Mark Gallion is a baseball coach and instructor in the St. Louis area with over 250 athletes in his program. He owns one of the largest Coach’s Eye + Teams accounts. In the Q & A below he details how he got to where he is today. There are helpful hints, tips and tricks for a coach of any experience level in his responses.
How did you get started coaching?
Mark: I started coaching 20 years ago when my sons started playing baseball.
How long have you been coaching all 250 athletes in your program?
Mark: This is our 9th year running multiple teams and age groups.
Where are you located?
Mark: We are located in St. Louis MO, but we attract and serve players from the entire Midwest region.
How exactly are you using Coach’s Eye?
The St. Louis Gamers use Coach’s Eye for the one on one video library and group video review functionality. Specifically slow motion (120-240 fps) analysis of hitting. We put GoPro cameras right in the cage, 3 feet off the plate. Nothing between the hitter and the camera. The video is then immediately placed in the shared video library for the roster to review.
What does your instruction process look like? What areas/skills do you currently focus on?
We use MLB hitter swings to instruct players on what position their bodies need to be in. With Coach’s Eye + Teams we can import video directly into our group video library. Which means we can have whatever hitters we want to compare against. We use 8 specific points, or “frames” as the teaching points.
What age range do you coach? Do you have different coaching approaches for the different ages?
We have players from 10 to 18 years old. Until now, we have used video analysis just for the 14-18u age group, But, we are looking at expanding it to the younger players soon.
Were you using any other video software before Coach’s Eye?
We did not use PC-based systems because of the lack of mobility. When phone/tablet apps became available, we tried them all and eventually began using Coach’s Eye as our main solution.
How difficult was it to incorporate Coach’s Eye?
Not hard. The players have no issue with the technology and using the app. The biggest issue was teaching the coaching staff how to use it, more from a process standpoint. Once you are in the app, the coaching part is intuitive.
How did you instruct players/athletes before Coach’s Eye?
We literally used the coach’s eyes! Just what we could see with naked eye. A 30 frame per second video analysis has little value for hitters. Things are moving too fast. It was not until high frame rate video became readily available that video was useful for instructing young players.
How effective was that for their understanding and development?
It was effective, but the player could not SEE IT. So, it was hard for them to make adjustments. If a really good athlete sees something, he can make an adjustment so much faster. It’s impressive to watch how fast players can make adjustments when they see a video.
What has been the most valuable aspect of Coach’s Eye for you?
We are using it on a weekly basis. So, week 1 we focus on some big things, like balance and body position. In week 10, we have progressed to very individualized, very specific elements of the swing. That’s the difference between a player hitting against a good pitcher and a player hitting against a great pitcher.
What’s a typical response from athletes when they see a Coach’s Eye video? How about parents?
Players love the frame-by-frame, high quality video. They also like the easy access to coached videos and instruction. For the parents, they get to see their kid working hard and they get to hear direct feedback from the coach when they watch the videos.
What has Coach’s Eye meant for athlete development?
It has made it a lot more visual, with highly personalized instruction. This enables continuous improvement for a developing player.
Has Coach’s Eye helped to improve your business at all?
I believe that it will help with player retention and development.
What additional possibilities do you see for Coach’s Eye and video?
I see these tools ultimately being integrated with sensors that provide physical measurements automatically to go along with the video.
Can you sum up the value of Coach’s Eye for you in a single sentence?
Coach’s Eye allows you to slow down the game.
For more information about Mark and St. Louis Gamers visit http://stlgamers.net