Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Other Side of the Lens: Offseason Video Work

by Greg Gerber
Greenfield High School Video Coordinator and Receivers Coach
Follow @CoachMitts

In today’s insanely fast-paced world, football season seems to go by in the blink of an eye.  Starting with summer camp in July, it’s full boar until November/December brings on the state championship games.  Warp-speed is the nature of our sport, but (as we’ve all come to learn at one point or another) intense focus at season start is what makes or breaks a team.

As the hot summer sun scorches our field, camp gets underway. It’s the beginning of new season and there’s a lot of work, sweat and excitement – as well as a lot of forgetting everything they learned the year before. Which is utterly frustrating because coaches build from the basics - we lay the building blocks of our systems in the fundamentals we preach the entire year.  But what if we could eliminate how much time we spend on teaching the elementary principles of football at the beginning of camp?

Uploading a video of your program fundamentals, and distributing it during summer weight lifting (simply throw it up on Hudl – which will allow you to track video views), will save you a lot of valuable time. 

Here is how you do it: Bring in your team leaders at each position and film them doing the correct fundamentals for your program.  Sure, you can direct the players to various YouTube videos that get the job done, but none of them will capture the nuances of your program.

Are you a zone blocking team?  An option team?  Or a power team?  Break down what YOU do to the level that YOU feel comfortable with.  It can be as simple as showing what the basic three-point stance should be on the offensive line.  You can take it a few steps further and break down what the center, guard, and tackle should do when it comes down to run and pass blocking, including first steps, hand placements and head placements.  You could even tell them what your code words are for double teams, snap counts or hot calls.

Are you thinking about tweaking your wide receivers stances?  Show them exactly where you want their hands, feet and body posture to be.  You could even film routes you want them to know for camp with the play tag given.  

The same goes for the defense.  Are you a four-point stance fan on the defensive line?  Show your nose tackles and defensive ends how you want their feet to be and what angle you want their back. Break it down even further and show first step and hand placement if you’re slanting and ripping.  Or if you’re a gap team, show where the first punch and step should land.  Explain and show any and all moves (rip, swim, club, spin) you want your defensive line players to know before camp.  Describe your defensive backfield stances and body placement – or take it up a notch and show proper back pedal technique and how to properly break on a ball.  

Pre-season education is almost limitless with video.  From simple basics for your incoming freshman players to advanced techniques for your varsity players – these lessons give your team a head start to the “official season”.  Once you are happy with the content you have recorded, upload it to your computer and save the file.  Burn DVD copies for incoming freshman players (because they likely don’t have Hudl accounts yet) and upload the film to your Hudl (distribute the playlists to each individual group).  This way, you know each position gets exactly what they need to see.  No Hudl? No problem! Make DVD copies for everyone.

Be sure to save it to your computer though!  This way, once you start adding film to your account, you can delete the fundamentals video from your Hudl library and still have it for next year – that’s right, this is an investment. Record the material once and have it forever. 

By spending a little bit of off season time to capture this film and upload it to your account, you can shave time off of your camp for fundamentals and give that time to pressing matters.  Let me know if this is something you already do or plan to do this year to help your program out!  Also tell me what else you’re up to – and I’ll write about it.  Here’s to the offseason coaches!

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