Take Your Data to the Practice Field: Part 1

In Part 1 of this two-part video inter­view, Chris Coach Vass” Vasseur shows us all the data he tracks on every play — and how it gets you the vital answers quickly.

Take Your Data to the Practice Field: Part 1

In Part 1 of this two-part video inter­view, Chris Coach Vass” Vasseur shows us all the data he tracks on every play — and how it gets you the vital answers quickly.

0:25 — Coach Vass’ foot­ball journey

From The U to semi-pro to Juco to D3 and even Tom Brady’s high school alma mater, Vasseur’s been around the block. He talks about the role data and video have played in his career ascent.

8:00 — Getting help from afar?

For coach­ing staffs who want to get more into data, but just don’t have the man­pow­er or resources, could hir­ing a remote ana­lyst be the answer? Coach Vass makes the case for the pow­er of the e-meet­ing”.

13:30 — Put it on paper first. Really.

The first thing Coach Vass says to do as a coor­di­na­tor get­ting into the data? Sketch it all out on paper, and orga­nize the columns how you want it to look in Hudl.

16:20 — Don’t add columns. Manage sets.

Not all columns are cre­at­ed equal. Coach Vass explains why this is such an impor­tant step. 

21:00 — How to tag for every situation

There’s more to it than just the red zone. Coach Vass goes over all of his sit­u­a­tion­al tags, includ­ing first play of dri­ve, sud­den change, high and low red zones, first play in a series, and even some­thing he calls Scrubini.”

24:10 — The val­ue of alt personnel’

What if you chart­ed per­son­nel group­ings by what they would be if every­body lined up at their nat­ur­al posi­tion? Why is this impor­tant? Coach Vass makes the case for cre­at­ing this col­umn in your data.

32:50 — The impor­tance of using prac­tice scripts

Coach Vass says switch­ing to Hudl’s prac­tice scripts years ago was one of the best deci­sions I ever made.” He explains why.

34:00 — Charting for­ma­tion vari­a­tions, for­ma­tion shells and for­ma­tion groups

Why add these columns? Consider, for instance, that run­ning back loca­tion can give away a lot about the play. This is an effec­tive way to track more nuanced tendencies.

37:20 — Don’t dilute your data!

Be care­ful adding things that frag­ment your data. Coach Vass shows you effi­cient ways to measure:

  • Formation in bound­ary (38:25)
  • Shift vs. motion (39:00)
  • Direction/​action (40:25)
  • Blocking adjust­ment (43:35)

44:45 — Be care­ful when track­ing RPO’s

If your opponent’s reac­tion is based on your defense, not what they want to do, why both­er with run-pass ten­den­cies on RPO’s? Says Coach Vass, If you’re study­ing ten­den­cies on a ten­den­cy that’s based on a defense, it’s useless.”

46:15 — The val­ue of track­ing offen­sive concept’

Coach Vass uses the exam­ple of scout­ing dou­ble wing teams, which typ­i­cal­ly run a short list of plays from a vari­ety of block­ing schemes. By tag­ging just the play, and not the con­cept, you lose the abil­i­ty to under­stand why it’s run a cer­tain way against cer­tain fronts.

53:00 — How it all looks together

Coach Vass shows how he’s quick­ly able to fil­ter through all this data to get the right answers, right away. And by the way, he reminds, you can run cus­tom reports on all of this.

1:02:10 — You’ve got the film. Now, put away the charts.

What’s the first thing you do when you get the film? I got­ta start tag­ging, I got­ta start tag­ging,’ right?” Coach Vass asks. Watch the film. Put down the remote. I try not to take notes. Write down your over­all feel­ings. That will inform a lot of the ques­tions you get asked.”

1:04:00 — Advice on chart­ing pass protection

This is one of the trick­i­er things to track. But Vass offers some sug­ges­tions, includ­ing mark­ing which way your cen­ter turns.

Vass breaks down all the dif­fer­ent field posi­tions he charts, includ­ing the yel­low zone, high” and low” red zones, the free-wheel­ing zone” and the humor­ous­ly-named Alumni zone.”

1:07:00 — No goal line defense? Really?

In 14 years of coach­ing, Vass says he’s nev­er put in a goal line defense. Really! And his ratio­nale is sim­ple — if you don’t have six good down line­men, what’s the point? Be aggres­sive instead.

1:08:55 — Look to the future with an issues” column

Vass took this idea from Alabama. If there’s some­thing they need to have an answer for next year, they’ll tag it now.

1:10:05 — Charting down and dis­tance group

Not every coach breaks up their third down play-call­ing ten­den­cies by the same yardage to go. Here’s a help­ful hack for when you pick up on that.