When Aaron Dalgord inherited the CCYF Titans in Washington a few years back, he quickly found that while the team had talent, there were some odd-fitting pieces. The coach went as far as to call the squad a “team of misfits."
Dalgord soon found his original assessment was a bit off. The players blended better than he anticipated, but the previous staff hadn't spent much time breaking things down for them. The players often didn’t understand what was going on or the reasons behind certain play calls or assignments. The talent was there, but the teaching was lacking.
The new coach quickly changed that. He implemented Hudl right away and used the video from a few scrimmages to introduce his team to their responsibilities. The improvements were almost immediate - the Titans finished with two wins two years ago but won both division and CCYF titles last year.
Dalgord found the biggest jump came with the play of his offensive line. The group struggled previously when faced with different fronts - seeing the opposition switch between four, five and six-man lines threw them into disarray. By using video, Dalgord broke down the players’ specific responsibilities and helped them recognize where they were needed most.
"Too many times the offensive line guys are the ones that have the toughest job that there is,” Dalgord said. “A lot of times we’re trying to correct that when we’re on the field, but it’s not until we break down the film and really study those players that this becomes obvious.
"They know that if they’re going against a 4-4, we can highlight different aspects of what the blocking assignments are. Do we double team here or release and pick up the linebacker at the second level? Who’s the first person to make content with the defensive player? What position are you in and where are your hands? Whose responsibility is it to take this linebacker that’s blitzing? They get to see it firsthand too as we’re breaking down film and we’re able to show them, ‘Right here you did great, but you didn’t release quickly enough to the second level to get that linebacker.’ It’s been really useful for our guys in the trenches."
Once the linemen recognized what they were facing, they certainly proved to be up to the task. Check out the execution up front on this long scoring run by Kellen Milliken.
Early on Dalgord saw that his linemen weren’t realizing their mistakes in real time. He’d call them to the sidelines and try to fix the manner, but the athletes didn’t believe they were guilty of making mistakes.
"You can try to talk to a player when they come to the sideline and say, ‘Hey, you’re dropping your head here,’ their first instinct is, ‘No, I’m not,’” Dalgord said. "But when they’re able to watch it on film and they’re able to slow it down, it gives them the ability to see it firsthand and say, ‘Yeah, I was.’ Then you can fix it over the course of the next week, just walking them through it."
Turns out the Titans weren’t a band of misfits after all. They just needed proper coaching and the ability to see their mistakes from a different angle. Dalgord provided both to them and the results speak for themselves.
"It’s easier for players to understand it when they can see it firsthand,” Dalgord said. "As a coach you can talk about it and talk about it and talk about it. But until the players can see it, it’s very difficult to make those changes. You can actually slow down that film and break it down for them and that’s what’s really going to help them in the long run."
Check out what Hudl can do for your youth athletes by clicking here.