The use of video for feedback and individual player development continues to be an important area at all levels and if used efficiently, can be a crucial tool for coaches. But how do we ensure we are not just creating more “white noise” for young players?
Four keys of providing video feedback –
- Be brief
- Be specific
- Provide positive examples
- Make it relevant to the athlete
Be brief –
As rule of thumb, providing feedback in any setting should be 15-20 minutes per meeting or conversation. Research has indicated any longer than that, the athlete starts to lose “connection” with the feedback and the person providing it.
In the video setting, feedback can be provided in three ways –
- General team meeting environment
- Individual meetings
- “Flightpath” feedback – court-side
In the general team meeting, be mindful of not being seen to embarrass or “single out” a player and it is also important to be cognisant of young athletes being acutely sensitive to any feeling they are being commented negatively about in front of teammates. Peer acceptance is a key driver of anxiety for millennial athletes in particular
In individual meetings, maintain a conversational tone. The footage needs to spark conversation, rather than be seen as a lecture of presentation. Individual feedback of any time can be intimidating for young players, so setting an appropriate tone is important.
Some aspects to consider in this setting are –
- Positioning – sit next to the athlete to watch the clips where possible so you both have the same perspective
- Balance – ensure there is an appropriate balance of positive clips or footage, as well as correctional footage
- Use of questioning – be conversational, ask questions, use more “pull” than “push”
Be specific –
In providing video feedback, work against the following time frames and balance –
- 2 minutes of talking/conversation to every one minute of video
- Be aware each “action” may be as little as 10 seconds in duration – you don’t need a lot of clips
- Balance between technical and physiological feedback – talk about and show footage of movement patterns as well as the skill
Provide positive examples –
Success is a key driver for learning in young players, ensure you are balancing clips that demonstrate success or improvement. The old “horror movie” clips that show athletes making multiple mistakes is not the way to teach or garner improvement.
Providing positive reinforcement is a powerful tool for developing confidence and opening up learning. Video edits should certainly highlight areas for improvement, but be linked to success as much as possible.
Make it relevant –
Practice footage is often as valuable as game clips in providing feedback and fostering growth, learning and improvement. Often the practice setting is more keyed to success and can be more effective vision for the athlete.
The practice setting is where the “flightpath” feedback can be used to best effect. Have a player come and look at a couple of clips on the iPad or lap top court-side or grab a positional group such as the guards to show some clips of a concept or action.
The ability to “watch, learn and do” is so important for young players, so the more you can link footage that allows for practice and change immediately in a game-like setting is valuable. Shooting is a great example of this, show one aspect for exploration and then allow the athlete to explore on floor. Vision is another one, watch some clips, ask some questions (“what did you see there?”) and then let them explore again.
In terms of relevance, players want to know “how does this help me get better?” and coaches need to keep that in mind when proving video feedback. This setting is not a coaches clinic, it needs to be relevant to the improvement and growth of the player.