More on Carthage

Coach Surratt with team after practice Wednesday

40 something hours until the Carthage Bulldogs take the field against Lindale and some of my general impressions of the week.

-The heat this week is just awful, around 100 and humid every day, on the hot artificial turf it’s even worse,,, but I got the chance to sneak up to the air-conditioned press box for a while today.

-I get the impression this team is not in any way letting Fridays upsetting loss effect what’s going on this week. They know they’re a good team, they know they need to play better and they are confident they will. They’ll learn from the loss, fix the problems that caused it and be just fine.

-Practices at Carthage are very physical, have got a little sharper each of the last three days and a little hotter each of the last three days.

-I only know what I’ve seen on film of Lindale, and they are definitely a quality team, but if I was coaching at Carthage, I’d be cautiously confident about Friday night.

-See link for preview of Friday’s game.

One of the major factors in the quality coaching I’ve seen at Carthage this week is how well they use video and technology to supplement their instruction. Carthage tennis coach, Jim Milstead and a student assistant, film team drills, 7 on 7 and inside run sessions from two angles everyday at practice.  They quickly upload the film into the HUDL system and, often before practice ends, the film is available for the coaches and players.

With 22 bodies moving very quickly in different directions on every play, even an outstanding staff misses many of the minute details that make the difference between failure and success.  The filming system at Carthage allows the coaches and players to see and go over every step and every move by every player on each rep. during practice, from two different angles. As soon as the players come off the field they head to various meeting rooms and offices to watch and have their play critiqued by their position coaches. This makes field time much more efficient as the coaches don’t need to keep 21 players standing around waiting while they correct the mistakes of #22. Instead, they can move quickly and correct problems later in the meeting room. It also motivates the players to do well on every rep. They become very aware there is no hiding from the camera and film doesn’t lie.

The process looks so seamless that I’m guessing many of the players take it for granted. But, it is a significant investment in manpower and infrastructure that allows the coaches to do such a good job without worrying about the technical details.

Manpower comes from Coach Milstead and his assistant, the infrastructure is in the design of the fieldhouse. The fieldhouse was build with ceiling mounted video projectors in every office and conference room, all tied into to computers with internet connections allowing the uploaded video of every drill, practice and game to be instantly shown in every position meeting. At Carthage, at least, the days of rolling video carts with VHS or DVD machines attached to 35 inch, 200 lb. televisions are long in the past.

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