Empowering Coaches Step-By-Step

Why Film Is So Important in Youth Football, Some Simple Filming Tips

Game film is an invaluable tool when coaching youth football. This article will explain why and give your filmer some tips so the film that you do use, gives you the information you need to improve your youth football team.

First of all film never lies, it tells the truth and never makes mistakes. Unfortunately, much of the information we get from our youth football players is inaccurate, either on purpose to cover up a players mistakes, or everything is happening so quick out on the field the player just forgets or doesn�t know. Youth Football Coaches and spotters are often either just watching the game instead of watching keys or they are keeping a close eye on their son only. These factors often leave a coach with just a partial picture of how his youth football team performed on game day.

Film has dramatically improved my coaching success and is the single biggest logistics coaching tool I use to improve my youth football teams.

Unfortunately, when most youth football coaches do get game film, it is often of little value. The dad or mom you have shooting the game often has the wrong angle on the shot or is just following their son on the play.

Here are some tips that help you get better shots that you can share with your filmer:


Use a tripod.

Shoot from the grandstand side that has the down and distance chains facing the camera.

Make sure and start the shot as the players line up on the line of scrimmage. Many filmers shoot the football plays at the snap, which is very difficult for the coach when it�s time review the initial formations and schemes. You can easily fast forward or edit out any extra footage.

Have the focus set such that the entire formation both offense and defense are included in the shot. But make the shot is as tight to that formation as possible.

Set the camera up at least 10 rows up in the bleachers (the higher up the better) and at the midpoint of the stands.

If there are no bleachers, line the camera up on the sidelines at a 45 degree angle or so from the ball and shoot behind your teams offense and behind your teams defense. A good rule of thumb is about 15 yards behind the team and at an unobstructed angle.

Follow the ball.

Verbally announce the down, distance and field position if the shot does not make that readily evident.

Follow the team down the field even in the grandstand if the shot is not in focus from your location in the stands.

I didn�t start getting film of my teams until 2003 and it was not great film. Our filmer was the grandparent of one of my youth football players. Grandpa often followed his grandsons play as any good grandparent would do, but the shots improved as the season wore on.

Of late I�ve hired a local TV cameraman to shoot and edit our games. He has some youth football in his background and does an excellent job at about $120 per game that I pay out of my own pocket. He now knows our offense well enough that he rarely gets those poor shots where he is following a faker and the defense, while on the other side of the field one of our running backs is alone in the endzone for one of those untouched touchdowns.

At the first meeting of the season we explain the value of film to the parents and players, why we do it and have the parents and players sign releases. At seasons end everyone gets a professionally made season DVD that they all love. This saves the parents from having the hassle of filming every game for their own personal keepsake. If you�ve filmed games before, you know watching a youth football game and filming one is two different things, it really isn�t much fun. Since we sell so many DVDs on this website, I can include the season DVDs as part of the players sign up fee and add just $5 to the fee to cover my costs.

The game film serves another very important purpose for the aspiring youth football coach. If your youth football players know you will be reviewing every game in depth and that film NEVER lies, they will often effort better towards whatever responsibility they have and standard you set. Every Monday I review my film observations with the team from prepared notes.

To me film is great, it is an invaluable tool every coach should try his darndest to get. It is especially helpful to the offensive line coach, as the tight formation often making it difficult to determine proper footwork and head placement. For the offensive coordinator, the film is a great tool to help you troubleshoot poorly performing plays, same for the defensive coordinator on his scheme breakdowns.

We also use game film to make weekly determinations of playing time. The film is given about a 70% weighting on playing time decisions for the following week.

On another note, I�m a visual learner like many and very skeptical. Some coaches that sell youth football coaching materials on the internet never show you their teams results or film of their teams. Some in fact have never coached a single down at the youth level. At best, you may get a highlight reel from some. Anyone can put together a string of highlights even from a poor season, they prove very little. The Season DVDs I sell have every offensive drive of the game on them. The 2006 season DVD has every offensive, defensive and special teams snap. You see the good, the bad and the ugly. You see us scoring 3 touchdowns in the first quarter of 9 games is our 2006 season as well as the final snap of our OT playoff game loss. You see us play great, average and poor teams, you see no bad snaps leading to turnovers, nothing is hidden.

Maybe it�s because my wife is from Missouri, the �Show Me� State, but I want to see stuff working in action before I become a believer. If I�m using someone�s system, putting my entire youth football season in someone elses hands, I want more that just some paper diagrams and theories. Anyone can scribble down some football plays on paper or even write an implementation manual, or develop a highlight reel. I want to see the system consistently blowing teams out on my TV screen in lots of real games and preferably over a number of seasons with different teams, like mine do.

I have had the unique experience of head coaching 14 different teams in Suburban, Inner-City and Rural areas, age 6-8 all the way up to age 13-14 in various leagues with a variety of different rules. I’ve also founded two different youth football organizations 90 miles apart, it gives me a unique perspective most youth football authors don’t have.

Many coaches like to watch full games DVDs, not only as real proof the system works as advertised, but to see the coaching points in action. Many youth football coaches also like to see how we sequence our football plays and how we respond to particular schemes and techniques with different teams. I’m with you, that’s what I would want if I was looking to buy a system and that’s why we have the full game DVDs available for your review.

Youth football coaches that sell coaching items should be willing to show others full games or seasons to prove their theories and systems work. Seeing is believing and I want to see it in action for my money.

Another article brought to you by //winningyouthfootball.com Copyright 2007 Cisar Management. Republishing allowed if links are kept intact.

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