Every team has an identity. Coaches want their team to be known for something. Shaka Smart, head basketball coach at the University of Texas, calls his style of play ‘Havoc.’ Steve Spurrier, former head football coach at the University of Florida, called his ‘Fun ‘n’ Gun.’
Will Corrigan, head boys lacrosse coach at Woodinville High School (Wash.) doesn’t have a fancy name for his team’s style of play, but he knew what identity he needed to instill.
“We knew we weren’t super athletic offensively so we needed to run long offensive possessions,” Corrigan said. “We want to hold the ball and give our defense a rest to make sure they’re fresh for the next possession.”
In theory, that sounds great. Extending possessions allows the defenders more time to sub in and out, and to give everyone a chance to catch their breath. The problem Corrigan was running into, however, was showing his players why extending possessions was helping the team.
That’s where Assist came in. Having our analysts break down their game footage, and have the stats for the game returned to him within 24 hours, allowed Corrigan to show his team, with statistical backing, why they needed to hold the ball for longer.
“With the stats we’re able to reflect, 'Are we playing the way we want to play or are we off base?'” Corrigan said. “After a few games I was able to say ‘We possessed the ball well in this game, and we had the ball for over 60 percent of the time,’ or ‘Hey, we didn’t do very well in this game and we were below 60, closer to 50 or even below that.’”
With his emphasis on that style of play, and using the information returned from Assist as a reference, Corrigan’s players began to access the website more and more. “There’s some guys who are going to watch it no matter if it’s broken down or not, but I definitely think this created an uptick in guys that wanted to watch film and it made it easier for them,” he said.
Once players bought in and were able to see their successes when controlling the ball, Corrigan was able to introduce more information.
“We need to shoot along with having the ball that much,” Corrigan explained. “It was helpful to see we’re possessing the ball for 60 percent of the time but we’re only shooting it 25 times, we probably need to be at 30.”
"I love the idea of them having stats, that’s kind of a new thing in all sports right now. If you use them properly it can be a great tool."
Getting the stats back from Assist allows coaches and players to go straight from their reports to the video, making it easy for a coach to show players a statistic, and its direct results on the game. “I love that you can click on the stat in the report and it will show you all of the clips,” Corrigan said. “The cerebralness of being able to use the stats in conjunction with how easy it is to look at games and watch certain possessions or certain clips and go from the stat.”
As players have watched more and more video, Corrigan has seen their understanding grow as well. “It’s a powerful tool to help guys with their lacrosse IQ and help them understand who they are as players,” he said.
Let Assist break down your games for you and join the growing list of coaches that are using stats and video as a way to develop game plans and identities for their teams.