NBA Veteran Proves Video is a Valuable Tool for Developing Young Athletes

Video isn’t solely the solution for older athletes. Using it for those at a formative age can show massive benefits.

NBA Veteran Proves Video is a Valuable Tool for Developing Young Athletes

Video isn’t solely the solution for older athletes. Using it for those at a formative age can show massive benefits.

It’s Tuesday night and, as is routine, a troop of teenagers assemble at Michael Stewart’s home. They make up the sixth grade team of the Each 1 Teach 1 basketball club, and they’ve come for pizza, camaraderie and laughs.

But this isn’t the typical pizza party, and once dinner concludes the group moves to the living room. Stewart, a former Cal forward and 10-year NBA veteran, pulls up the team’s game video from the past week. They had their fun. Now it’s time to get better.

“This generation of kids responds to video, whether it’s YouTube or whatever,” Stewart said. “I think that’s the best way to get their attention. For them, it’s showing them some of the good things. They respond to it because they get to watch themselves on TV. And when bad things come up, they’re able to see right away that maybe what they thought was going on wasn’t really going on.”

Stewart watched almost no video in high school, but that changed drastically once he reached college and even more so in the NBA. He saw firsthand the power of video and the impact it can have.

So when his son, Sean, started playing, Stewart used Hudl to record his games. He taught Sean through video and shared it with the other parents. And when the coach of the U12 team left the club, Stewart stepped in and implemented video as a way to upgrade his squad.

“Kids think they know everything, but they really don’t,” Stewart said. “They have a lot to learn, especially young kids. When you tell them something, they don’t want to listen. If you tell a kid to box out, nine times out of 10 they’ll tell you that they did box out, even though you’re sitting there watching them and they didn’t. So I started using video as a way to correct some of the mistakes that they were making.”

Hudl is widely recognized for helping athletes at the high school and college levels, but Stewart argues it’s just as, if not more, important for younger players. Still in their formative years, middle schoolers can learn a great deal from watching video and receiving instruction beyond the words of their coach.

“It’s a big part of the game no matter how old you are,” Stewart said. “(Video is) one of the most effective teaching tools because the kids actually get to see what they’re doing. If you tell a kid to slide their feet and kids are blowing by them, you can show them the video and say, ‘Look, you’re not doing what you’re supposed to do defensively. Stop blaming someone else. It’s a good way to get some accountability.

“If there’s no video, it’s a ‘he said, she said.’ But the video never lies and it clears up all of that.”

Created by former NBA star Amare Stoudemire, E1T1 has quickly become one of the nation’s top club programs. It has produced high NBA draft picks such as DeAngelo Russell, Ben Simmons and Austin Rivers. To keep building that pipeline, it recently created younger teams to help develop top talent internally.

Stewart has taken that job and run with it. He’s passionate about developing his players to get them ready for the next level, and video is one of his top tools in doing so.

“I use it as No. 1 just a teaching tool so I can show the kids the things we’re doing right, the things we’re doing wrong and the things we need to correct,” Stewart said. “No matter how old you are, and it may be more important when you’re younger, to get that instant feedback.”

Stewart was progressive in finding a way to improve his young athletes and prepare them for the next stage. Follow his lead and see what Hudl can do for your club team.

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