“Video homework” for your players
Posted by Dean Holden at February 22nd, 2013
By Mark Upton, Coach Enhancement Platform, 11 August 2012
The television coverage of the London Olympic Games over the last 2 weeks has given viewers a smorgasbord of action across a range of different sports. My son, whilst only 4 years old, has been captivated at different times, watching the unfolding events with both curiosity and keen interest. He was particularly impressed with a Lebron James slam dunk in the USA v Argentina basketball game, quickly grabbing his basketball and imitating the dunk on his mini-hoop in the family room.
All this got me thinking again about the value youth players can reap from observing the playing of their sport, including via digital media (tv/dvd/internet). It reminded me of a couple of different articles I have stored away on this topic. One is by Daniel Coyle (The Talent Code author) and titled “stare to win”. Coyle talks about how staring at/observing high quality performances is useful due to mimicry, feedback and motivation.
A second article that leads nicely into the central theme of this post is titled “Watching Soccer to Elevate Game Awareness”. In this piece, Roni Mansur discusses the American soccer culture and the lack of soccer viewing by youth players relative to “powerhouse” countries such as Brazil, Italy, France etc. He talks about the potential for increased viewing habits to also elevate the tactical awareness and understanding of youth players as they mature, a critical element he believes is currently missing in most USA players.
Some of my own experiences in coaching, and being a parent to my 4 year old son, lead me to be a strong believer in this approach as well.
So we get to the topic of this post and something to consider as a coach – setting “video homework” for your players as a tool for improving their tactical awareness and game understanding. In the Dan Coyle article he mentioned YouTube as an avenue for viewing high quality performances. Well, let’s take that concept one step further and make it even more effective by using the Coach Enhancement Platform (“CEP”).
(The following is just one of many potential methods you could try, so feel free to take what you want from my example and “tweak” it to your liking)
Lets say I am the coach of a youth-level “invasive “team sport (i.e.: basketball, soccer, hockey, rugby, australian rules, lacrosse, netball). This week I am going to find 15 minutes of video footage from a professional game (unedited, just a block of game footage with all breaks/restarts etc. included). I am going to upload this to my CEP account and assign access to all players in the youth team that I coach.
When this is done I send an email to the players letting them know the video is there to watch at any time in the next week. However I have a specific plan to make this observational activity highly effective. I tell players that as they are watching the video I want them to insert comments at any point in the game that they find interesting from a tactical/playing style point of view. The players can easily do this on CEP.
More specifically, I want them to also identify examples they see that relate directly to concepts that we have covered in training/games in the last month. They can do this by entering a comment and then “categorising” that comment from a drop-down list that I have pre-populated with certain playing concepts, ie “screening”.
As the week rolls along and players make comments and observations, I encourage other players to reply to those comments and expand on them, or provide feedback to the player who made the initial comment – creating a social networking dynamic. Finally, I tell them that we will have a look at the vision and the comments when we next have a team meeting. This all links nicely to our on-field training focus for the current phase.
So there you have it – what do you think of this approach?