Every Sport Needs Video

It’s not just for foot­ball — film can and should be a part of every team’s rou­tine. Athletic direc­tor Jameson Pelkey explains how his water polo and wrestling teams use Hudl.

Every Sport Needs Video

It’s not just for foot­ball — film can and should be a part of every team’s rou­tine. Athletic direc­tor Jameson Pelkey explains how his water polo and wrestling teams use Hudl.

We want all of our var­si­ty teams to com­pete at the very high­est lev­el, and in order to do so, we know that they need to be able to review film. 

Everyone knows our foot­ball, lacrosse and bas­ket­ball teams review film dur­ing their sea­sons. But what most peo­ple don’t know, is our water polo team is doing the same thing.

Make Video Part of the Routine 

Our water polo team already prac­ticed a cou­ple hours a day, five days a week, mak­ing it a chal­lenge for head coach Jeff Fiore to fit film review ses­sions into the reg­u­lar prac­tice schedule. 

They start­ed by tak­ing some time out of their Saturday work­outs, or an hour out of prac­tice, to review film. It became rou­tine to record Saturday scrim­mages, then review the film imme­di­ate­ly afterwards.

Time wasn’t the only chal­lenge. There’s no spot or angle to film from that can get the entire pool in the shot. But set­ting the cam­era up in the bal­cony seat­ing area, above the pool, got the best shot pos­si­ble. And real­ly intro­duced the ben­e­fits of film review. 

The coach­es start­ed review­ing how our team was spaced in the water. Being able to review the play­ers’ tran­si­tions from offense to defense — a big pri­or­i­ty — was extreme­ly ben­e­fi­cial. It also helped the counter-defense significantly.

It’s been awe­some for us because our boys have nev­er real­ly been able to watch them­selves play on film before, so we record every game, and ana­lyze it over the next few days,” said Fiore.

Being able to review performance is extremely beneficial.

Get Players on Board

Fiore quick­ly found val­ue in the abil­i­ty for our water polo play­ers to watch the film on their own time. Since they can view it as many times as they’d like, then have con­ver­sa­tions about what was reviewed the next day, they jumped on it right away. 

Those team film ses­sions dur­ing prac­tice start­ed show­ing their worth too. Our coach­es could use the film to show play­ers with­out the ball how they should be mov­ing, or where they should be placed.

There was no real learn­ing curve for our ath­letes at all. In fact, now after home games, kids basi­cal­ly start review­ing the film as they leave the pool! 

A Resource for Every Team

As St. John’s ath­let­ic direc­tor, I want all of our teams to be able to access this valu­able resource. Every team should have the same capa­bil­i­ties and oppor­tu­ni­ties, whether it be new uni­forms, equip­ment, film, what­ev­er the case may be. 

That’s why we have our fenc­ing, wrestling and rug­by teams uti­liz­ing video analy­sis as well.

Our assis­tant wrestling coach, Ryan Harding, said video has already impact­ed sev­er­al areas of his coach­ing. He uses slow-motion video to ana­lyze posi­tion­al per­for­mance cues with his ath­letes, and estab­lish strate­gies for off­sea­son train­ing. He also reviews past match­es to pre­pare for the same oppo­nents in the future.

We want to stay con­sis­tent with what oth­er schools are doing, or even be ahead of the game. These are just a few of the ways a few of our teams use video. Our coach­es and stu­dent-ath­letes love this learn­ing tool — and as the say­ing goes, the eye in the sky don’t lie! 

Pelkey took over as ath­let­ic direc­tor at St. John’s Prep on July 1, 2019. He joined the staff in August 2006 as an assis­tant var­si­ty foot­ball coach, became a staff assis­tant in the ath­let­ics depart­ment in 2007, and was named assis­tant ath­let­ic direc­tor for grades 6, 7 and 8 in 2015. A native of Barre, Vt., Pelkey holds a B.S. in sports man­age­ment and an M.S. in ath­let­ic admin­is­tra­tion, both from Endicott College in Beverly, where he was a three-sport athlete.