Sideline Replay System Update

3 years ago I began using sideline replay technology.  To my knowledge, I was the first person in Northern California to use this type of technology.  That first year I started with a free trial from SkyCoach and I wrote about that experience here.

I had a great experience using SkyCoach so I have continued to use it as my sideline replay system even though there are numerous other companies on the market now. This post is to give a general update on how things have evolved for SkyCoach and how I have used it.

When I first began my free trial I only used the simplest option… use an iphone to film and send it through the cloud.  SkyCoach has made some serious upgrades since then.

To stay ahead of the competition they offer no internet kits (to make your own local network and not have to rely on cell phone signal/data) as well as existing camera set ups to use your sideline and press box angles rather than an iPhone.

This set up costs a little bit more but it was especially helpful this season ( first season using this set up) as it allowed us to almost instantly get 2 angles intercut and send to my iPad on the sideline, which I keep plugged in to a 42″ TV.

If you don’t have the budget or resources to pull this system off, the iPhone method for filming STILL works great.  To keep things easier on me for set up, all away games I used the simpler, iPhone method.  For home games, I would set up the fancier no internet and existing camera method because I had access to power in more locations and a bit more time to set things up.

Pricing information for the different options can be found HERE.

Replay helps the players more than it helps our coaches.  Yes we use it to make adjustments and help in calling plays, but I can not stress enough how HELPFUL it is to our OL in seeing their mistakes and fixing things.

The next step for me, is to begin using SkyCoach as a practice tool.  I envision being able to set up the system, film group periods like inside run and team, and when the second string rotates in, the starters are able to come over to the sideline and immediately watch their last few plays.  I think this will allow us to get things fixed faster and aid in the way that players communicate.

 

XO Wizard

xo_logo_squid

I recently discovered a site called XO WIZARD.  XO Wizard is an online playbook making software that I just began trying with my team.  The drawing/diagramming features are easy to use but what makes this unique is the ability to use video to teach/install your playbook.  I have gone away from traditional paper playbooks with my team and prefer to use actual video clips to teach my schemes to my players.  Seeing the video, rather than just lines on paper has helped to improve the learning retention.

Our install is much smoother teaching from video rather than paper hand outs (that end up crumpled up on the locker room floor anyway) and we are able to run through things faster when we work them on the field.

Another feature is the  XO Wizard Blog. New posts are put up frequently here, including a new interview series called “How We Coach”.  Be on the lookout for my interview, it will be published there soon and you can see into more of the details of how I coach and run my program.

One last feature of XO Wizard I like is their Twitter Account: @xowizard

They post links to other coaching resources/information and do weekly “Link Blitzes” where they provide great write ups/break downs from other coaches and bloggers like myself.

They offer a 14 day free trial of their playbook software, I recommend giving it a try to see if it might be useful to you and your program.

How to Download Video, Create Cut Ups, and Analyze with Hudl Technique

I have to give Todd Greenwell credit for inspiring me to write this post.  I saw some great analysis/breakdown he was posting and asked him to explain how he was getting his video, trimming it, and analyzing it both with telestrations and voice over.  He explained what he did and I began looking in to easy ways to download videos from YouTube as well as trim them down into smaller clips.

Below is a screen recording I did that shows you step by step

  1. how to download a youtube video you want
  2. how to trim the clip into the individual plays you want

 

Using HUDL TECHNIQUE for further analysis

hudl technique

The newest thing I have started using this off season is Hudl Technique.  It is a mobile app that Hudl offers (was another slow mo recording app that Hudl bought out).  I have been using it this off season to film kids in the weight room, and break down in slow motion their lifts to help them improve their form.

Coach Greenwell recently opened my eyes to the film analysis possible with Hudl Technique.  Once you have the clip(s) you want you can load them to your iPad/mobile device camera.  You can do this through the computer or I sent my plays from my MacBook to my iPad using AirDrop.

Once you have the video you want on your device (in my case my iPad) open the Hudl Technique app.

  1. Click Record
  2. Click Import
  3. Select the video you want to analyze
  4. It will appear in your videos.  Now simply click play on the clip and it will go to full screen.

From here you will have the ability to draw on the video using different drawing tools, and at the top of the screen you will see a microphone icon.  In the pic below you will see a screen shot of this exact part.  A red arrow points out the microphone icon, a yellow arrow points out the drawing tools (if drawing tools do not appear click the pencil icon and they will appear).

IMG_4520

Now you can really get in depth and not just analyze a play in slow motion (varying speed control in bottom left corner of playback screen) but you can draw in different colors over the top of your video using the drawing tools.  If you want to share your work with others (your staff, coaching friends, your players, or write for a blog like myself) you will hit the microphone icon on top.  Pressing this microphone icon will began a screen recording that will also pick up audio.  Now you can provide voice over as you go through the clip at whatever speed you want, adding in whatever drawing you want, and replaying it as many times as you want.  Once you are done, press the microphone again to stop the recording and you have a new video saved that you can export to share in any way you like.

This is a great way for coaches to integrate technology into their teaching.

You can now easily create video teaching tools for your players/staff with your audio/feedback over the video plus the ability to annotate on screen.  This is great for drawing blocking schemes, coverages, and highlight players to read on runs, passes, and RPOs.

Upcoming projects

I just wanted to announce that I am working on something big over the next month or two that will come out some time in 2016.

2 off seasons ago I put together the following iBook

O-Line Play in Power Scheme

I lay out exactly how I teach and drill our 2 back power scheme (the foundation of our offense).

I got a lot of positive feedback about the drill videos and teaching progression and  with the success of our other core run concepts this past season I am going to make a series of interactive digital books  with every detail of how I teach/drill

-Counter

-OZ/Stretch

-Toss sweep

and the biggest addition to our offense in 2015

-Bucksweep

These plays accounted for of our school record breaking 4,416 yards rushing this year.  We led our section (large school division) in rushing yards per game, total yards per game, and scoring per game.  I am blessed to coach an insanely talented group of kids, but I think we do some really good things offensively that utilize that talent.

I will be working again with Coach Grabowski and the guys at Coaches Edge to bring my written explanations, diagrams, step by step drill video, and game cut ups to coaches on their electronic devices.  With the previous content it was only accessible as an iBook on an iPad.  I believe the new series will be on a new format that will allow you to view it on any computer/tablet device.

Work Smarter, Not Harder

If you are anything like me, the football season can be a grind.  Lots of long 12+ hour days at the school, plus time at home watching film, writing notes, and planning out both your game plan and practice plan.

I just stumbled upon the best way to save yourself hours of time in your game plan and practice plan preparation each week.

I hate scripting plays, it takes a while to write down the exact formation, motion, and play you want, over and over for all of your team/inside run/7on7 reps for each practice.  Half the time I end up just “shooting from the hip” and call plays off the top of my head. The problem with this is I end up leaving out plays I knew I wanted to get to, or I do not give plays enough reps during the week to feel good about calling them Friday Nights.

I have worked with Coach Grabowski and his company Coaches Edge before and think they do a great job integrating technology and coaching.

Coaches Edge  has put out a new game planning and practice planning software meant to do a lot of the work for you and save you hours of time every weekend.

You can see their new product here…
Coaches Edge Game Planner

What is it exactly?

It is an excel file, with formulas plugged in to automatically
-script your plays for each practice
-create play calling sheets based off of what YOU want in each situation

What does it look like, and how does it work?

You start with the “Game Plan Board”.  This is what makes it all work.  Here you have assigned cells to enter in all of the specific plays you want for the week.  Fill this in with your staff and you are ready to go.  It separates the plays out by hash.  You enter your terminology for personnel, formation, motion, and play.  You enter the top plays you and your staff have decided on for that opponent in the given situation.  There are spots for your top inside runs, coming out runs, red zone and goal line, quick passes, screens, and dropbacks.  You can enter different plays, double up on core plays, or run them from different formations or different window dressing if you want.  Once you have filled in all of the cells, that is it, your work is done.

You can even enter different defensive looks (fronts and coverages) you want to see in each practice.

Once you are done the next 3 tabs look like this.

Your inside run, 7on7, GL/Redzone and team time is scripted for the entire week.  Each play you entered into the “Game plan board” will be repped a set number of times throughout the week, insuring that your players got an adequate amount of practice reps to execute it on Friday night.
This is the biggest advantage for me, my scripts for the week are done, and I am focusing on more specific game situations than I ever had when planning in the past.  I just began using this tool over the weekend, in preparation for a scrimmage.  After watching film and consulting with my QB/Pass game coordinator,  it took less than 30 minutes to fill out our game plan board for our scrimmage opponent.  30 minutes, hours of work/planning done.
The practice planning/scripts are just the beginning.  There are other tabs, with plays pulled directly from your “game plan board”.
Other tabs include
  1.  Base Play wristband: the base 30 plays you entered into the sheet.  A quick reference of your top plays for this week
  2. Base Call sheet: A playcalling sheet, split up from Left hash plays to right hash plays.  Your top inside runs, perimeter runs, quicks/screens, dropbacks.  This is another thing that really makes this worthwhile to me.  I hate taking the time to make up a call sheet.  I now have my call sheet ready, and I love that it is split up by hash mark.  In HS football, we are almost always on a hash, makes it easy to get the correct play in quickly.  Has already helped us with our tempo.
  3. 3rd down wristband: a wristband of the playcalls you entered for 3rd down situations.  Quick reference to go to on 3rd down when you need to get the play in fast.
  4. 3rd down calls – call sheet version of the wristband, again laid out by hash mark, and distance to go
  5. Situational Calls: call sheet, separated by hash, and split up by situation.  Coming out, 4 minute O, different red zone areas, 2 point plays.  Can I just say again how much I hate making call sheets, and how much easier this is!
  6. Game Plan worksheet: Just like the “game plan board” but larger blank cells.  Ideal for printing out, and filling in during staff meetings as you decide on what specific plays/formation/tags will be best for you.
  7. Openers: template for you to script your opening plays, separated by hash
  8. Post game report: Has your exact plays from practice, with the number of reps each play got in practice.  There is then a spot for you to record how many times you actually ran that play in the game.  This is made for you to self evaluate and make sure you are calling the plays in the game that you are spending your time/reps on in practice.  If you rep a certain play 6 times, but you didn’t run it once, you are wasting your time in practice.
This game and practice planning software is selling at Coaches Edge for just 49.99
If you enter coupon code “CoachBDud” during checkout, you save $5
so for $44.99 you are getting something that saves you hours of times, and helps you be more efficient with your practice reps.
For the hours of time it will save you each weekend I think it is well worth it.  Once you have it, you can continue to use it over and over again, every week, every season.
I highly recommend this.  I have been raving about it to my friends in the coaching community.  Work smarter, give this a shot, and see how much easier it is on you in your preparation for practice and games.

 

Taking Advantage of Sideline Technology

Before the 2013 season, NFHS lifted it’s ban on using technology on the sidelines.  Since the 2013 season, we are all allowed to use any sideline technology we want (we just can’t take it past the numbers or beyond the 25s).

I began taking advantage of lifting the technology ban this season.  I had seen a few different companies that offered replay systems and ended up emailing SkyCoach, and asked for a trial.

 

I was intrigued by SkyCoach because it had less equipment than other systems I had seen.  Their system relies on iPhones to film with, and your cell signal to upload and download the clips.  I am a big apple fan (iPhone, iPad, and MacBook user) and I know that most of our kids have iPhones. Some coaches have concerns over cell signal strength and upload/download speed.  I didn’t have any connection issues in any of the stadiums we played at.  You can use a free app called Ookla to test download and upload speed.  Pretty much anywhere is going to have fast enough download speed, just need to make sure upload speed is at least 1.0 MBPS.  Every stadium on our schedule was well over this number.
A case with a magnifying lens attaches to one iPhone to get a tighter view of the play.  I would have my TA film the games from the press box, and I would auto download them onto my iPhone in my pocket on the sideline.

You could have infinite iPads or cell phones logged in looking at the clips (clips are easy to sort and filter by O/D/ST, by series, by play type etc.). What I chose to do was pick up a TV, and have my players and myself watch in between drives.

You can find generic brand flat screen TVs for really cheap, and I got some adapters (iPhone 5/6 to HDMI) that you can find at any electronic store to connect the iPhone to the TV.
If you have power in the stadium you can run an extension cord, or use a car battery, or buy a portable battery pack like I did.

My game day sideline set up looked like this.

FullSizeRender
I would review the film each drive and have any of my kids not in on defense reviewing with me.  I found this to be a tremendous resource for me as an OC.  It definitely helped with play calling, making adjustments, and fixing our mistakes.  I think this is a more valuable tool than talking to a coach up in the booth.  The guy in the booth can only spot one thing at a time, with this I can rewind the play as many times as I need to in order to see every position on the field.  I can also pause it at the snap and see the exact alignment of every defensive player to each of our formations.
I am not a SkyCoach employee, but I got to use this technology this year and I absolutely loved it.  I have shown this technology to a few schools in my area since our season ended and they have seen what an advantage it can be.
One knock on SkyCoach was the price ($1500 this season) but the 2015 pricing is down to $1095.  That is a good chunk of money but this is a resource that can add a few wins to your season, and I think having easy instant replay on the sideline seconds after the play is worth one or two extra summer car washes to raise the funds.
Definitely check out their website and give it a trial, I am confident you will enjoy it.  Tell them Coach B Dud sent you by using my referral code
“Dudley2015”
You can still use your Glazier discount code in promo code while using Dudley2015 in the referral code

 

Great New iBook!

Sorry I have not been around in a while, it was a busy football season.

I want to share with all of you a great new resource brought to you by Coach Grabowski.
It can be found HERE>
Coach Grabowski reached out to coaches from all over the country to contribute a chapter to this iBook and it does not disappoint.  I have been reading it all week.  For those who have missed out on my past blog post about iBooks, they are a remarkable resource.  Embedded within the chapters of the ibook are slideshows of drills, diagrams, and video.  This makes it a great teaching tool that makes the content more digestible and more helpful than a standard coaching book or coaching DVD.
I am one of the contributors to this Pistol “Anthology”.
My chapter is titled “Offensive Line Play in the Power Scheme”.
Mid 2013 we transitioned from a 4 wide spread system to a Pro Style Pistol Offense.
Power is the core of our offense.  My chapter focuses on how I teach the Power scheme both schematically, and with individual drills.  It includes written description, diagrams, and multiple video clips of some of my players executing the basic skills and drills needed to run Power.
This year, with power being the focal point of our offense, we broke every single individual and team school rushing record (school has been around since the 1920s).
We rushed for over 3500 yards this year!
This iBook is an excellent resource for all things Pistol.  I highly suggest you all check it out!
Volume 1 includes:
Chris Ault – Foreword
Larry Beckish Reflections on an Idea:  East
Tom Kaczkowski – How Did the Pistol Start?
Chris Klenakis – Interview on the Innovation of the Pistol Formation
Jim Mastro – Pistol is a Formation; video chalk talk on “Zone Slice”
Scott Baumgartner – Innovation of the Pistol; video chalk talk on “53 Pass”
Robbie Owens – Systematic Approach to Building an Offensive System
Dave Brown (former GA at Nevada) – The Bubble as a Pre Snap and Post Snap Answer
Anthony Pratley – The Sweeper Method of Zone Read
Justin Iske – Something to Hand Your Hat On:  Inside Zone
Ty Rogers – Using the H-Back to Leverage Defenses in the Pistol
Zach Tinker – Using the Diamond Pistol in the Red Zone
Tim Kilgore – Run the Horn
Brett Dudley – Offensive Line Play in the Power
Keith Grabowski – Setting Up Effective Play Action

Coach Grabowski does it again

Last off season I stumbled across the coolest coaching resource I had ever seen.  Coach Grabowski’s Pistol iBook. I had never seen this type of technology.  It was a book created for the iPad and Mac, that had diagrams, presentations, and movie clips built right in to it.  It became a constant resource that I revisited and took ideas from throughout last season.

I wrote a review of it last march that can be found here.

In an attempt to out do his first masterpiece, Coach Grabowski’s latest project is available for download.  I spent spring break reading, watching, and experiencing his second major iBook.

The Zone Offense

Coach Grabowski has created an encyclopedia worth of knowledge on running a zone based offense.

The entire iBook can be purchased here.

The iBook can also be purchased in sections, a la carte style.

1. Define the system and build the foundation

2. Structure a starting point and develop coaching methods

3. Develop the fundamentals

Each volume comes with a wealth of information and TONS of video from practice and games.

The iBook contains 51 minutes of video and 75 interactives.

Here’s a blog post from Coach Grabowski about his latest iBook.

Be on the lookout for future projects coming from Coach Grabowski, including one that I helped contribute to.  It will be a another interactive iBook on the Pistol featuring articles, diagrams, and video from various coaches throughout the country.

I contributed a section on OL play in the Power Scheme.

Creating Off Season Competition

Our Off Seasons flat out SUCK.

Since I have been at my current school (3 years) our off season’s have never been what I have wanted them to be.  Every year I feel I get more organized and improve my knowledge in S&C yet none of it matters if I can’t get the kids to buy in to it.

Every game we lost this past season I 100% contribute to our lack of dedication to the weight room.

I tried to get the kids here, tried to beg them here, but so many were content with just starting that it didn’t matter.  Couldn’t really hold a kid out for not showing up because his back up didn’t show up either.  Through January we were having the same terrible results for our off season workouts… 10-12 kids a day after school is not getting it cut when you have a school of 2,000 and you know you will end up with at least 30 kids on both varsity and JV when the season starts.  What the heck are those other 50-60 kids doing who aren’t showing up??!!!

I got tired of it, I was fed up, frustrated, and ready to just give up.

I finally did something I should have done long ago.  I held a meeting, advertised it to the kids for over a week, told them it was mandatory and the most important meeting in school history.

I laid out a point/reward system for them and told them what was required to play football for me in 2013.

First I laid out the fact that attendance was taken daily and I would post it at the end of each week.  To play football, at any level in 2013 a player would have to attend 75% of workouts between now and spring ball.
Each player would be given 1 point a day for showing up to our workouts.  Any one involved in a spring sport would get 1 point per day as long as they were in that sport.  I stay in the weight room until 6:00 every night.  So if a baseball or volleyball player gets out at 5:30, they can run down to the weight room and get at least their core lifts in with me.  If they do this they get 2 points for the day.

I also declared that every football player who wasn’t doing a spring sport was now on the track team.  No negotiations, no excuses if you want to play football you are on the track team.

I sat down with the track coach to coordinate our practice structure but basically every OL/DL was now a thrower, every skill player now a runner.

Runners would do track then lift after with me.  Throwers would life with me first then go throw or run.  He handles all the speed work, I handle all the lifting.  You can do all the SAQ work you want, I have never seen kids improve their raw speed and conditioning more than after a full season of running track.

Now that we had a point system, and a minimum percentage of points needed we just needed to really add a level of competition to it.

Our current Junior (going to be senior) class is in my mind selfish and lazy.  There has been a lack of leadership in their grade level.  To help I picked 6 of these future seniors to be “Captains” of mini teams, and I divided every kid interested in football in to one of these 6 teams.  I’m hoping that be forcing these kids into a leadership role they will start to become the leaders we need them to be for the 2013 season.  Each of them started a year ago, and talent wise should be our best guys in 2013 they just need the right discipline.

Intrinsic motivation or doing the right thing are not good enough motivators for today’s kids, and the kids on my football team.  I needed a carrot to dangle to spark their interest in this new football program I am trying to establish so along with the points and small teams I came up with an award system

For the team with the most combined points:  Captain gets their home jersey, any cleats they can dream up, spirit pack.  The entire team will get a special t shirt that no other person can buy or win.

The captains have a lot of incentive to push their team members to be at practice so they can win their prizes.

I also want the other players to have something to shoot for (other than hitting 75% so they can make the team) so I am buying cleats for the top 2 point scorers in our program.

Our attendance has blossomed, we now have over 60 kids a day at track and workouts, as well as another 5-10 per day who come lift after baseball or volleyball.  We are 2 full weeks in to the program right now and the kids have really bought in.  The captains are on their teammates for missing (because they want to win) and players really want to show up and earn their points.  I have kids asking me 3x a day if they made sure I checked them off for lifting that day because they want to get every point.

Each week I have posted the individual and team point results in our weight room and on my classroom door and they have really gotten in to the competition aspect of it.

I have made it a big point to not only not record excuses of any kind, I do not even listen to them.  A few players have given me this excuse or that excuse and I say you gotta do what you gotta do, if you don’t hit 75% you are not playing football.  Our biggest Rival is Pittsburg HS.  So when a kid gives any excuse  for something whether at school or at practice I pull my cell phone out, pretend to dial up Pittsburg HS… and repeat the excuse… so I might say something like…
“Hey pitt, Johnny wants to see his GF after school today… can you take it easy on him in November? Please? oh wait… you don’t care??? You’re still gonna tee off on him? Ok I’ll let him know”  The no excuses attitude is a major point of emphasis I am trying to push across.

The only thing I am not sure on is when I am going to have the “cut off date” or deadline for when players have to reach a certain point total.

I wasn’t sure how this was going to work, and trust me I never really bought in to a point system.  I thought it was something for the rich schools and that our kids would go on the same as before but I can’t express how big our turn around has been and I feel good about our future as long as we can keep this up.

Awesome iPad App!!!

I Just got an ipad3 (you can get great deals on them through apple’s site on refurbished models. Their refurbished ones are just as good as new. Mine came in looking perfect in a brand new box and packaging.)

Of course I have the “usual” HS football coach apps… HUDL, Dropbox, Evernote, a video camera app, coach me play book app, blah blah blah

But yesterday I decided to download the ESPN College Football App

IT IS AWESOME

There are top stories, score and highlight features but my favorite is the video tab…

You can select which week of the season you want and pick from a number of games… Pretty much every ranked team…

They have every TD and big play (sack,int,long run, long pass)

I was having a blast watching clips and being able to dissect some offensive concepts from a bunch of different games. I was checking out a ton of Oregon and Arizona offensive plays last night.

The only negative I noticed was you manually try to rewind each play to review it the video gets a little herky jerky. I found it is better to watch the play til the end and then just play it over from the beginning.

Overall really cool and something I think any coach with an iPad will enjoy.