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Building a Professional Video Operations Department: Training the Students

Hudl Mikel Riggs Training Students

This is the third part of a four-part series from Mikel Riggs detailing how he built a professional video operations department at Foley High School in Alabama. See Part One: Getting Everyone on Board, Part Two: The Equipment, or Part Four: Our Workflow

In order for the program to be successful and benefit the football program, student training was and continues to be essential. We didn’t want to put the money into a new program and then not get the quality of video we knew our equipment was capable of.

Here’s how we trained the students:

  • First, we educated all the students on their roles and the purpose of videographers. It is important that each member of the department understand they play a vital role in contributing to the football team’s success.
  • I used video examples from college video departments to demonstrate the quality of work I expected and stressed that our expectations would be similar to a college department.
  • We trained the students to upload videos to Hudl via Hudl Mercury onto a Mac.
  • As we moved through the early stages of fall camp, I spent time each day critiquing the students’ filming to help them improve. Teaching the students what parts of each drill the camera should be focused on was important in order to ensure that what the coaches expected to see and needed to review was accurately captured.

I have continued to train and guide them as we move through the season if needed.

Next Year

We learned a lot this year. Here are two things I will change for next year:

  1. Hire more filmers. It would be ideal to have a JV and a varsity crew. This would help develop younger students to prepare them for the pressure of a varsity game.
  2. Teach athletes how to use Hudl. I’d like to devote more time to teach our athletes how to do things like fill out data online so they can tag our practice clips then save them as individual cutups. This would allow me to have a “runner” and someone on the computer that filmers could drop their SD cards to in the middle of practice and begin uploading. By the end of practice we would have half of practice uploaded, intercut, filtered, and waiting in the library.

Part One: Getting Everyone on Board

Part Two: The Equipment

Part Four: Our Workflow

Mikel Riggs is the son of legendary high school football coach Jamie Riggs. From an early age he knew he wanted to be like his dad and coach. He took an interest in technology and the role it plays in football in high school, and upon graduating, attended Huntington College in Montgomery, Ala. to play football. He returned home to coach with his dad for a year, then attended Auburn University the following year and worked for the football team in the video operations department for three seasons. He is the secondary coach and in charge of technology for the Foley High School (Ala.)

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