I've had the pleasure of owning FootballScoop for over six years now. During that time, I've personally met thousands of coaches, personnel and operations staff members. I've visited with nearly 50 staffs at their offices and observed their operations. Almost all of my visits focus on spending time with the coaching staff; but I almost always get the customary tour of the facilities and get to meet most of the operations, personnel and recruiting staff...always see the weight room, locker and equipment rooms even usually meet administrative personnel; but looking back, I almost never wind up meeting (or typically even seeing) the video coordinator.
I'll tell you what I do see, I see the head coach watching video...I sit in the offensive staff room and watch the OC control the remote...oh and the DC is far more animated working his remote back and forth, back and forth, yelling...I sit in on position meetings and it's more of the same, video everywhere...walk down the hall and the recruiting guys have 3 screens going, all video...find the GA room and more video. See where I'm going with this?
Yeah, I'm not real sure why it is; but the video coordinator doesn't get his due. The pace at which video technology has evolved in the last 30 years, 15 years, 5 years (less than 300 high schools used Hudl 5 years ago) is incredible and many would argue is increasing. Things that took 4 hours 5 years ago can now be done is 15 minutes...if you have the right technology and the right people overseeing the operation. Enter the unsung hero, the video coordinator.
Today's video coordinator is a professional. He (or she) has been trained or he has trained himself and he's good at what he does. Coaches want to watch practice as soon as they get into their offices...done. Want to watch the game film on the flight home from an away game...yeah, we got that. Need 20 desktops, 15 laptops and 140 iPads all able to stream different cuts of video at the same time...yeah we can handle that too. Think about that guys.
So, who are these mystery folks who just make everything work? Well, I had the pleasure of spending a few days in Houston at the Collegiate Sports Video Association with 160 video coordinators, assistants and others aspiring to further their careers in this profession recently and I came away with a new level of respect for this group. Stepping back, it wasn't that I didn't respect these guys before, I simply didn't know them. I literally had probably only met 5-10 video coordinators in my life. What I learned in Houston is that these are a bunch of hard working people who generally love what they do and enjoy being part of a team. They take pride in their work, are willing to put in the time to learn more and are people who get things done.
Coaches, like pilots or doctors or accountants, etc...need technology to work to be efficient. They don't typically spend their time thinking about just how hard it is to make the 100s of various pieces of hardware and software talk to each other in the most efficient manner possible; they just want their devices to work they way they should. Well folks, here's a reality check, it just isn't that easy, and yet 99 times out of 100 you call up your video player and it works as it should.
Coaches, do yourself a favor and walk down to your video coordinator's office today and thank them for their contribution to the program; because truly, that is all they want. Not one of them said it to me; but I heard it in the way they spoke, video coordinators as a group want, and deserve, your understanding that what they do takes skill and makes you far more efficient in your daily routine and your recognition that they are an integral part of the staff.
I'll have more on what I learned at the 2014 CSVA Conference later this week. Stay tuned...