Youth Sports Think Tank 2019 Day Eight Review

Lights. Camera. Action! Video is Vital to the Best Coaching Development Plans

“If we want to treat ourselves as professionals, video has to part of our coaching development and feedback platform.”

Welcome to my Day 8 review and summary of the GO! Chase Excellence in Youth Sports Virtual Think Tank.

My review focuses on one presentation that I have viewed in the last 24 hours.

Each of my reviews follows the format of the Think Tank ‘Workbook & Reflection Journal’ provided alongside each of the sessions:

  • What – What issues does this session address?
  • So What? – Why are these issues important?
  • Now What? – How can I address these issues or implement the ideas in this session?

Today’s Review

Today’s review is from the “Cultivate” track of the Think Tank. The “Cultivate – Coach the  Coach” track is focused on helping coaches create the best possible culture on their team, in their club and among their colleagues..

The presentation I chose today was “Lights. Camera. Action! Video is Vital to the Best Coaching Development Plans” by Coach Reed Maltbie. Coach Reed is the Founder of The Excellence Equation, co-developer of Positive Discipline Tools for Coaches, and the co-developer of the 2019 GO! Chase Excellence in Youth Sports Virtual Think Tank. 


It is common for coaches to video and review the performance of their athletes. Why is it that many coaches won’t watch themselves on video?

Paper Evaluations

Written feedback certainly has its place and can be a valuable tool. It also has its disadvantages and limitations. These include:

  • Difficulty in deciphering and interpreting the written feedback.
  • A potential lack of depth in the feedback due to the limits of space on an evaluation form.
  • A typical focus on the errors made rather than on the revision of the work.
  • The inability to hear the tone of voice and see the body language of the evaluator.

All these shortcomings show that there must be a better way for coaches to receive feedback.


While some of the above shortcomings of paper evaluations can be overcome when the review is done face-to-face with a mentor, video can assist the process immensely. There is power in pictures.

Some of the advantages that video provides include:

  • Things can be noticed that are difficult to see during a session.
  • The video can be paused, re-wound and repeated.
  • Recollection flaws can be overcome as there is no need to have to rely on memories.

Video with a mentor

Video self-evaluation can be useful but the ultimately it is best that a mentor be involved in the feedback process.

A mentor provides another set of eyes that may see things that the coach is unaware of. These include:

  • Tone, pace and volume of voice
  • Positioning of the coach in relation to the athletes
  • “Ticks and tells” (i.e. does the coach repeat a word, phrase or action too often to the point it distracts the athletes?)

A mentor can also provide objectivity, an alternative view and a level of expertise in an area that the coach needs.

So What?

Lots of advantages and opportunities arise from the use of videos and mentorship. Many other professions and industries use video to improve their performance, including:

  • Surgeons
  • Pilots
  • Educators
  • Armed forces

Video technology today is inexpensive, convenient and time efficient. Video can be used to overcome the disadvantage of those living remotely or away from major centres, where a face-to-face situation with a skilled mentor may not be an option.

Now What?

This session has certainly reignited my interest in using video to improve my coaching performance and that of other coaches.

As a coach developer, I am am certainly inspired to use video as part of my mentoring system. In fact, I would love to base my mentoring around video.

As a “developer of coach developers” my eyes have also been opened to the possibility of using video to provide feedback to course presenters.

Being filmed and submitting oneself for review, can be understandably confronting to many, but we cannot ignore or avoid what may be the ultimate coach development tool.

If it works for improving athletes, imagine what it could do for coaches.

Favourite Quotes From Presentation

If we want to treat ourselves as professionals, video has to part of our coaching development and feedback platform.”

Further reading

Youth Sports Think Tank 2019 Day Seven Review

If this post helped you please take a moment to help others by sharing it on social media. If you want to learn more I encourage you to leave questions and comments or contact me directly.

20150614_154020-1Darren Wensor is a sports development professional, coach educator, specialist coach of young athletes and founder of the blog Learn more about him here and connect with him on TwitterFacebookLinkedin, Anchor or via email.

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