Clif Williams begins his second year as the Head Video Coordinator for Florida State Women’s Basketball. His coaching career began with time at the high school ranks working with both boys and girls teams. Prior to his time at Florida State Williams served as a member of John Calipari’s staff at Kentucky as he assisted with Video Coordinating and compiling of statistical scouting information for the Wildcats, including the 2011-2012 National Championship team. He also spent the summer of 2012 as the Video Coordinator for the Dominican Republican team.
The Role of the Video Coordinator
Each staff uses the Video Coordinator spot differently. At Kentucky and at Florida State Clif has been a subject matter expert for the coaches to rely on. The army of available roles for the Video Coordinator to play is very diverse and there is a lot more to it than just setting up film and editing it for the coaching staff or team. You can also break it down with coaches and help them find the best ways to utilize it for efficiently teaching their players. At Florida State he also has a role on the bench during games where he relays play calls and information to the coaches and team.
Coaching Males vs. Females
Being that basketball is played by both men and women people often like to compare the two and analyze the similarities and differences. Williams, having spent time in both the men’s and women’s basketball worlds at the high school and college levels, says from his experience that you can’t think of it as coaching men vs. coaching women. Every player, no matter their gender, is an individual. Each player has their own personality, learning style and best way to be effectively taught. You as a coach have the challenge of figuring out how to most efficiently coach that player and help them to learn how to improve their skills.
To challenge yourself and grow as a coach while watching film, pick a game and let it roll without stopping. It is advantageous for you to be able to pick up everything that happens in an offensive set without constantly stopping the film. See how many actions you can pick up without rewinding the tape. Time stamp the play and continue on. As you see familiar sets later in the film, go back and complete your drawings. It is frustrating at first but developing this skill set will help you later on to be able to see the entire action of plays. See the diagram below for an example.
Coaching is Teaching
All great coaches are great teachers and and all great teachers are avid learners. You can never have the attitude that “I know everything” or “I know enough.” You must be willing to continually put an effort into improving. Go to camps, clinics, other practices, etc. Not just about basketball but about leadership, building relationships and anything else that can help you learn how to be a better person or coach.
“We (as coaches) relay information and sometimes we drop the baton. The best communicators recognize that when the baton gets dropped it needs to be picked up immediately and you need to find where it goes. Err on the side of transparency with your players.”
Clif Notes on Coaching
- You have to understand the time commitment and sacrifice that coaching requires. At some point everyone questions whether this is for them or not and at that point if winning is your identity and reason for coaching, you know this isn’t for you. If you are in it to use coaching as a vehicle/tool to help players grow and you understand it is bigger then a game you’ll be able to sustain excellence through those times.
- Communication is the hardest part of keeping an efficient and cohesive coaching staff. You have lots of people who are in their silo and focused on their responsibilities but you have to come together and prioritize what the program needs.
- He began his career as a volunteer assistant and eventually worked his way to being on the staff of a National Championships team by making connections with others by going to practices and meeting people. Keep in contact with people and build a relationship with them.