Video is generally seen as a corrective tool, an efficient means of showing a player or team what they’re doing wrong and how to fix it. There is no doubting the truth in that line of thinking. Video provides tangible real evidence that eliminates biases and squashes arguments.
But only using video to point out mistakes limits its true power. Athletes and coaches both need to learn from their miscues, but video also has the ability to boost confidence in ways few other mediums can.
Consider the case of Thon Maker, a young center for the Milwaukee Bucks. After a promising rookie season in 2016-17, Maker’s development has stalled this year and he lost his starting spot. Instead of hammering the youngster for his struggles, Bucks consultant Tim Grgurich put together a 15-minute compilation of clips depicting Maker thriving in last season’s playoffs.
“He got me to watch on both ends of the floor, both defense and offense, to see and feel how aggressive I was on both ends of the floor,” Maker said in an interview with ESPN Milwaukee. “I was locked in. The energy was there every single possession.
“He just got me to watch those an from there, I’ve just taken off. Just aggressive. It’s kind of reminded me… I saw that’s a different player and I was like, ‘OK, I don’t know what happened between the end of the playoffs to now, but I figured out I’m going back to that old me.”
There are countless stories just like Maker’s across all sports. Even the most talented athletes are going to hit a rough patch and struggle at some point. Sometimes all they need is a reminder of their past success to get them back on track.
Legendary volleyball coach Terry Liskevych certainly understands that. The former U.S. women’s national team coach saves clips of each player over the first few months of the season and puts them into two-minute compilation videos. These highlights provide the athletes with a confidence boost and help develop a stronger relationship between them and their coach.
“Utilize video to catch them doing good, and to me, that’s as powerful a tool as anything,” Liskevych said. “Let’s turn it into a positive. All of us as coaches focus more on the negative than we should.”
“Positive corrective feedback, especially when linked to video as a visual tool, which is how most people learn, that means you can always do it.”
That shot of confidence is amplified when shared on social media. Sharing out highlight clips to the masses or calling out the successes of your players gives them the recognition they seek.
Video is the ultimate coaching tool for a myriad of reasons. It’s great for scouting, it helps correct athletes’ mistakes and shows coaches insights they might have missed during the live action. And when used in a positive manner, it possesses the ability to pump up players and remind them of what they’re capable of.