5 Reasons Every Coach Should Use Video

Video touch­es every part of sports in the mod­ern cli­mate. Here’s why it mat­ters and how all coach­es should use it.

5 Reasons Every Coach Should Use Video

Video touch­es every part of sports in the mod­ern cli­mate. Here’s why it mat­ters and how all coach­es should use it.

We know the val­ue of video at Hudl. It’s the bedrock of our com­pa­ny, the cor­ner­stone we’ve used to build our entire structure.

At this point, most coach­es also see video’s val­ue. They under­stand it can be used as a scout­ing tool or a way to cor­rect mistakes.

Click here to discover game-changing insights with video. 

But that’s only scratch­ing the surface.

The pow­er of video is near­ly lim­it­less, and we’ve heard the proof. Coaches have told us it saved their sea­son or played a key role in an upset. We’re here to help you ful­ly under­stand the capa­bil­i­ties of video and the effect it can have for you this year.

Develop Your Players

Video has become the ulti­mate teach­ing tool for coach­es to relate to their ath­letes. It’s one thing to tell a play­er what to fix or what’s hap­pen­ing dur­ing the action. But the abil­i­ty to show them what’s hap­pen­ing and how to adjust allows for a whole new lev­el of learning.

I can’t tell you how many times as a coach you would talk to a kid on the side­line and you say, You’re doing this wrong.’ And he says, No I’m not. I’m doing this,’” Duane Maranda, the head foot­ball coach at Westerly High School (R.I.), said. They don’t nec­es­sar­i­ly under­stand the big pic­ture and what you’re ask­ing them to do. But when you show it to them, there’s no argu­ing with that.”

Coaches across all sports have rec­og­nized that ath­letes tend to be visu­al learn­ers. While they respond to ver­bal lessons and can improve from instruc­tions, adding the visu­al ele­ment to what a coach says helps them make a stronger connection.

This gen­er­a­tion of kids responds to video, whether it’s YouTube or what­ev­er,” Michael Stewart, a coach for the Each 1 Teach 1 bas­ket­ball club, said. I think that’s the best way to get their atten­tion. For them, it’s show­ing them some of the good things. They respond to it because they get to watch them­selves on TV. And when bad things come up, they’re able to see right away that maybe what they thought was going on wasn’t real­ly going on.”

Stay Objective

One of the hard­est things for a coach to do is com­plete­ly elim­i­nate bias­es from their assess­ment — in fact, the human mind is inca­pable of doing it. Hard as we fight it, our emo­tions are always going to affect the way we recall an event.

Don’t believe it? Trust the words of Brett Woods and Brett Haskell, ath­let­ic psy­chol­o­gists at the University of Nebraska.

Our emo­tions can some­times over­ride our pre­frontal cor­tex, which is respon­si­ble for eval­u­at­ing per­for­mances, more of the logis­tics of eval­u­a­tion,” Brett Woods said. That can col­or your per­cep­tion of the event and your mem­o­ry, your recall is more shad­ed by your emo­tion­al eval­u­a­tion of the per­for­mance rather than the actu­al event that took place.”

Rewatching a game or prac­tice can pro­vide the clar­i­ty that’s lost in the heat of the bat­tle. In the moment, our brains cre­ate the­o­ries and opin­ions that may or may not be accu­rate based on our emotions.

I devel­op a hypoth­e­sis and then I look for only the infor­ma­tion that con­firms my hypoth­e­sis,” Brett Haskell said. If my hypoth­e­sis is that my team is play­ing ter­ri­ble, I hone in on their mis­takes and neglect the infor­ma­tion that con­tra­dicts that hypoth­e­sis and tells me they’re actu­al­ly play­ing okay. In sit­u­a­tions where there is heavy emo­tion in the moment, that impacts that bias even more.”

Video elim­i­nates emo­tion from the equa­tion. Upon sec­ond review, coach­es can clear­ly see what real­ly occurred and elim­i­nate the sub­jec­tiv­i­ty the brain is prone to.

Find the Right Stats

Statistics are an inte­gral part of any eval­u­a­tion process. Diving into the num­bers can reveal ten­den­cies that are easy to miss dur­ing game action.

But the stats sheet only goes so far. While the data can pro­vide use­ful infor­ma­tion, link­ing it to video pro­vides much greater con­text. With Hudl, one click is all that sep­a­rates a coach from a sta­tis­tic, and a cor­re­spond­ing playlist of the video clips tied to that stat. 

Video makes the num­bers come to life.

Being able to link your pass­ing per­cent­age to video is great,” Bryan Amos, a for­mer D1 soc­cer coach, said. Being able to say to a play­er, Listen, you had a 92% pass­ing effi­cien­cy. But as a cen­ter-mid, I am telling you that you need to pass the ball for­ward more. You’re get­ting the ball in a safe place right in front of the back four, where you don’t have any pres­sure, and play­ing it out­side to a wide-open right back and going back and forth in our defen­sive third… that’s not lead­ing us to anything.’ 

If all he was look­ing at was that num­ber, with­out it being linked to video, he would nev­er see that those pass­es weren’t help­ing us.”

Scout Your Opponent

It’s key to address your own team’s needs, but dis­sect­ing your rival’s game plan can be just as crit­i­cal. Just ask Ryan Grates, an assis­tant coach at Cape Fear High School (N.C.), who scoured the video and dis­cov­ered cru­cial ten­den­cies that allowed the Colts to win the East region­al championship.

Our defense almost knew what they were run­ning before they ran it because of all the ten­den­cies we got from (the video).” Ryan Grates, football coach at Cape Fear High School (N.C.)

Finding a key tac­ti­cal edge in your scout­ing can be the cru­cial com­po­nent that gives you a leg up on the com­pe­ti­tion. It plays a huge part in the process for USA Basketball. With a hec­tic tour­na­ment envi­ron­ment and lit­tle time between games, for­mer assis­tant nation­al team direc­tor BJ Johnson relied on video to get Team USA pre­pared for each opponent. 

Video is a huge, huge thing,” Johnson, now the coor­di­na­tor of play­er eval­u­a­tion for the Brooklyn Nets, said. It’s some­thing that peo­ple don’t nec­es­sar­i­ly see from the out­side look­ing in, but it’s one of the things that real­ly aides us in our prepa­ra­tions for com­pe­ti­tion. All the scout­ing of oppo­nents as well as know­ing our team and what makes us suc­cess­ful, it’s all hinged on video. It helps us grade our­selves and get pre­pared for our competition.”

Get Athletes Recruited

These days, the email inbox­es and Twitter feeds of col­lege coach­es and recruiters are lit­tered with mes­sages from high school ath­letes hop­ing to get their attention.

The best way to catch coach­es’ eyes is with a killer high­light video. Showcase your best moments into a short clip to get a play­er on a school’s radar. Flash some tal­ent with high­lights and coach­es will watch full games to com­plete their evaluation.

And the more ath­letes you get recruit­ed to top pro­grams, the more your pro­gram is ele­vat­ed and your rep­u­ta­tion strengthened.

You have to fig­ure out a way to dif­fer­en­ti­ate your­self, and video is a great way to do that,” Amos said. If we saw a video that we real­ly liked, it was, Hey Bryan, you’re get­ting on a plane tomor­row to go see this kid live.’”

We could go on and on about the ben­e­fits of video, but we think our point has been made. Video is the con­nec­tive tis­sue in the mod­ern sports land­scape. It helps com­mu­ni­ca­tion with play­ers, gives visu­als to stats, gets ath­letes recruit­ed and helps you find the holes in your upcom­ing opponent’s strategy.

Video is the present and future of ath­let­ics. Check out what it can do for you.