Elisabeth Gadient 031023.JPG

Already a top point guard in the area, Goodhue's Elisabeth Gadient uses film to tighten up her play on the court. Martin Schlegel / Republican Eagle

Wondering how to better share his kids and their accomplishments to the rest of the family, Brett Gadient began videotaping every sporting event. It started out as a side project but has become one of the most beneficial tools for many to use.

Each home football game, every boys and girls basketball game, wrestling, pep fests and concerts all are streamed live on YouTube. As long as there is a strong internet connection and it involves Goodhue, it is able to be streamed.

The setup has grown immensely. On most live streams, there are announcers. Goodhue residents volunteer to do it. There’s camera operators, some of whom are students. Families who have donated money to help with the high cost of live streaming are shown in banner ads.

There’s plenty of in-house advertising during breaks. Replays at halftime and the end of the game. A digital scoreboard at the bottom of the screen that has a connection to the operator’s board, eliminating the use of having a still camera focused on the scoreboard.

“We’re really proud of the quality of the live stream,” Gadient said. “We’ve been able to add cameras behind each backboard and microphones next to each rim.”

The videos are saved in a massive archive. There’s a service Gadient uses to identify plays of every kind, which can then be sorted by player and/or shot type. From there, he can use them to make a highlight video of a game or of a player.

During a sit-down with Brett and his daughter, star Wildcat junior Elisabeth Gadient, the two shared that they watch past games together. Elisabeth will play, Brett is somewhere in the stands monitoring the livestream. Elisabeth’s mother, Heather, is in the stands watching as well. Then they all meet at home and turn on the game that just happened.

It has become a family tradition.

Heather said it’s something that, as parents, is valuable to them. Everyone isn’t always able to be in the same place all the time. To have the game on with everyone huddled around the TV is something they can look forward to.

One of the main uses for the live stream is to provide a viewing platform for those who can’t attend the games, something that took on a greater importance during the COVID-19 shortened seasons when attendance was limited.

It gets used by teachers in classes to teach video editing and advertising.

Then there’s using it to study film.

Elisabeth, of course, watches with her family. Then she’ll watch the game on her phone.

She doesn’t make physical notes but is able to spot trends in the way her team reacts to certain plays. She sees how teams defend and how to best expose them. It’s all about pinpointing how to improve her own game.

So far this season, she has shown the ability to knock down 3-point shots, sometimes several in-a-row on consecutive possessions. Elisabeth watches on video, defenders putting their hands down. Time to shoot the ball.

As the point guard, she watches past games to see where the best pass option was. Is she making the correct decisions and did she identify the defense’s setup? She’s watched a lot of her past games.

Like channel surfing through cable television, the private playlist of Elisabeth’s past games is extensive and approaching 400 videos. Not quite as much as the close to 500 sets of her older sister Hannah, currently playing volleyball for the University of Northwestern in St. Paul, playing for the Wildcats. Both go back as far as sixth grade.

“I didn’t always watch to get better,” Elisabeth said. “Of course now I watch differently than I used to.”

The frequency in which she watches has gone up too, as she plays more competitively. Through playing AAU, which she said has been an amazing experience due to the travel and tournaments involved, and her high school career, Elisabeth has watched most games at least three times and sometimes not all the way through.

Elisabeth is able to see from a different angle the intent behind every play, where the ball should be going, who is in position to succeed offensively if they get a pass as well as how to mix in slashes to the basket.

Averaging close to 20 points per game and four to five assists per game, Elisabeth has shown the ability to recognize when she can take over in spurts and when her teammates are the best option.

What Brett started doing was sharing his daughter’s games with the family. Now the whole community can watch live. His brainstorming has evolved into a product that gets used in athlete highlight videos, classrooms and in homes of Goodhue fans. 

At the root of it is a constant – his immense pride in his kids and what Elisabeth is accomplishing.

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