting a clipboard, coaches must consider factors such as size, materials, durability, organization, storage, and maintenance. Materials such as aluminum, PVC, hardboard, and magnetic clipboards are best suited for basketball coaching needs.

Using clipboards effectively can improve a team’s performance on the court and help coaches achieve their desired results. FAQs covered in this article include why basketball coaches use clipboards, sizing information, features to look for, organization, and maintenance.

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