Using Video in Athletics Coaching
Taught by: James McCowan
What is the course in which you use instructional technologies about? Tell us about its origin, goals and objectives.
Varsity Athletics, specifically Cross Country and Track & Field would be the area of student interaction for me personally, but nearly all the teams use some form of electronic media to aid their coaching. The origin of the concept is from biomechanics studies, where video work can help break down motions into distinct moments of time to help gain an understanding of the technique and form. You could say those first moving pictures of a horse running were the origins of what we are doing; those photos forever changed how galloping horses were portrayed, as people could finally actually see distinct moments of the gallop and where the limbs were in relation to each other. Our goal is to improve motor learning and improve technique in running, swimming, jumping, hurdling or throwing so student-athletes can fully realize their highest level of capability. Using visual feedback in the form of film, in conjunction with coaching cues and verbal guidance, can help student-athletes realize inefficiencies in their form and correct errors more quickly.
What were the technologies used and how did they change or enhance your course?
The technology included a digital video camera in conjunction with iMovie and SiliconCoach software to break down the film and compare it with other film in a quick and efficient manner
The Student Response
How have your students responded to your use of this technology?
For those with key problems that were difficult to correct, the use of film has been very beneficial to helping them understand what changes we were looking for. Being able to see yourself and how you move and connect those motions to your proprioceptive sense of what you are doing and contrast it with our goals is very helpful. Several students who were most involved in video analysis finally saw what we were trying to correct and had a much better time adjusting their form and technique.
What are the challenges you faced teaching this course?
Broken cameras and simply having enough time to effectively use the technology in a setting with multiple athletes.
What new directions would you like to explore with technology in your teaching?
I have been looking more and more into heartrate monitors and am interested in finding ways to maximize our benefit of their use. One thing I'm missing is a reliable way to collect data. There are some monitors out there that allow you to directly load information from the monitors to a computer program, and I'd like to pursue that.