Learn how Sutherland Sharks U13 coach Allan Edmondson uses video to engage players, improve tactics and aid development throughout the season.

The U13 team at the Sutherland Sharks Football Club used video to help players review and improve their performance throughout the 2018 season. The team has been guided by the philosophies of head coach Allan Edmondson, who has a strong belief in the importance of video analysis and is one of the few people in the U13 space using both Hudl and Sportscode.

Edmondson is a Football Federation of Australia (FFA) accredited coach and has completed his A license from the the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). He’s spent the last 30 years coaching and developing young football players. His initial exposure to football analysis was in 1980 as an assistant coach to NPL side Blacktown City. There he was asked to record the involvement of a former Socceroo in a match the old fashioned way—with pen and paper.

Edmondson came back to the Youth League in 2013–2014, when pen and paper had been replaced by iPads. In 2015, he started looking for ways to add value to his role as an assistant coach. He heard about Sportscode in 2017 and adopted it because of the flexibility it offered. In 2018, he was introduced to Hudl and combined the two tools—Sportscode to break up the game, and Hudl to facilitate distribution of the video footage and transport the data from Sportscode.

“[Video analysis] multiplies the learning capability of players tenfold. Football is a game based on a lot of opinions. If somebody had a good or a bad game, you need evidence to back that up and that is why I like to quantify matches as much as I can.” Allan Edmondson, Sutherland Sharks Head Coach

Edmondson outlined a number of key points on how video can engage and develop players as young as the U13 to be ready for the next level of play.

  • Incorporate video feedback in the team’s weekly routine for the season, making sure not to miss a week.
  • Give players the opportunity to watch the whole game once before breaking it down. This will help them quantify their own performance in terms of passes, tackles, interceptions, etc.
  • Deliver key moments in the form of a presentation. Keep it short to maintain players' interest.
  • Personalise presentations with notes to motivate players.
  • Include the defense as well as the offense. To do this, the Sharks identify shutouts and give credit to all players contributing to them.
  • Save the positives for the end of the presentation to end the session on a motivational note.
  • Involve parents who want to invest in their kids. They deserve to see how their players are performing. And when parents are stakeholders in the process, they can help divide the workload. According to Edmondson, parents happily volunteer to capture the games on their own cameras so the video footage can be used and distributed.
  • Use Hudl to share best practices through clips of other players and teams who demonstrate ideal playing tactics.

According to Edmondson, acceptance was good among the players, though the degree of interest varied. Players who are driven to achieve—like Jaden Gasking, the team’s leading goal scorer—used video to their maximum benefit.

“Jaden was extremely active in keeping track of statistics and uploading highlights. That made other teams and coaches notice him and his performance in the season.” Allan Edmondson, Sutherland Sharks Head Coach

As someone with years of coaching experience and who believes in the effectiveness of video analysis, Edmondson has a lot of advice for coaches and others who want to start using video for their teams. Start with the basics by identifying goals scored, moments in possession and chances created both by your team and the opposition. Once these are identified, look at the context and the buildup to those moments to analyse play patterns.

Edmondson will soon move from his current youth league position with the Sharks to assist the first grade side, and has plans to work in statewide camps and attend the Australian Institute of Sport program. He believes Hudl and Sportscode will be extremely effective in bringing people together through their ability to transport statistics and footage around different states, even as far as Western Australia.

“Hudl and Sportscode are vital to the accelerated learning opportunities presented to players in both areas. I look forward to the exciting developments both platforms bring to assist player development.” Allan Edmondson, Sutherland Sharks Head Coach

Learn more about how Sportscode and Hudl help teams win.