The technology that is available for the development of softball across all ages and levels of play is truly incredible. Being able to see it all again first hand this summer was exciting! Let's talk about it all including GoPros, the role of different software, TV, and the impact on the game in this 2019 Summer Reflection. You can find my first two articles here:
Awww, the GoPro. The source of many online jokes and memes, the phenomenon that has swept the country, and the piece of "tech" that is attached to very backstop near you. I personally have a GoPro as well and I love it! It's a fun piece of tech with many uses that has helped me capture many great memories. Though we need to talk about, what I believe is the over or misuse of them, in the athletic setting.
First and foremost, many people utilize the footage as part of their recruiting e-mails or skills video. From conversations I've had and Tweets or quotes I've seen, this generally isn't a great idea. Why? Because you can't really see anything; not what the coaches are most interested in, anyway. One coach shared that the value they get out of seeing those clips is the ability to watch an athlete somewhat compete. Another coach shared they don't really enjoy the footage at all. Yet another coach on Twitter shared that prospective student-athletes have to get away from including this type of footage on their skill tapes earlier this summer.
You cannot see anything when it really comes down to it!
So, I want to pose this question to everyone who utilizes a GoPro every single game. Can we spend some time thinking about the "why"? Why are you using this piece of tech? How are you using it? And what are your goals? Does this help you achieve those goals as effectively as possible?
If you are filming so you can keep the memories of your child's playing days, that is cool! My family has tons of home videos (back on good ol' VHS tapes) from my various games, band performances, theater, etc. I've also seen some programs use it to stream back to families and friends not in attendance which is also a great use of a GoPro.
But when it comes down to usage for recruiting there are better avenues and options to help give collegiate coaches what they want and need.
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