“There’s no greater asset than your eyes.”
In seven words, Joel Chapman, an offensive assistant at Capital High (W.Va.), perfectly describes why having instant replay on the sidelines can make the difference between winning and losing. Words are valuable, and telling a player what’s happening or what needs to be fixed can be very effective.
But sometimes the point won’t quite hit home, or the player will disagree with your assessment. It’s at this moment when Sideline becomes one of your most valuable coaching tools.
Chapman saw this firsthand last season. The Cougars’ offense was stuck in neutral during an early-season game, as its repeated attempts to establish a power running game proved fruitless. Chapman quickly identified the issue - one of his guards was picking up the wrong defensive lineman.
So Chapman gathered the offensive line around a monitor and pulled up a few plays using Sideline. He showed the players what mistakes were being made and the offense discovered its rhythm on the ensuing drive.
“It helps the understanding process,” Chapman said. “He started picking up the right guy and we really started moving the ball at that point. We needed that play to break things loose and once he’d seen that, we went out there on the next offensive series and moved the ball down the field and scored.”
Science proves that our minds aren’t capable of being objective, especially in the heat of battle. No one likes being told they’re wrong, and sometimes players take constructive criticism personally.
Sideline helps remove that tension. Instead of telling a player what he’s doing wrong, you can physically show him in the moment where his missteps are. And there’s no denying video proof.
“Just to be able to show the players what you’re talking about makes a huge difference,” Chapman said. “Right after the series you can show them and they can say, ‘Wow, I didn’t notice that,’ or, ‘Yeah, I see what you’re talking about there.’
“When you tell them something and they go out and do it right, it makes a big difference when they can actually see it. You can explain something to someone, but when they see it with their own eyes, it’s more personal. It takes it to another level.”
The Capital players didn’t resist the instant teaching. In fact, they embraced it wholeheartedly, conducting impromptu video sessions amongst themselves on the sidelines.
“They’re huddling together and actually helping each other out - ‘Here’s what I’m talking about out there,’” Chapman said. “They help each other, especially the younger guys. It’s awesome. I can’t say enough about it.”
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