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6 Reasons to Not Use Your Phone as a Stopwatch or Timer

November 29, 2017

If you are serious about timing an event, you need to use a device designed specifically to do this. Using your cell phone as a stopwatch or timer is not a good substitute for the real thing.  Here are a few reasons why:

  • Tapping an LED touch screen with your fingertip is not the same accuracy and precision as pressing a button with your index finger. There is no tactile feedback where you feel that precision on a phone.  In addition to being inaccurate, it is a simply joyless experience
  • Many events take place outside, where it can rain or are near a swimming pool. Do you really want to get water on your $800 cell phone?  “Gee whiz honey, I’m afraid I dropped my phone in the pool at Junior’s swim meet.”
  • Ok, we are all set to get that important split time reading and we look down at our LED screen on the phone, which we have to do since we need to locate the press area.  It’s hidden there in the upper left corner.  But now it has reset to a black screen.  So you sign back in, locate the stopwatch function and take your reading. What’s that…you missed the reading?  Oh well, at least you have an awesome phone…everyone is impressed.
  • Here they come to the finish line, your kid’s best race ever, let’s get the time.  Tap, tap, tap – oh, the touch screen did not respond! Well, I am certain your son/daughter will understand when you tell them you have an awesome phone…without their personal best time on it.
  • Best of all, isn’t it convenient when you receive a text, call or other incoming message when you are using the stopwatch and timer. The answer is probably, NO!
  • Last time we did a scientific survey, schools were not giving out cell phones to volunteer timers. If they start, we suggest you ask the school board what else they are spending your tax money on?

Think about Golf, Tennis, Baseball, Basketball…it all begins with the grip.  Same is true for stopwatches and timers. You have to feel the quality and reliability in your hands, you get to keep your eyes on the action without looking down to find a touch area on a seven inch screen and then losing touch with the event.

The bottom line for a dealer or reseller is that stopwatches and timers are specifically designed to accommodate any specific use for any particular event, activity or competition.  Cell phones and mobile devices are very important and bring great convenience.  But let’s get real when people tell you they are better than a handheld stopwatch or timer for tracking times and results.

Robic offers the world’s finest range of handheld timing and performance assessment devices.  For 30 years, over 7,000,000 people have selected Robic for all their timing needs, from basic to the most sophisticated.

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Vocabulary of Stopwatches and Timers for Coaches and Sports Retailers

August 16, 2017

Now, you are talking my Language…why Greek is an Easier language to learn than Stopwatch
At least the Greeks all speak their language the same way…besides being friendly and funny, the Greeks share a common language. Not so when someone has a stopwatch or timer question…”you say to-May-to and I say to-Mah-to”. No need to run for the hills, here is an easy primer…keep it handy.

Single Event Time: Think of a 100 yard dash…the gun goes off-START the stopwatch—the runner crosses the finish line—stop the stopwatch. No intermediate times, START-STOP-RESET- The basic time reading.

Lap Time: This does not mean once around the track – take the image of an actual lap out of your mind. Instead, it is the amount of time from your previous reading. Think of a 4 X 100 relay team, each runners leg is 12 seconds…therefore the 4 lap times are 12, 12, 12 and 12.

Split Time: The amount of time from the start of the event. Often referred to as Accumulated or Cum (pronounced CUME) time – use the same example of the relay team.   12 seconds each…the team’s Split times are 12, 24, 36 and 48 seconds.
Here are the rest of commonly requested Stopwatch and Timer functions:

Robic® 2017  Glossary of Terms

Robic – The Overwhelming Choice for Strength and Conditioning Coaches

June 6, 2017

Bum Phillips

Former pro football coach Bum Philips once said of Hall of Fame coach Don Shula: “He can take his’n and beat your’n and take your’n and beat his’n”.   In his own inimitable way, Bum is praising Shula for being a better coach.

Robic Timers and Stopwatches exhibited at the 2017 Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches conference in May and met with hundreds of top tier college and professional coaches.  These coaches are extremely well informed and undertake exhaustive research prior to incorporating any piece of equipment into their programs.

It became clear to us, based on our discussions during the course of the 3-day conference, that Robic stopwatches and timers are used by these highly selective coaches.  Robic’s superior quality and ease of use were cited as the main benefits which appealed to the coaches.

Most of them began using Robic stopwatches as interns or assistant coaches and now have carried the need for Robic with them to the head coach position.  They insist on using Robic products, citing “reliability and consistently high performance” as the key benefits.

Strength Coaches help train and condition athletes on all teams to excel.  They must be expert in acquiring and maintaining an absolute peak level of performance, motivating and teaching the athletes all the while.  For this reason, Strength Coaches are extremely important to the overall success of many programs at once.

Like Bum Philips praising Don Shula, so too we should recognize Strength Coaches as those seeking to take all athletes to a higher level… choosing to use Robic among all other brands as the assessment and timing products best suited to train for EXCELLENCE.

The Need for Silent Stopwatches and Pitch Count Rules in Baseball – Reflections on America’s Favorite Pasttime

February 1, 2017

You spend your life gripping a baseball and at the end you realize it was really the other way around.       – Jim Bouton

So often we think we have learned a thing or three after 30 years in business, and yes, it is likely true that we have.  However, as the Nobel Laureate Bob Dylan wrote, “…he not busy being born is busy dying”…which in my translation means never stop learning.

After an exciting 3 days in January with 6000 baseball coaches at the American Baseball Coaches Association National Conference  in Anaheim, I am proud to say I learned these things (so I can keep busy being born):

  • Coaches have to be the most positive, resilient and motivating group of people you’ll ever find. The lead the efforts of teams and groups of people toward a common good result—winning.  If they get down and show it, the team’s chances are finished…kaput.
  • They do what they truly love for the satisfaction of helping others and by default, helping themselves. These were not the Major Leaguers that I met; instead they were coaches of high school, junior college, and college aged teams.  None of them are Rockefellers in the wallet, but they get enormous personal wealth out of helping younger people with the games of Baseball and Life.
  • All ages from 20 to 90 were present…it’s hard for a good coach to quit. As Jim Bouton said in the last line of Ball Four, “You spend your life gripping a baseball and at the end you realize it was really the other way around.”
  • 1st and 3rd base coaches need a Silent Stopwatch, so the beep tone does not ruin the player’s concentration.

My favorite comment was by an older coach, who had been through the mill a few times.  He went on about the new materials in gloves and bats, and new video software and training programs.  I asked him what stopwatch he used and he said…” I don’t have one. I ran over to Walmart and bought one for $6 and it broke the second week I had it.  I need something good.”  Well, Coach, you came to the right place, let’s get busy being born.

  • The SC-505W Single Event Timer allows coaches to take consecutive single event times without resetting the stopwatch.  Put it into lap mode, start and stop as many times as you need.  The event time for Catchers Pop, Home to First, Wind Up and Delivery…all right there.  Takes up to 199 readings and memorizes the last 12.  $25 retail
  • The SC-889 Speed and Sport Timer reports “Speed of the Pitch” and memorizes up to 180 pitch speeds.   Unlike radar, you do not have to use the Robic SC-889 from behind home plate…use it from the dugout, bull pen, or anywhere.   $47 retail.
  • The Robic M467 Dual Pitch Counter keeps track of 2 separate pitch counts.  All high schools in America now have Pitch Count Rules and restrictions.  The M467 is the easiest way to keep track of both pitchers, yours and mine, to stay within the guidelines.  $18 retail.
  • The Oslo by Robic Silver 60 operates silently for 1st and 3rd base coaches.  Base coaches want to time pitchers, catchers, runners and hitters without any sound.  Use the Oslo Silver 60 to get all the times needed without beeping…it also has a backlight for night time use and temperature display.  $28 retail

Robic – 30 Years of Experience with Time Keepers

September 1, 2016

30 years of Leadership…wow what a great time!

We are celebrating 30 years as a Leadership company in 2016…Happy Anniversary!!  Ronald Reagan was President, Mookie Wilson’s grounder went through Bill Buckner’s legs and people were standing in line for DeLoreans in 1986.

Our original plan was to be a bridge line of designer watches for the department store trade.  We created beautiful and elegant ladies’ and gent’s wrist watches priced between $50-$80.  We presented the line to every department store chain in America.  This is when each city had their own store:  Hudson’s in Detroit, Filenes in Boston, Famous-Barr in St. Louis and so on.

Every buyer said we had the most beautiful and elegant watches, but “who ever heard of you guys”?

One of the items was the SC-504 Speed Chronometer, a handheld timer capable of computing and displaying the speed of a race car in MPH with 7 lap memory…a total breakthrough at the time.  The SC-504 was such a dynamic and leadership timer, we took it to Daytona in 1987 and sold over 2000 for $45 each in three (3) days!  Now everyone had heard of “us guys”…

This incredible response led us to the Sporting Goods Show in Chicago where we would become suppliers with the best dealers and merchants in the world.  Many of those relationships continue to this day.

During each of the 30 years, technology and marketplace conditions have affected all aspects of our business and day to day life.

The consistent factor in maintaining and building on success each year is to be the leader…bringing products, programs, pride and enthusiasm to the table each day.

The Strength of Your Bench – Stopwatches and Timers Merchandising 101: Retail and Team Supply

June 16, 2016

What kind of Bench do you have?  Let’s talk about the Retail Price Point Ladder…

As the NBA Finals approach, every year the “experts” talk about the strength of the bench.  It always seems like there are one or two players who were completely anonymous prior to the series, who shine through with a clutch performance no one sees coming.  Keep a good bench since you never know when you will need it.

In the land of shrinking resources for keeping inventory, today’s dealers and merchants are always being stretched to have enough of those items that are the “staples” – the “got to haves”.  Everyone would love to have more open to buy so they can keep a supply of items they believe would actually benefit their customer’s needs.

The Primer for Stopwatches and Timers Merchandising 101:  Retail and Team Supply

Set up a $10-$20-$30 and $50 retail price point ladder while satisfying all Benefit segments

Benefit: Low Cost:  Yes, of course you need a $9.99 retail price point.  Use the Oslo M427 for that…remember to offer it in Black and the 6 other colors, you will sell almost twice as many.

Benefit: Easy to Use Rely on the Oslo by Robic 1000W Twin Stopwatch with Countdown timer at $17.99 retail.  It offers a Lap Timer and precise Countdown Timer in a variety of colors…k aching, more sales.

Benefit: Convenience:  Most people want a product to provide multiple timing functions.  Robic’ s SC-606W provides a Dual Split stopwatch with up to 50 memory recall and a Multi-Function Countdown timer for $32

Benefit: The Best there is: How many times can a person purchase the same piece of equipment the leading teams in the world use?  With the Robic SC-877 180 Dual Memory Training Timer, you can answer that question and make a sale at the same time.  This one does everything you would ever need for $49 retail.

Extra Credit:  It is not just a Handheld world out there.  Use the Robic M603 Three Memory Game Timer and you will be amazed at how many people will say… this is exactly what I need.  Retail is $18.

This line-up will give you a deep bench on which to call for any consumer timing need.  As always, you can count on Robic to deliver anything you ask for, on time and as specified…. Supplying the trade with the finest products is what we do.

With a few extra items, you can easily double or triple your sales in this category versus carrying one inexpensive model.

Remember, they do call it an “assortment” and “product range” for a reason.

They Still Dig Holes with Shovels…or When Did Watches Become Wearables?

March 31, 2016

Your faithful correspondent spent a few days at the Consumer Electronics Show this past January.  Talk about gadgets that whirl and whiz; all sorts of new, breakthrough products, platforms and technologies were on display.

Some very active categories included personal hoverboards, artificial and augmented reality creation, 4K 120 fps Super Ultimate HD monitors, high-performance drones for private and personal use, Smart Homes with all settings and sensors fed through an app on your phone.

Among the busiest sections of the show was the Smart Watch area.  Yes, all those readings, findings and statistics about your “State of Being” (honestly, someone displayed that on their booth).  heart rate, sleep rate, comfort levels, steps, distance, applied pressure and torque, performance quadrille…every sort of analytical measurement imaginable.

I happened to have one rep tell me how his goggles can provide analytics on the inside of the eyepiece while a super HD video camera can show a trainer thousands of miles away exactly what you are seeing.  I asked how he thought that would sell for a Sprouting Goods dealer.   “Oh, well it is for world class athletes and those seeking to become world class, you can obtain data drilled down to the umpteenth nanosecond….”.and on and on.

In other words, we are catering to the top 1/10th of 1% of athletes in the world.  What about the rest of us?

One can become overwhelmed with all of this technology and feel a little left behind when all you see are things you have never seen before.

It takes some reflection and appreciation that most people use our Robic stopwatches and timers to engage, encourage and guide the efforts of those they are coaching.  Too much data is too much time analyzing and not enough time leading, coaching and trainingKeep it simple; look after the heart and soul as well as the body.

Millions of people have chosen Robic stopwatches and timers to track the performance and progress of those they care for.  That is quite a testimony and a legacy.  We take it to heart and make each product knowing it is used for an important purpose.

Society does not progress if innovative does not exist.  I applaud those willing to find a better way.  But remember, for every I-phone, there are a thousand BetaMax machines in the graveyard.

And let’s also remember – they still dig holes with shovels, good reliable tools which do a great job in completing the task at hand.

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