Plan On Sending Video To Coaches? Here Are 5 Tips To Get The Most Out Of Your Video Footage.
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Video Is Becoming A Valuable Piece In The Recruiting Process
If it’s one thing COVID sort of forced NCAA Coaches to do, it was watch a lot of video.
With the COVID recruiting shutdown imposed by the NCAA for D-I Coaches, watching video was the only way they could really evaluate players. Websites and platforms like Live Barn, HUDL, InStat, etc. we’re gaining a foothold with NCAA programs even prior to the pandemic, but became even more popular during, and most certainly now.
With the youth/minor hockey season about to start, plenty of parents and coaches will be fighting for space in the stands to capture game video.
And that’s what I’m going to talk to you about today – how to properly use video footage so you can send coaches the best version of yourself and give the coaches what they need.
It seems like most recruiting emails sent to NCAA coaches have some kind of link to video. Some of it really good… and some of it… well, let’s say it could use some improvement.
I think most coaches would agree they aren’t soley basing decisions to recruit players off of video… but it sure can help. It’s a great tool to evaluate how a player skates, judge their overall skill level, how they play with the puck and w/ out, or how a player can defends. Plus, it’s a great tool to eval goalies as well.
At the end of the day, video allows coaches a chance to get excited about a player. Or not. The opposite is also true. Coaches can easily determine they don’t need to spend their time recruiting a particular player based on what they see.
So here are 5 video tips to incorporate into your video use when sending clips to coaches.
Angles, Screen Position, Player Accents, Length, and Organization
#1 – Use a decent & elevated camera angle… that captures the game action over the top (not through) of the glass and not through netting if possible. There’s nothing worse than trying to look for jersey numbers through glass or really dark netting. Try and get to an elevated part of the stands and shoot from as close to center-ice as possible. Now goalies, I know you have these GoPro suction cup camera systems that mom or dad sticks behind the net on the glass itself – those are actually pretty decent. It also helps to use some kind of tripod or camera stabilizer so the video doesn’t make coaches get motion sickness!
#2 – Puck Position On Screen… As you record your game, try to keep the puck in the dead-center middle of your screen as much as possible… If you’re focussed on the puck and it is too high toward the top of your screen, you’ll miss some of the play above the puck. Same goes for if the puck is too close to the bottom of your screen, you’ll miss action below the puck. As for zooming in and out… Unless you’re a camera whiz, it’s prob best to use a wide enough angle where you can see most of the play and still read jersey numbers. Appropriate zooming in and our as the play moves up and down the ice would be ideal – if it can be done correctly. But that is TOUGH to master.
#3 – Find a way to accent the player in the video you want coaches to watch… This is HUGE!! There are many ways to do this with video editors now. It’s really helpful. I can’t tell you how many times coaches get video and weren’t told what color jersey or number or position a player has in the video – we don’t know what to look for! A nice brightly colored circle, encompassing the player you want us to watch, an arrow, a star – something – just before the video begins that let’s us know who to watch and where they are on the ice is really helpful!
#4 – Don’t send a full game… Every coaches’ time is limited and we seldom have time to fast-forward through a full game to find all of a players’ shifts. Do some editing so coaches have clips of just the players’ shifts. And for goalies, there isn’t much need to include video when the play is at the other end of the ice.
#5 – ORGANIZE YOUR VIDEO!
I recently received an email from a recruit where she organized her video clips in a certain way that really made it really easy for me to watch her video.
In the body of her email, she used bolded ‘titles’ or ‘headings’ with individual clips relative to that title/heading underneath. For example:
- No Pressure
- With Pressure
- Passing Decisions
Defensive Zone Play
- Defending the Point
- Defending Circle Top Seam
- Defending the slot
She had a bunch more… but it was so helpful to know what I was going to be looking at vs. just watching random clips and having no clue.
So, here are some general game sequences that most coaches would want to see in video by position, that you could use as ‘clip types’ titles or ‘headings’ in your emails to help you organize the video you send to coaches.
Defenders & Forwards
- Breakouts & Offensive Zone Exits – Forwards – passes made, passes received, exiting the zone w/ the puck
- Breakouts – Defenders – retrievals, passes made, passes received, partner support, rushing w/ puck up ice
- Neutral Zone Re-Groups – puck support & positioning, passes made, passes received
- Offensive Zone Entries – w/ puck possession, passes made, passes received, play w/ out the puck
- Offensive Zone Play – Forwards – w/ puck possession, passes made, passes received, play w/ out the puck
- Offensive Zone Play – Defenders – puck management i.e. walking the blue line w/ puck, D to D passes, passes to forwards
- Shots on goal
- Goals scored
- For-Checking (F1, F2, & F3 for forwards and Pinching for Defenders)
- Neutral Zone For-Checking
- Back-Checking (forwards)
- Defending the rush (defenders) 3v2’s, 2v1’s, 1v1’s, gap control, etc.
- Defensive Zone Play – Wings – defending the half-wall, slot, and point/blue line area
- Defensive Zone Play – Centers & Defenders – defending the low corners, net front, half-wall, slot,
- Special Teams Play — Powerplay & Penalty Kill
- Saves from all angles – Left, Right, and Center, in tight around the crease, inside dot-lane, net front, slot, blue line area
- Rebound Control
- Goals Scored Against
- Puck Play – stop rimmed puck, set-up behind net, passes made
- Crease Movement – saves off passes across the mid-line/royal road
- Shot Set-up – zone entries
- Play Behind Net/Out of Corners play
The most effective video is that of players making decisions with and w/ out the puck, and against really good competition. We don’t just want to see the highlight reel either. You certainly don’t have to do all of these above, but a couple will at least give coaches some idea how you play at a certain position.
Until Next Time Everyone… Be Well and take Care,
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Grant Kimball is founder and contributing writer at Women’s College Hockey.org and beginning his 4th season as an Assistant Coach with the Yale University women’s hockey program. Grant has developed an experienced perspective in the world of women’s ice hockey, having coached and recruited players from across the globe during his 25+ year amateur and NCAA coaching career. He has coached at 6 NCAA DIII and DI programs in the NCHA (D3), the CHA, WCHA, Hockey East, ECAC, and the Ivy League (DI). Beyond coaching, Grant served as a site representative for the 2019 NCAA quarterfinal of the D-I NCAA Tournament. He also currently serves as an Officer with the American Hockey Coaches Association as Vice President of Membership and sits on the AHCA’s Women’s Hockey Executive Committee.