Advice for Landing a Job as a Video Coordinator

The crowd vying for video coor­di­na­tor jobs is a dense one, but these tips will help you break through the noise.

Advice for Landing a Job as a Video Coordinator

The crowd vying for video coor­di­na­tor jobs is a dense one, but these tips will help you break through the noise.

As more teams embrace the com­bined pow­er of stats and video, video coor­di­na­tor jobs have emerged at a grow­ing rate. The quest for any edge, no mat­ter how small it may seem, is a nev­er-end­ing one, and orga­ni­za­tions are tru­ly begin­ning to grasp the val­ue that video coor­di­na­tors bring to the table.

Despite the growth of the pro­fes­sion, actu­al­ly lock­ing down one of the cov­et­ed posi­tions remains a bat­tle. If you want a seat at the table, you’re going to have to fight for it. It’s going to take a blend of skill, deter­mi­na­tion, per­sis­tence and luck.

But, accord­ing to sev­er­al video coor­di­na­tors we’ve spo­ken with recent­ly, the trek up the moun­tain is well worth it. We reached out to them to get their top tips on snag­ging a video coor­di­na­tor gig.

Make Relationships

One of the most overused clich­es in job search­es is, It’s all about who you know.” This line holds a good deal of truth, but sim­ply hav­ing a stocked Rolodex isn’t enough. You have to build rela­tion­ships with those peo­ple and prove your abil­i­ty and work ethic.

Take the advice of Teddy Owens, who spent six sea­sons in var­i­ous roles at Oklahoma State and Nebraska before land­ing the head coach­ing job at Carrollwood Day High in Tampa, Fla., this off­sea­son. Owens used his con­nec­tions to orig­i­nal­ly become a grad­u­ate assis­tant under then-coach Lon Kruger at Oklahoma State. Once Kruger saw Owens’ tal­ent and val­ue, he rec­om­mend­ed his assis­tant to Miles.

I think you’ve got to put your­self out there, work camps, and meet as many dif­fer­ent peo­ple as you can,” Owens said. Most peo­ple in the pro­fes­sion want to help oth­er peo­ple. They might not always share all their plays, but I think for the most part col­lege coach­es and high school coach­es who get it want to help peo­ple and they want to help the game.

Develop Trust

In order to get coach­es to stump for you to their peers (or hire you them­selves), you must prove your­self wor­thy of that praise. Matt Reynolds, video coor­di­na­tor for the Boston Celtics, makes a point of arriv­ing at the facil­i­ty before the coach­ing staff each morn­ing so he can be ready for them. They depend on his ear­ly reports, and he delivers.

Prepare for the unex­pect­ed. Days rarely pro­ceed exact­ly as you planned when you wake up, so set your­self up for any surprises.

There are always pre­dictable and unpre­dictable aspects to your work­flow,” Reynolds said. Whether it’s a game day or non-game day, you have no idea how the way that the last game played out is going to affect what you do on a giv­en day. That’s the nature of the busi­ness. Every day is different.”

Don’t Be Afraid to Start Small

Most aspir­ing video coor­di­na­tors have dreams of nab­bing a low­er-tier job with an NBA or Division I squad and work­ing their way up the lad­der. While this road map is cer­tain­ly pos­si­ble, it’s not the only path available.

You will like­ly have to start at a low­er-tier col­lege to get your foot in the door, and you may have to do it for lit­tle or no money. 

It’s all a part of the process and all part of learn­ing how bad you real­ly want this,” Weston Strayer, the Assistant Director of Basketball Operations at Radford, said. You have to have a great sup­port sys­tem around you to help you through it, because it is a great com­mit­ment and it’s hard to know that some­times you’ve earned a master’s degree and I’m watch­ing friends blow­ing up in busi­ness jobs or doing oth­er things, and some­times I feel stuck behind. But it’s all about keep­ing your eyes on the big pic­ture and know­ing that you’re work­ing towards that goal.”

But no mat­ter how small your role might seem, get­ting involved in mean­ing­ful ways and mak­ing your coach­es’ lives eas­i­er will earn you expe­ri­ence and the respect of the coach­ing staff.

Just put your­self out there, take risks, take some jobs that maybe don’t pay a whole lot,” Owens said. Just do what­ev­er you can do to get in, whether that’s high school on a fresh­man or a JV team. Just get your foot in the door and prove yourself.”

Find Your Niche

Try to find some­thing spe­cif­ic that you bring to the table bet­ter than any­one else does. It will build trust amongst the coach­es and increase your value.

Zak Boisvert did just this with PickAndPop​.net. He found a niche by cre­at­ing tip videos, play break­downs and coach­ing edits. Once his con­tent gained trac­tion, he was want­ed at speak­ing events and gained more than 5,000 YouTube subscribers.

Owens found his niche by cre­at­ing in-depth, com­pre­hen­sive play­er pack­ets at AAU tour­na­ments. That effort caught the eye of Miles, who was search­ing for a new mem­ber for Nebraska’s admin­is­tra­tive staff. Owens’ hard work and inge­nu­ity gave him a leg up on oth­er candidates.

I want­ed to make an effort to be some­one that would do any­thing and every­thing to help the pro­gram out,” Owens said. Coach Kruger was sit­ting next to coach Miles at one tour­na­ment and coach Miles said, Hey, who makes these books for you?’ And he said, My GA, Teddy Owens, does.’ And Miles said, Would you mind if I talked to him about an open­ing?’ We start­ed talk­ing and had a lot of stuff in com­mon. We kind of hit it off and he gave me the oppor­tu­ni­ty to come to Nebraska.”

Don’t Limit Yourself

For many indi­vid­u­als, becom­ing a video coor­di­na­tor is the des­ti­na­tion of a life­long dream. The respon­si­bil­i­ty of break­ing down stats and video for the smartest minds in sports is a true honor.

But don’t shoe­horn your­self into that role alone. Different oppor­tu­ni­ties can arise along your career path, and it’s impor­tant to posi­tion your­self as a ver­sa­tile per­son who can per­form a vari­ety of func­tions. Keep your mind open to dif­fer­ent roles, as they can not only open new career paths but also make you more attrac­tive to poten­tial employers.

This was huge for Strayer, who spent a year as an assis­tant coach at a Division II pro­gram before mov­ing to Radford this year. He got expe­ri­ence in recruit­ing, mar­ket­ing and sports infor­ma­tion, expe­ri­ences that great­ly strength­ened his resume.

That helped to sell me to coach­es in this next cycle, to be able to say, I’ve done some of the things that most peo­ple who are look­ing at this job haven’t done,’” Strayer said. It gave me a lit­tle bit of a leg up.

If you can sell your­self on some­one that you’re not one-dimen­sion­al, it real­ly helps make you out as some­one who can han­dle all these roles and help a pro­gram as a whole as opposed to just one spe­cif­ic area.”

The mar­ket for video coor­di­na­tors is a crowd­ed one, and the com­pe­ti­tion is fierce. But digest­ing and find­ing val­ue in video is a labor of love. If you are tru­ly invest­ed in analy­sis, you won’t mind the long hours or low pay.

And the pay­off, accord­ing to those cur­rent­ly in the posi­tion, is more than worth it. If you can devel­op trust, prove your worth and devel­op strong con­nec­tions that will vouch for you, the oppor­tu­ni­ty to find a career exists. If you have any fur­ther skills or expe­ri­ences you believe help in start­ing a career as a video coor­di­na­tor, feel free to leave them in the com­ments below.