Today’s technology has really changed our civilization.  A lot of times for the better, but sometimes not so much (think kid watching movies on phone in bedroom on a nice sunny day).

Nevertheless, as coaches we have to take the opportunity to embrace the technology.  How can we utilize it to get your athletes better?  How can we utilize it to make us as coaches better?

I picked my daughter up from soccer practice yesterday and she mentioned that they spent the majority of their practice watching game film.  Film from their team’s game and film from her next opponent’s game.

She didn’t quite know if it was productive or not.  What I told her is that coaches have been using game film for years.  It helps dissect a team’s weaknesses.  It also helps to see how your team has been playing, good and bad.

Because of our technology, taking video has become that much easier.  And it is an eye-opener for an athlete.  As I get to an age where it might be a little more difficult for me to show the correct form on an explosive movement, like a long jump, I can just whip out my phone, click on Youtube, and there is an example of what I want my athletes to do.

It might seem obvious how a video can help your athlete, but let’s run down some of the reasons:

  • Help to dissect technique for your athlete – running, hitting, pitching, shooting a basketball, etc.
  • If the video has a timer, it can help you time athletes a lot more accurately than a stopwatch.
  • Some apps have the ability to take two videos and do a split screen shot of both. Thus, you could do a before and after video.  This way it might be easier to illustrate improvements.
  • Some of the video apps allow you to draw on the screen itself so you can illustrate to your athlete where something should be. Meaning, your body should be at this angle rather than what we see on the screen.
  • One of the best uses that I see is calling out athletes on their effort. Sometimes athletes just don’t have a sense their effort level.  They think they’re putting forth 100% effort, but when we video them and show them a drill it might show otherwise.  Just ask them, “What do you see when you are running this drill?  Is that as hard as you can go?”  A lot of athletes will be honest with themselves and admit they probably could go harder.  This is big.  It shows that we just aren’t picking on them, but we see a level of effort that is missed.  Thus, they are missing an opportunity to get better.

Video isn’t just for athletes.  It is for coaches as well.  I can take video of my coaches and allow them to critique how they coach.  Maybe they thought they nailed a particular session, but upon looking back at the video they realized they could have been more engaging.

If I am doing a presentation, once again I can take video to see how my delivery was.  Did I do as awesome a job that I thought I did or did I say one too many UM’s and LIKE’s?

Take advantage of how easy it is to video your athletes.  It is a coach’s dream and can help illustrate your points that much better.  Feel free to leave a comment in the box below of other ways taking video helps your athletes.