The Rio Rapids have become one of their region’s top teams due in part to their use of video.

The Rio Rapids haven’t become one of the most successful soccer clubs on the West Coast by accident. A partner with the Colorado Rapids of MLS through the Adidas Alliance Program, Rio has captured 107 New Mexico State Cup Championships since 2001 and placed 388 players in college programs. Rio knows how to win and develop talent.

Video has played a key role in the club’s ascension to the region’s elite. We got in touch with Tim Gallegos, Rio’s U13 coach, to get a peek behind the curtain on how the club used video to achieve its potential.

Have a Plan in Place

At the beginning of each fall and spring session, Gallegos develops a tactical periodization training plan for his teams. Each week focuses on a different aspect of the team’s tactics, ranging from defense to attack to transitions.

Gallegos also closely monitors any team needs that pop up during the season and allots time to deal with problem areas. This allows him flexibility to address certain areas he didn’t necessarily expect in his preseason planning.

“The first time I watch the match video, I evaluate our team in how they applied the concepts from the previous week’s training, and make notes on areas of needed improvement for the next time those training topics come up,” Gallegos said. “I then look to the next week’s training plan to see what training topics are coming up. I watch the video again and make notes on areas of improvement we can address in the next week’s training. And the cycle continues.”

Leverage Insights Through Data

Gallegos analyzes each game on his own, but he entrusts the stats to Hudl Assist. Hudl’s analysts break down each game, allowing his staff to identify team trends and address them in video sessions.

“Hudl Assist identifies team trends that further refine our training focuses,” Gallegos said. “This way I can give very specific coaching feedback to each player within our system and style of play. Having them watch video solidifies the image in their minds of their roles/responsibilities within our system/style.

“We use video examples, both good and bad moments, to show how solid technique allows us to effectively execute our tactics.”

With Assist, every match’s key moments are just a click away. He simply clicks on a stat to see a playlist of video associated with that number, whether it be corner kicks, scoring chances or finishes.

Share with the Players

As useful as video is in helping coaches identify issues, it’s just as critical for the players to use it as well. After all, they’re the ones on the pitch. The more they see both their successes and mistakes, the closer they’ll come to realizing their potential.

Watch video with your team, preferably before practice, to maximize learning. If you have time, one-on-one sessions are particularly helpful.

Share playlists with players so they can watch on their own. Include drawings and comments so they know exactly what to review. If you reference your comments again the next day in practice, the athletes will be more likely to retain the information.

“You can’t teach every phase of the game in one video session, so each time we review video, we review it with respect to where our team is in our tactical periodization plan for the season,” Gallegos said. “This allows us to break all of that information into smaller more digestible bits that we then take on to the training ground.”

Video is the ultimate development tool that will help your club win more games and get your players to the next level. Check out Hudl’s capabilities here.