There are so many tools out there to help your athletes get better, but none are quite as powerful as video. Video doesn’t lie, so it keeps the “I did that” or “I wasn’t doing that” conversations to a minimum.
We begin building the foundation for our athletes in the sixth grade by introducing them to Hudl. We want to give them a taste of what they’ll be using in high school. We also integrate our youth with the high school program by doing community events and coaching clinics together. This helps build good relationships with coaches and athletes at every level.
A big part of building our foundation starts with video. Here are three benefits to starting them early:
1. Athletes learn the art of watching film.
Watching video is an art. Knowing what to look for during video analysis is a special skill, and we like to start building that early. When our athletes get into high school, they know what the coach expects from them.
2. Already know terminology when they get into high school.
We use a lot of the same terminology for plays and formations as the high school team. At the youth level, we’re not as worried about whether athletes know the difference between XYZ and YZX, but we do want our athletes to be confident when they get into high school.
3. Teaching tool when you don’t have much time.
At the youth level, the hours we have together are limited. We don’t want film sessions to cut into practice time. We add our coaching notes to video and share with our athletes to look at before practice. Athletes can review at home and come to practice prepared.
Coach Hugh Gladner has been coaching football for 23 years. He’s coached at all levels from middle school through high school. He is currently the head coach for the Bellevue Wolverine youth football team.