Video: A Great Tool To Harness
Technology is often more complicated than we want it to be … Teamgeniius’ Gabriel “Gabe” Skelly is a technophile that breathes video. Ruth Nicholson interviews Skelly on how to make communication between a club and its players easier.
Gabriel “Gabe” Skelly is a father of four who spends a lot of time doing charity work to fight HIV and homelessness. A Minnesota native who is a diehard cyclist, Skelly commutes by bike to work every day it is above 32 degrees.
An avid video producer Skelly combines his passion for videography and sports together at TeamGenius as Customer Success Manager where he helps youth sports clubs all over the world run better tryouts. Getting people away from paper can be challenging, but not for Skelly who is always immersed in the digital world.
Interview with Team Genius’ Gabriel “Gabe” Skelly
Ruth Nicholson: What are some of the major dilemmas youth soccer clubs face now? How are these challenges different?
Gabe Skelly: Right now, the biggest concern is that tryouts are delayed. Clubs aren’t sure what to do because of the financial impact of postponing tryouts. Some youth soccer clubs are now facing the question of whether or not to issue refunds. Others have decided not to open up and start registration. Not having those registration funds means clubs most likely have to furlough coaches if they can not find another way to fund coaching salaries and club operations.
Another unique challenge because of the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic is the lack of day to day interactions. Clubs also need to figure out how to communicate and continue to engage players and parents now that they are not seeing each other regularly on the field. From a big picture perspective, the current situation is especially difficult for folks who haven’t used technology much in the past.
If a club is not communicating or offering virtual training options and online ways to engage players and parents, they may lose their players.
Ruth Nicholson: How can clubs be innovative and use technology?
Gabe Skelly: Here is a great example of a club harnessing the power of technology: Ballistic United in Pleasanton, California was one of the first clubs that jumped on remote training for players to do at home. The technical director, Kevin Crow, identified nine core skills for the players to work on using a mobile app. The club is using TeamGenius to reach their players and our program provides a secure video platform — so parents are helping players upload their demonstrations. Everyone is really happily connected, and the players are receiving detailed feedback from their coaches on how they are doing.
One of the most powerful tools now available is the sharing of video, whether it is our faces in online meetings or soccer players doing conditioning exercises and drills on their own.
Video allows us to read facial expressions and emotions when we give feedback.
Ruth Nicholson: Looking forward, what other creative uses of technology are possible?
Gabe Skelly: There is a lot out there on YouTube, Facebook, and other platforms right now. I don’t think I have ever seen as much free content and live drills before. We now have the ability for coaches to lead live training sessions online with demonstrations on how to do things. And, players can also easily show what they are doing things at home.
Organizations that take this time to establish themselves as an innovative brand that keeps people engaged and interested will see the benefits of doing this in the future. “Life is change. Growth is optional.”
It is time for people to use technology to come together and to grow together.
We are going through some crazy times. It is a time to be positive, to learn something, and to use technology tools to the best of our ability to better our children and youth in sports. It is important to keep our kids connected, involved, and physically active because it is too easy to sit at home on a couch and watch tv.
Interested in learning more? If you want to hear more of Gabe’s insights and experience, join us at the weekly TeamGenius Community Roundtable every Friday at 3 PM Central Time. The Roundtable is an open opportunity for people from many different youth sports to talk about shared challenges and ideas.