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AFM Magazine

Common Bond

Two very different high school coaches and programs each benefit from CoachComm’s PowerEdit™ system.
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The contrasts could not be greater. The big school in the football-crazed state that routinely plays in front of over 10,000 fans and produces multiple D-I players every year. The small school in the small state that’s only playing in its eighth year and might draw 2,000 for the season’s biggest game. One tech-savvy coach who has grown up with computers and another who had, until very recently, never used a computer and still refuses to use email. But Defensive Coordinator Jonathan Kay of powerhouse North Shore High School in Houston, Texas and Head Coach Dave Coyne of 700-student Rocky Hill High School outside of Hartford, Connecticut have two important things in common. One, their programs are both successful on the field and two, both coaches have become more effective and efficient by using the PowerEdit™ video editing system from CoachComm.

PowerEdit is a digital editing system that allows a school to capture video, enter play information and output the data in a variety of ways. Coaches can store five times more games as compared to traditional systems, transfer video up to five times faster than other systems, and run cut-ups in seconds rather than hours. CoachComm promises that PowerEdit will let you “do more, do it better, and do it faster than ever before.” To find out how PowerEdit has helped both a big-city program such as North Shore and a small town team like Rocky Hill, AFM spoke to Coach Kay and Coach Coyne about their experiences with the system.

AFM: How long have you been using PowerEdit and how would you compare it to your previous system?

Kay: This is our first season with PowerEdit and we started using it just before the start of the season. Prior to PowerEdit, we used other systems and, prior to 2004, we had never used a digital editing system. The advantage of PowerEdit is the option of file size (MPEG4 or DV25) and the TeamHiway component which allows us to make video more accessible. I also like the fact that PowerEdit offers three different versions of their software which makes adding stations more economical.

Coyne: This is our first year using the PowerEdit system. We used a different system before, and we had problems with it. PowerEdit is faster, my coaches get film quicker and I can make a highlight film in minutes.

AFM: Do you capture video live during games and input it directly into your system and, if so, has this been a big time saver for you?

Kay: We capture live at the game and enter information as it happens. This has been a tremendous time saver for us after the game. We hook the cameras directly to a laptop that is being controlled by a middle school coach. He inputs down, distance, hash marks, yards gained, and result as the play is happening. We also put a headset on him so he can input the offensive and defensive calls. We have watched the game video on the bus on the way home from a game.

Coyne: We capture it live at the game. On the way home on the bus I start to burn a DVD, and, when I get back to my office, I make six copies of the DVD for my coaches so they can look at it at their leisure. When we meet on Monday everybody has looked at their areas and we’re ready to get to work. It’s not only a time saver, but it helps communication between the coaches.

AFM: Do you convert video files to the MPEG4 format to make them easier to store and transfer?

Kay: We convert our practice video and opponent video to MPEG4. We don’t convert our game video since we don’t have to transfer that as much. In the past, I would have to wait nearly 1/2 hour for the video from practice to download to my laptop. The MPEG4 video transfers literally in seconds.

Coyne: We have been using the MPEG4 format so I can save space on my hard drive. That way, I can fit my entire season on my computer and the quality of the images is outstanding.

AFM: How does PowerEdit allow you and your staff to work more efficiently than before?

Kay: PowerEdit has streamlined our responsibilities. The days of an entire defensive staff huddled around a projector and VCR breaking down one game after another are gone. PowerEdit has allowed us to break down three game films simultaneously and have instant access to the information as it is being entered at the individual stations. It has also made our daily defensive meetings more efficient. We can easily make cut-ups of a specific opponent or of the previous day’s practice to watch with our players.

Coyne: PowerEdit definitely allows me to be more efficient than before. It’s just great. This is like a miracle for us. I know it will do more for us in the future as I take time to learn more about it. But for now, we’re as happy as can be with it. I’m not computer savvy at all, so the CoachComm rep had a huge undertaking. He spent time teaching me how to use PowerEdit and kept encouraging me, saying “you can do this.” Now, I’m doing things I never thought I’d be doing. Even my coaches are amazed. Plus, the support from CoachComm has been super.

AFM: What other features of the PowerEdit System are most important to you?

Kay: The customizable batch filters have been a tremendous asset. I have about 10 cut-ups that I will watch every week regardless of the opponent. The batch filters have those cut-ups waiting for me as soon as the games are entered. I also get a lot of use from the video being built into the reports. This is a tremendous way to look for input errors during breakdown or spotting tendencies that may otherwise go unnoticed.

Coyne: On Sunday, I’ll go over the game play by play, and I fill in the name of the offensive plays, how many yards it gained, etc. If it’s a highlight play, I’ll put a dollar sign on it to remind me that it’s a ‘money play’. Then I can go back and put on a filter to separate all the money plays, burn a DVD and I’ve got a highlight film of that game. At the end of the season, I’ll have a highlight DVD of the entire year. Or, if I’ve got a player who wants to play in college, a running back, for example, I can filter out all of his plays for the season where he gained over five yards, make his own personal highlight tape and burn a DVD for him.

North Shore's Secrets of Success

In the extremely competitive world of large-school Texas football, successful teams gain an advantage by integrating technology into their daily routines. In a rare look inside one of the state’s perennial powers, Defensive Coordinator Jonathan Kay shares his perspective on using video in coaching and describes how North Shore takes full advantage of PowerEdit to give players an edge.

“PowerEdit has made video analysis an integral part of our program’s everyday life. Watching video is no longer an option for a player, it is an expectation. We videotape every practice every day. We have students who operate the video for us and they’ve mastered the PowerEdit system in days. They come down from practice when we start conditioning to input the video into the server. By the time we finish with conditioning and meeting, the video from that practice is waiting for us as a defensive staff. This allows us to make instant adjustments to our personnel and scheme as an entire staff on a daily basis. The MPEG4 format will download to a laptop in seconds so that you can take it home and watch it later that night.

“This philosophy of constant evaluation permeates through every person involved in our program. The players are going to see themselves perform on a daily basis. They are going to be put on display, for better or for worse, daily. Before every practice, they are going to watch a cut-up of either the upcoming opponent or the practice from the day before. They are all going to receive a cut-up of the upcoming opponent on either a VHS tape or DVD as well as having access to the posted video on the TeamHiway site. Video has become as much a part of their everyday equipment as their helmet and shoulder pads.

“We live in a digital age. The players we are coaching are visual learners in every aspect. This is the ‘Playstation’ generation. If we are not coaching them in a way that they can comprehend (video), then we are not giving them every opportunity to be successful on the field. We are doing things with video now that I never thought were possible even five years ago. It is exciting to think what the next five years will bring.”


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