Q&A: Lindsey Foster, CSUN Basketball Head Coach

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Lindsey Foster is the Women’s Head Coach at the Division 1 school California State University, Northridge. Before starting her coaching career, Foster was a successful Division 1 player at Northern Arizona University. She has extensive experience with both recruitment and player development and has helped two teams compete in the NCAA tournament no less than six times. 

Foster has watched hours and hours of film from high school prospects and in this post she shares some advice on how to analyze video and how she and her coaching staff use video to recruit student-athletes. 

Could you tell us about your coaching experience?

“I’ve been coaching women at the Division 1 level for 17 years. I was a UC Riverside for six years and this is my 11th year at California State University, Northridge and my first year as a head coach. My experience has been unforgettable in the fact that the people I’ve met along the way, have really enriched and enhanced my life. For me, coaching is about relationships and that’s the number one reason why I enjoy this profession so much.”

How do you use video for team and player development?

“Video for us is probably the most important tool for teaching. We use it for team development, team practices and game film, and then we break things down even further and have either individual meetings or position meetings with coaches and student-athletes for their development, weaknesses and strengths, and how we build on those. 

Film reveals all of those things, both for team and individual development.”

How do you use video for recruitment purposes?

“We are in California, and we recruit nationally and internationally, so it’s helpful to have video sent to us via email, so we can evaluate the players. Usually, if the video interests us, we’ll travel and see them in person. But this year, because of Covid-19, we haven’t been able to go out and recruit, so we have relied solely on video. High school coaches and club coaches have sent us film on recruits for the 2021 class, and after this pandemic, I think that video will remain a staple. It’s here to stay as far as recruiting. 

It is a little hard to recruit just with video because you can’t always see if the prospects are good teammates or do players give their coaches an attitude when they come off the floor. If the camera is pointing in the wrong direction, you’re not going to see those interactions, I look at all of that stuff.”

In what way does game footage change a high school player’s opportunity to receive a scholarship?

“When things get back to normal, college coaches usually have their season during the high school seasons, so if we’re able to get film on the high school players during the year, it is much easier for us, and gives us a sense of how they play with their high school teams. 

The most helpful emails we get from high school players are the ones that have a highlight video to pique our interest because we can see if they’re the type of player we need and what they do well. If we’re interested, we always want to see full game videos, because it gives us a better idea of how they actually are as players. 

We usually watch 2-3 full games to make a decision, because one good game doesn’t make them a really good player, we want to see if they’re consistent over the course of a few games. We usually get between 5-10 emails per day from high school players, so if they already have a highlight video and a game film, it makes it much easier for us.”

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