Hand your players the reins to keep them engaged during film review.

Ever heard the saying, “If you want to master something, teach it”? It’s true, especially when it comes to video review. You want your athletes to really grasp the concepts, so why not put them in the hot seat?

When you give them a chance to lead, video will not only become a bigger part of your culture, but your players will learn the tricks of analysis and grow as leaders.

1. Adds variety to film review

With so many distractions, it can be hard to keep your athletes focused during review. Changing up your film sessions can make a big difference.

Rather than listening to you during both practice and film review, give them an opportunity to hear a new perspective. They might be more willing to listen to their peers, and this variety can make a difference in how much they retain from the session.

2. Empowers team leaders

This is an area where you can reward players who give their all during practice and who have demonstrated that they’re up to the task. Giving additional responsibilities to those who step up, on and off the court (or field), will show you trust in their abilities.

It also gives your athletes a voice and a chance to gain your respect, all while helping the rest of the team stay engaged.

3. Engrains video in your team culture

Video is addicting. As players learn how to study film and discover those “aha” moments, they’ll crave more of it. They’ll start to search for areas where their technique needs an adjustment or where their opponents are most likely to slip up.

Start small—challenge your upperclassmen to invest in video and take the lead. As they become passionate about video, watch it spread to your younger players. Before you know it, video will be a building block of your program.

4. Helps lessons stick

When athletes take ownership of video review, the lessons will begin to stick with them in new ways. Rather than talking at them, you can use video to help them answer their own questions and figure out where they should focus.

Teach them to see for themselves where they went wrong or what to anticipate from upcoming opponents. You’ll be able to see the difference in how they play.

"I let them kind of run the thing and say, ‘You tell me what went wrong.’ They’re taking the initiative. They’re starting to see the game in a whole different sense. By the fourth or fifth session, they were all paying attention, saying, ‘Coach Branch, can you stop it here. This is what you did wrong here.’" Jonathan Branch, Head Soccer Coach, Oxford High School, MS

Organize an Athlete-Led Review

  1. Choose the leaders. Identify captains or upperclassmen who would lead well and take ownership of a review session.
  2. Send leaders a playlist. When you're getting started, send them a few clips from your last game or for an upcoming opponent.
  3. Show them the tools. Give those players a crash course on how to lead film review and the tools they need, from playlists to comments and drawings.
  4. Let your players lead. Have those athletes run the next team meeting to recap the the last game and outline areas for improvement.
  5. Give feedback. Provide the players who led with feedback to help them improve their post-game analysis and leadership skills.

Use this free template as a starting point.

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Once your players understand the value of video and know how to watch it, take it to the next level: Assign a playlist for them to review at home and have everyone bring back their thoughts. Turn your next film review into a discussion about your last game. Or see what they think about your upcoming opponent. Not only does it save you time but it helps them to truly buy-in to your culture of video.