Andy Peat, the first team video analysis coach with the Vancouver Whitecaps, is from a tiny town in New Zealand. When he realized at 16 that he wasn’t going to make it as a player, he decided to pursue coaching. After double majoring in sports management and sports coaching, he went down the coaching line, linking much of his experience with video analysis.
Peat has been using Sportscode and Hudl products for 10 years. He’s worked for the New Zealand and Canadian national teams, and is now using his knowledge of video analysis in his role with the Whitecaps. Doing not only his operational, day-to-day tasks, he also strives to create a strategic vision to ensure his work is successful. He believes the key to success is focusing on the present and the future.
Peat describes an operational analyst as someone who must work in the here and now. His tasks, such as filming games, coding footage, assessing performance and generating statistics, must be done on schedule.
“That’s so valuable,” says Peat. “But often that’s just where we live.”
He stresses the importance of the strategic side of the job as well. He explains this is about creating a vision, a culture change. You need to get buy-in from the team, focus on long term planning, and have one eye on the future.
Peat’s strategy for a culture change in the Whitecaps is an in-line system, from their 14-year-old teams to the professional level. “If you don’t have a plan, you just live in the operational side,” Peat said.
During season, you’re going to spend most of your time on the operational side of things. While it may be necessary to lean 80% to the operational side, you still need to have an eye on the future. Once offseason hits, you’ll be ready to start shifting more to your strategic side.
When Peat first got to Vancouver, he created his strategic vision—he wanted to implement Hudl effectively within the Whitecaps coaching staff.
Their two professional teams, Vancouver Whitecaps FC and Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2, along with their four residency teams, U-14, U-15, U-17, and U-19, all use Hudl. Across six teams, they play at least 150 games a year. All of them must be analyzed, uploaded and distributed. When implementing a new system, like how Peat integrated Hudl, it’s important to get the coaches and players on board.
He had to understand the staff dynamic and how they worked to make the implementation successful. “Seek to understand before being understood,” Peat said.
So he created a schedule for the integration—he wanted to spend his first year building up Hudl. “I’ve worked with them for 10 years, I started on them when I was 17, I truly believe in those products to make our model work is how we're going to be truly successful.”
Peat plans to get all six teams on board—that means 24 coaches and 144 players. After his first five months, he has eight coaches and 30 players trained.
“Creating a vision is easy,” Peat said. “But the challenge comes with implementing it because you need buy-in. With that buy in, comes cultural change. The Hudl software and the products they provide are enabling us to do that at the Whitecaps.”
To learn more about how Peat uses video at Vancouver Whitecaps FC, check out his four part series on our blog.