“That’s the way we’ve always done it.”
This common phrase isn’t harmful on its face - in fact, it’s important to have long-standing processes and traditions. But that doesn’t mean helpful innovations should be ignored when they arise.
This is where video comes in. Coaches have long conducted film sessions to review performance, but that’s just scratching the surface of what video is capable of. Implementing video into your day-to-day processes could have a monumental impact. Here are a few ways in which it’s changing the game.
White Board to Screen
The dry-erase board is a staple of any locker room. Coaches use it for a multitude of tasks, including drawing up plays, assigning matchups and posting motivational quotes.
Handy as the whiteboard is, video is the next evolution. Instead of drawing stick figures and arrows, you can actually call up instances for teaching. Want to teach your athletes a new play? Pull up video of a team running that set and walk them through it. Need to get your players hyped? Lose the quote on the whiteboard and run a highlight video of their finest plays.
“We used to do everything by hand. We had a big whiteboard where we’d track every rotation and key stats from that data so we could make adjustments in certain areas,” Rick Tune, the volleyball coach at Punahou High School (Hawaii), said. “Video analysis is absolutely critical in player development, and it takes a lot of commitment. You cannot maximize your full potential without video helping you understand the game.”
Paper to Video
Between stat sheets, shot charts, practice plans and player notes, paper is among the most common ways coaches communicate with their players. Video is the more effective (not to mention environmentally friendly) solution.
This isn’t to say that stat sheets don’t have their use, but adding video to the numbers makes them so much more valuable. Instead of handing your players a shot chart, use video instead. They can watch each field goal attempt to monitor their form or see how a defender played them. It's just as useful in scouting opponents.
“You can’t put a value on that. You really can’t," Ryan Fretz, the head coach at Clyde High School (Ohio), said. "Just to be able to click on that and look at what type of shots he’s taking, you stick it right in the scouting report - 75 percent of his shots came off a down screen. Three of his 10 shots were catch-and-shoot, the rest were all taking it to the hole. It allows us to get that edge, to know what the guy is going to do before he gets the ball.”
Rather than relying solely on a traditional stat sheet, check out the video behind each number. On Hudl, simply clicking on a statistic will recall video of all the instances you want to see. Frustrated by your team’s turnovers? Check out the video to see how you could have better attacked the defense. Curious about why the opposition was so successful on third down? One click will bring up each third down opportunity, allowing you to spot the breakdowns in execution.
“It’s easy point and click and I can get the information I need,” Jon Spencer, the soccer coach at Servite High School (Calif.), said. “I just need to see video broken down into categories and then I’m able to make my own assessment.”
Opinions to Conclusions
Thanks to the emotions and anxiety surrounding a game, our brains aren’t capable of viewing the action through a truly objective lens. Due to biases, preconceived notions and the intensity of the contest, our minds concoct a narrative that may be mostly accurate but isn’t 100 percent true.
“The saying is that the tape don’t lie.”
Video corrects these assumptions. It allows you to go back and view things objectively and from a different angle. You’ll see things that you may have missed originally or overlooked in the heat of the moment.
“I needed to see it. In a game situation from a coaches or players point of view, you don’t take notice of what the whole picture is,” Matthew Taylor, the senior football manager at Hartpury College, said. “You can only see what’s happening on the ball or around the ball. To take a step back and watch it on the video, you see the whole picture.”
Arguments to Explanations
No one likes to be told they’re doing something wrong, and athletes are certainly no exception. Whether a player realizes his errors or is simply caught up in the heat of the action, it can be difficult to get him or her to admit wrongdoing on the sidelines.
But there is no denying the video. The footage clearly shows what’s happening. Instead of bickering with an athlete who disagrees with your assessment, you can quickly point out what needs to be fixed and get on the same page.
“I can’t tell you how many times as a coach you would talk to a kid on the sideline and you say, ‘You’re doing this wrong.’ And he says, ‘No I’m not. I’m doing this,’” Duane Maranda, the head football coach at Westerly High School (R.I.), said. “They don’t necessarily understand the big picture and what you’re asking them to do. But when you show it to them, there’s no arguing with that.”
There is no doubting the power of video or the impact it can have on your team. It makes processes more efficient, reintroduces objectivity and ends disagreements before they even begin. Experience the benefits of video for yourself.