Coach Interview with Brad Yetman

InStat proves valuable to teams during unfortunate pauses

The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League was fortunate to start the 2020-21 season this past fall, and months later, is unfortunately the only one of the Canadian Hockey Leagues’ three leagues to have played meaningful games due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Still, that is not to say the season hasn’t come with its challenges and Covid-related stops and starts. 

Brad Yetman, assistant coach of the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies, is one of many coaches in the QMJHL that has found the InStat Hockey platform to be a helpful tool throughout the season. 

Yetman, a former four-year QMJHL player (Shawinigan Cataractes, Rouyn-Noranda Huskies, PEI Rocket), and former scout in the league for five years, has seen a number of ways InStat can help an organization as a whole. 

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When I played, video and analytics were not nearly as prominent, and as a coach, I rely on both methods to help individual skill development, and to help build team system play. Video is a great resource to use for many different aspects of the game and the majority of our days at the rink revolve around watching and building video. For the analytics components, we certainly use that for more individual teaching, and pre-scouting opponents, however, [data] can be misleading so it is important to pair it with video,” Yetman said. 

The QMJHL season has been paused since early December, with Covid cases rising across Canada. However, Yetman and the Rouyn-Noranda staff aren’t ones to sit around and wait.

We generally have a team video session everyday, and individual 1-on-1 meetings. InStat helps this process, as we may use certain analytics to show to the players, such as location of shots taken/allowed, challenges won, and giveaways and takeaways. InStat has each player’s shifts broken down and separated under their ice time, so this is effective and time efficient for us. We tend to send each player their shifts after the last game of a weekend and review with them. Using InStat, this is extremely easy to do,” Yetman explained. 

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With the pandemic cutting out the ability for teams to travel to watch games in person, InStat’s library of video worldwide has proven to be a useful tool for many teams, and coaches like Yetman are now using their (unfortunate) extra time during the pauses in their season to focus on more than just their own team. Many coaches have taken on the added responsibility of scouting in addition to the team’s own scouting staff. InStat makes thousands of valuable games, players’ individual shifts and important actions all available within a few clicks. 

Scouting players at the minor/youth hockey level was always going to be a challenge this season due to the various travel restrictions, but the use of video has solved that issue and provided teams with added benefits as well. Aside from scouting and working with a team’s own data and video, with InStat, teams are able to use their access to the video of other leagues as a teaching tool for their players, instructing them how the game is played at the higher levels. 

We will even use InStat to watch pro level games, for not only team structure play, but also to look at individual players. Being able to sort through a professional player’s shifts (who may be a model of one of our players) helps in the development of our player. Having access to this video and analysis adds a new level and resource to our organization,” Yetman continued.

He concluded, “InStat has helped our day to day operations in a big way. We are able to be more time-efficient in our work, and able to provide more resources and teaching to our players, which is our main priority. It’s hard to think of coaching and developing players without it!

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