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Wednesday, April 15, 2015


I've been a huge Tim Corbin fan since being introduced via Coach Don Meyer who never missed an opportunity to visit with Tim when getting back to Nashville.  I'm also a big believer in the utilization of visual including video to both teach and motivate athletes and found this article written by Adam Sparks of The Tennessean fascinating.  To follow are some excerpts of the article but you can read it in its entirety here.

Game film is not a typical baseball coaching tool. But then again, Vanderbilt's Tim Corbin is not a typical baseball coach.

"Video is a coach in itself to the kids," Corbin said. "These kids were born with a camera in their face. Whether it's Instagram or Facebook or Twitter, it's a visual moment for them. It incorporates a picture.

"So to see themselves in video, it's probably right up their alley."

The No. 1 ranked Commodores (27-6, 10-2 SEC) first utilized game film during a national championship run last season, and Corbin has expanded its use since then with upgraded high-tech equipment and access to SEC Network telecasts.

"Film study is more in the football coaching realm, but I like it," Corbin said. "It's a very visual world we live in, and you want to acquire as much as you can to help the kids."

About three times a week players gather in the team classroom for film study, but it's not a tiresome frame-by-frame lecture like one would expect.

Instead, each three-hour game is squeezed into a 15-minute condensed version. Only "result plays" are viewed, including outs, hits, the last pitch of a strikeout or walk, a stolen base, wild pitch or passed ball.

Film school
Corbin's team film sessions run at a frenetic pace, but they occasionally pause to replay a funny moment amid the action of the game.

On one occasion last week, Corbin broke away from reviewing the proper footwork on catching a fly ball to poke light-hearted fun at pitcher Tyler Ferguson, who was caught on video making an animated call for an out.

"So we are an umpire too, huh?" Corbin said to the laughter of the team.

The rest of the time Corbin spends racing through the condensed video, stopping at unexpected points. He shows rightfielder Rhett Wiseman where he made false steps on breaking on a fly ball. When Bryan Reynolds quickly fields a ball off the centerfield wall, Corbin puts the video into slow-motion.

"Young outfielders, watch closely how quick his exchange is off the wall, out of the glove and to the cut-off relay," Corbin said.

* * * * *

Corbin watches most condensed videos immediately after the game. He then pares them with audio notes he takes on a digital recorder from the dugout during each game. By the next morning, he has a concise presentation ready to roll out when his players arrive.

"This helps them visually rather than just a practice environment," Corbin said. "They see it in motion, and they can correct it. You have to continue to reach these kids in a way that's current. Video does that."