The genesis of the San Diego Surf Soccer Club’s video program was two years ago when a conversation with Colin Chesters, the club’s Director of Coaching, turned to the use of sideline video for the accumulation of statistics to support player development. As the conversation progressed, it became obvious that the implementation of a video strategy would benefit the club in many areas ranging from player development to team development to marketing and beyond. At DOC Chesters’ direction and supervision, we set out to lay the groundwork for implementation of a video program that would add value to the Surf’s leadership position in the Southern California soccer landscape. A series of discussion lead to agreements that the video program should support:
- Individual player development
- Team tactical development
- Club playing methodology – a Surf Style of Play
- Club’s social media footprint
- Club’s marketing efforts
As a group, we realized that the project would be a multi-year, multi-phase project; both from a monetary and deliverables standpoint. We realized that we would have to “eat the elephant, one bite at a time”. This year, the club invested a significant amount of money to setup the infrastructure of the program. That money has allowed us to acquire the necessary hardware and cloud software services to get the effort off the ground. The pilot project kicked off during the San Diego ECNL event in April. Thus far, the results have exceeded our highest expectations.
Benefits and Impact on the Players and Coaches
Video analysis is a commonly used tool in modern sports. Coaches can analyze video to correct faults and maximize strengths. They can provide feedback for their athletes. Video analysis allows coaches to provide analysis at a team level or individual level, high level tactical analysis or low-level anatomical levels. What does “ball watching” really mean? What does “get your toe up” really mean?
For players, video analysis allows them to see themselves so that they can pinpoint weaknesses and strengths. When an athlete is playing, they’re busy playing. They really don’t think about the technique required to take a good shot or make a good pass. Video can showcase those habits the player uses on a regular basis that help them succeed.
Value in college recruiting process
During the college recruiting process, the use of video is invaluable. In days gone by, athletes would send college coaches clippings from their local newspapers to get a coach’s attention. If you were fortunate enough to have a club or high school coach who had networked with college coaches, your coach might be able to provide the right recommendation to get you in the door. Eventually, video became the door opener. When video became an affordable commodity, athletes could send coaches VHS tapes, then DVDs. The advent of the Internet and services such asHUDL allows athletes to reach out across the country to college coaches.
It’s not just for those athletes that want to play college soccer. For those with aspirations to play professionally, these services will allow you to reach out to clubs around the world.