7 Ways Video Pow­ers Your Play­er Development

Here are the best tips and tricks for using video to grow your ath­letes’ skills.

7 Ways Video Pow­ers Your Play­er Development

Here are the best tips and tricks for using video to grow your ath­letes’ skills.

As a club team, your suc­cess is deter­mined by more than wins and loss­es. It’s your job to cre­ate well-round­ed play­ers with cor­rect tech­nique and the abil­i­ty to make the right deci­sions. We know it’s a risky busi­ness — every­thing from your play­ers’ futures to the club’s suc­cess is on the line.

Not only is it a big under­tak­ing, but time with play­ers is often lim­it­ed and resources are spread thin. That’s where video comes in, to ensure learn­ing doesn’t end after prac­tice. With a lit­tle cre­ativ­i­ty and insight from oth­er coach­es, video can be the tool to improve your play­ers’ devel­op­ment and take your club to the next level.

1. Moti­vate play­ers to watch tech­nique, not just highlights. 

To build on the fun­da­men­tals, encour­age your ath­letes to look fur­ther than the flashy moments. Video can help them adjust their focus to see the big­ger pic­ture of the game and their development.

Add clips to a playlist.
The ten­den­cy for play­ers is to want to look at their high­lights. But that’s when I would break out some clips and email a play­er and say, Look at these shots you had last game,’ or, Look at this series here. What are we doing right and what are we doing wrong?’ That’s a good way to get them to focus in on the par­tic­u­lar areas you want them to.” Bob Rickman, Head Coach, Alton High School (Ill.)

Cre­ate playlists for your play­ers to see and improve their tech­nique. Here are a few ways to get started.

2. Grab an iPad and record drills at practice.

Use video at prac­tice to give instant and spe­cif­ic feed­back to indi­vid­ual ath­letes or the whole team. The soon­er ath­letes can take what they see in the video and put it into action, the high­er their chances of retain­ing that infor­ma­tion. Plus, if you have Wi-Fi at your gym or field, upload as you record so play­ers can review the video as soon as they head to the lock­er room.

3. Encour­age your ath­letes to cre­ate a playlist of best and worst clips after each game. 

When your play­ers have a chance to iden­ti­fy the areas they need to improve before you point them out, it can have a last­ing impact. They’ve tru­ly owned the process and the les­son will take root. Have them pull out their five best plays from a game — areas where they made a big play, showed quick think­ing or had good tech­nique — as well as their five worst plays. This saves you time, but it also gets ath­letes to think about their tech­nique and own their growth. You can give feed­back on those plays and point out any­thing they missed. 

4. Set pre-game objec­tives to pro­vide a bench­marks for your players.

We’ve heard from teams who work with each play­er indi­vid­u­al­ly to set spe­cif­ic objec­tives before every game. It gives play­ers focus in the game and pro­vides direc­tion as they watch video after the game. They can pull out the spe­cif­ic clips that ref­er­ence their objec­tive and show how they met it or where they fell short. Encour­age them to add those clips to a playlist and track that objec­tive over mul­ti­ple games. 

I encour­age them to watch the game so that when they come in they can ana­lyze exact­ly how they did on those indi­vid­ual tar­gets. I find that they real­ly buy into that. They’re real­ly keen to watch them­selves back.” Lewis Benson, Head Coach, Sparsholt College (U.K.)

5. Track ath­lete pro­gres­sion from the first game to last. 

Because you can cre­ate playlists from mul­ti­ple games, you’re able to track an athlete’s pro­gres­sion through­out the sea­son to see where they’ve improved and what they should focus on in the future.

  1. Pull clips of a player’s tech­nique at the start of season.
  2. Add a cus­tom label for that play­er to keep every­thing organized.
  3. Keep adding clips as the sea­son continues.
  4. Share it with the ath­lete so they can track their own progress.
You can say, Look there’s your clips from two months ago.’ It’s real­ly easy to find and pull up, then you can see where [they] are now. So you can look at how much they’ve improved in tak­ing cross­es, ball receiv­ing skills, fin­ish­ing with the left foot, all of those things.” Matt Murray, First-Team Assistant Manager, Nike Academy

6. Quiz your ath­letes with com­ments on the video.

Playlists are an ide­al tool to pin­point the most impor­tant moments from a game, but com­ments can help you steer the con­ver­sa­tion in the right direc­tion. Use them to ask your play­ers ques­tions about what hap­pened and chal­lenge their per­cep­tion of the game. Or get cre­ative and have them search for spe­cif­ic things in the video.

Give feedback with comments.
We’ll have a lot of times where they watch it with their note­book and we give them four or five things to find in the clip or this ses­sion of the game. It’s a lit­tle trea­sure hunt for these nuggets that they need to review.” Bob Rogers, Head Coach, Wittman-Hanson (Mass.)

7. Cre­ate team goals around more than wins and losses.

When the focus is on play­er devel­op­ment, it can be hard to gauge your team’s growth, espe­cial­ly with a younger team. You also might need to val­i­date your coach­ing deci­sions with con­cerned or frus­trat­ed par­ents. A good way to han­dle this is to build goals for your team that go deep­er than W/​Ls. With the goals report in Hudl, you can set bench­marks for team and play­er progress so you aren’t dis­cour­aged if team devel­op­ment doesn’t trans­late to wins.

You might not be able to roll out all these ideas with your team imme­di­ate­ly, but it’s impor­tant to start some­where. When you fuel your ath­letes’ devel­op­ment with video, the results will speak for themselves.