Plug 'N Play Football

Simplifying Football for Youth Coaches

Bringing Technology to Youth Football

Written By: hawkcoach - Mar• 28•11

Video taping your football team will change the way you coach in two significant ways:

First, video taping obligates you to investing more of your time off the field.  Studying game film alone will require an additional two hours per game at minimum.  I’m not saying that it’s not worth it, but be forewarned – it’s a big time commitment.

More importantly if you’re up to the task, you will learn so much about your team that you will become a much better coach.  Is your left guard actually blocking someone when he pulls?  Is your quarterback carrying out his fakes convincingly?  What was happening to your right defensive end who didn’t seem to be in on any plays during the last game?

I would suggest assigning an assistant coach or a  parent to the job of video taping your games and scrimmages.  Ask them to film from the back side of your offense or defense so you can see all of your players as the play develops.  You should instruct them to zoom in as much as possible while still keeping a wide enough field of view to see the whole team.  Also, use your own camera, if possible.  You don’t want to find out that your videographer parent forgot their camera at home, forgot to charge the batteries, or won’t be able to transfer the files to you until the following week.

When it’s time to start reviewing the game film you’ll want to have a page with a list of all your players including enough space between so you can take notes.  You’ll watch each play up to eleven times so you can have a good feel of what each player did on a given play.  You’ll end up with some amazing information that will help you improve each and every player on your team.  If you use a helmet sticker reward system it’s appropriate to tally that information as you review the game film.  Cut and save impressive plays to a special file to use for your end of the season highlight film.

Without game film the tendency would be to coach only both extremes – the star player who you’ll automatically watch every play or the weaker player who is making obvious mistakes.  Game film will help you greatly improve your middle of the road players and the information you learn should help you to correctly coach them to huge improvements.

If you are really motivated you can video your practices as well.  This will be a huge time investment – one I haven’t  been in a position to pull off up to this point.  I’m sure those who have been able to video their practices will attest to some big advantages.  Regardless, I  would suggest video taping at least a few practices as that will provide some of the most real and touching film to add to your end of the year highlight film.

So what type of equipment should you use?  If you have a video camera there’s no reason to run out and by something special.  I really like the cameras that have zoom capability and have an internal hard drive or at least an easy USB hookup to transfer film to your computer.  If you are considering purchasing a video camera then please give some thought to buying one of the ones I’ve highlighted for you on Amazon.com – I’ve found some great deals and any purchases you make through this link helps support this web site.

Share your experiences with video taping on our message board: http://plugnplayfootball.yuku.com/topic/9/master/1/

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