Injuries are a part of the game, but with video you can catch the warning signs early. Learn how.

Whether throwing a baseball, heaving a discus or exploding out of the blocks, proper technique is not only key to a solid performance, it can be the difference between good and harmful habits.

In many cases, overhauling your technique in the middle of the season can be difficult, and doesn’t always lead to immediate change. That's why using early spring to develop good habits is so important.

Video could be the main ingredient to making your spring a success, both in mastering technique and reducing the risk of injury.

Use Video to Give Live Feedback

By using an app like Hudl Technique, you can use an iOS or Android device to record your athletes in practice and provide live feedback. The app allows you to dissect movement in slow motion. The ability to fine-tune an athlete’s form frame-by-frame can help you uncover areas for improvement.

Consider the pitcher in baseball. Proper pronation of the throwing forearm is a difficult technique to teach. Too little or too much at various stages of a pitcher’s delivery can lead to arm problems over time. Pronation can often be difficult to spot at full speed; however, the ability to play it back at 1/8 speed can help uncover these tendencies.

Record Early and Often to Track Progress

I suggest recording every athlete from the very first practice, and continuing that process every few days until the season starts. This will help you get a baseline for technique and track progress over time. Research tells us it takes weeks to change a habit—by having a video history of every athlete, you’ll be able to confirm that the proper changes are taking place.

Minimize Downtime at Practice–Put All Those Devices to Good Use

No matter the sport, coaches are heavily outnumbered by the amount of athletes on a team. For example, high school track coaches often cover multiple events, making it difficult to monitor everything happening at practice – let alone record each of your athletes. But, I’m betting most of those athletes have their own smartphone because of course they do.

Put those devices to good use. Have them record each other during practice when not actively performing a drill or event. This frees you up to get hands-on with your coaching, it will also keep everyone engaged and minimize the number of people standing around. When they record with Hudl Technique, athletes can share every rep with you, so you can review it all after practice, athlete by athlete.

Double-Check Technique Throughout the Season

You put a lot of work into getting things right this spring. The last thing you want is for those efforts to fall flat come game time. Once the season starts, it’s good to periodically record each athlete at games, matches and meets to keep them accountable.

Winning feels good, but at the end of the day, we want our athletes to build healthy habits. Video is simply another important tool to help instill proper technique and protect against injury – the number one priority for every good coach.

See it in action.