Jan. 16, 2013
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The message delivered to the University of Michigan men's basketball team by head coach John Beilein after its first loss of the season at Ohio State on Sunday (Jan. 13) was that they would learn a great deal from that experience and continue get better.
With their second straight road game against another top-15 opponent in No. 9 Minnesota up next on the slate (Thursday, Jan. 17), the Wolverines had no choice but to put the loss behind them and move forward.
One of Michigan's most important learning tools utilized each and every day is watching film. During Michigan's two days of preparation for Minnesota, the coaching staff had to incorporate clips of the Ohio State matchup in order to learn from their mistakes, as well as film on Minnesota to prepare for another tough road game.
Despite the outcome of each game, the Wolverines watch at least a half-hour of film each day in addition to their time spent on the court. Knowing that many of their players are visual learners, the coaching staff is very passionate about learning from film.
The member of Michigan's staff charged with the task of preparing hours of film clips each week is video analyst Peter Kahler. With the vast improvements in technology over the last couple years, watching film has become easier for all parties involved. Game videos are able to be shared digitally via the internet and can be easily clipped to illustrate the team's game plan for each opponent.
The Wolverines, however, have an edge over nearly every other opponent in the nation in this category, as each player has their own iPad that can be used to distribute and view film clips. Each week, players receive scouting reports, stats, video clips and other important information on their iPads to help them prepare for each matchup. With Kahler at their disposal around the clock, players can also request to see additional clips on certain players or certain situations that they may face in an upcoming game.
Their iPads are stored in customized slots in their lockers where they can charge when not in use, but players can take them with them on the go -- on the bus, on the plane or in their hotel rooms to help. With the use of this technology, this important learning tool is available to them day and night.
Prior to traveling to Minnesota to face the Gophers on Thursday (Jan. 17), the Wolverines held a media roundtable on Wednesday (Jan. 16). In addition to Coach Beilein, Spike Albrecht and Trey Burke speaking with the media, Kahler sat down for a brief interview.
Michigan Video Analyst Peter Kahler
On each player having their own iPad ... "When we were designing the Player Development Center, I came in late in the design process, but Travis Conlon had the idea to have iPads in the locker room. Our first year in the building, we figured out a way to make personnel cuts and put them on a general drop box website to allow the kids to view the personnel clips from there. This year, we stepped it up by designing our own scouting template. It's actually an iBook that can be downloaded to their iPad anywhere they'd like. So now a kid is essentially looking at an eBook with all the stats and graphics and information we want them to have, along with a video embedded inside the scouting report. It's very technology friendly; it's downloaded so you don't have to wait for it to stream and the guys are able to view the scouting report on the bus, on the plane, in their hotel rooms the night before games. It's all inclusive, so it's one-stop shopping, and they're able to really get an edge on their opponent."
On how the team and individual players utilize film ... "As a team, we watch a lot of practice. Coach Beilein will watch every practice, clip it up, and we'll show a lot of that as a team, so we can learn from each other's mistakes and see what we're doing right. From an individual standpoint, anyone can ask me whenever they want and say, 'I would like to have extra footage of how a certain player is making threes, or how so-and-so is getting rebounds,' and then I can send those to that individual person, so they're getting a little extra of whatever they want. So if Jordan Morgan wants to know how to get offensive rebounds, I can show the last five games of everybody getting offensive rebounds against that particular opponent. It's all about how much each student-athlete wants to learn. Some people learn at a different pace and certain people learn different ways. So whether they learn it on the court, that's great, but it you want to learn through video, that's why they have my role here so that I can help them through visual learning."
On how much the team learns from each game film ... "Coach Beilein really embraces learning from the good and the bad. After each game, we will show what we did wrong, and then we always end on a high note because you can learn from what you do well, and it's positive reinforcement. We always try to leave the film room with a sense of positive outcome. It's a great way to make sure we're getting better from watching film."
On how much technology with film has evolved over the last decade ... "This is my seventh season in college basketball. I started off as a graduate assistant at Ohio University, where I did all the film work and those were the last days of VHS. Everything used to be on VHS, and you'd have to rewind and cut it. Then we moved to digital, which involved CDs and DVDs and ripping them to a digital format. Now here at Michigan, we're really at a different level with internet speeds, technology of computers and processors. It's all digital now, which is great because you can send things through the internet. You don't have to wait for FedEx to come to dig through the mail bin. You can get everything instantaneously, so film exchange is a lot easier. It's also easier for the guys because instead of watching two games on an opponent, now you can watch five, six, seven games of your opponent's last games instead of waiting for film of the last two."
Contact: Tom Wywrot, Whitney Dixon (734) 763-4423