22 Button Ideas for Your Nacsport Template

By Duncan Ritchie

11-August-2020 on Tips

15 minute read

In this article, we’ve compiled and presented various ideas to help and inspire you when it comes to creating your button template. In order to write this post, we looked at over one hundred examples of templates belonging to real Nacsport users from different sports and using different programs in our range (Basic to Elite).


At Nacsport, we always think of the Button Template as a blank canvas on which our users have complete freedom to create their template and decide what THEY need to observe a game comprehensively.


Unfortunately, this very freedom can occasionally overwhelm a new user, leaving them high and dry if they unsure of how to structure their first template, something which is obviously fundamental to a good analysis.


For this reason, we decided to identify recurring elements within templates and convey this to novices (and give experts new ideas!). This has been an exercise in collaborative work, an often-seen characteristic in our community of users.


We haven’t delved into specific examples but have instead stuck to generalities which should serve the majority of you well. However, please note that the particularities of any given sport do make a list like this a little tricky to compile, as not all sports are analysed in the same way.

The Importance of Nacsport Templates



Our message hasn’t changed throughout the years: the Button Template is absolutely fundamental to the work of the video analyst. In order to register an action, there must be a button for that action. If not, it’s impossible to make a registration.


We recommend that you think of your template as a living document which evolves as your own knowledge of the program and tools gets deeper. We know users that are on the hundredth iteration of their template!


Before you even open the program, you should first grab a pen and piece of paper and sketch out a design for your template. Obviously, there are things you will miss when planning out your template this way, but it will give you a great basis for what comes next and, remember, you can add, take away and tinker with your template until your hearts content, so don’t worry about making mistakes at this, or any, point.


Limited Buttons and Behaviours in Templates




Not all Nacsport templates are the same. Depending on the program you have, there may be limits to your button template. Check your limitations below:


• Basic: Maximum 25 buttons.

• Basic+: Maximum 50 buttons.

• Scout, Pro and Elite: Unlimited buttons.


Also, not all buttons are the same. In Nacsport, there are two distinctive types of button, each with different behaviours: Categories and Descriptors.


Categories are used to tag the main action that happens. Descriptors are used to describe that action. Categories are like nouns and Descriptors are like adjectives, if you will. Let me give you an example…



In basketball, you could create a Category button and name it “Shot”. You can now create Descriptor buttons which describe the throw. Maybe “Good” or “Bad” are obvious examples, but common, nonetheless. You can also set the area of the field the throw is taken from “3 Point Line”, “Baseline”, etc.


Want to know more about these types of button? We created this blog post a while ago, but it’s still just as relevant know as when we wrote it.


Note: Please remember that in Nacsport Basic, you can only create Categories and you must upgrade to at least Basic+ in order to create Descriptor buttons.


Template Panel Flows


Our two professional level programs, Pro and Elite provide the Panel Flows feature, which allows for the creation of several template panels which are displayed sequentially when you click on them, meaning that the registration process is much easier and comfortable.



Types of Buttons


Generic Actions


These are actions which are repeated in practically every sport, especially those played with a ball. Attack, defense, shot, steal, conversions (goal, basket, point), etc. These buttons are a “must have” in your template and will typically be the basis of your template. Usually these buttons will be Category buttons.


Level of Success




These are usually common Descriptors. The typical type of buttons here are “good” or “bad”. They define the success or failure of an action and give you a certain level of depth when you are looking at shots. This allows you to see if they are successful or not.


On the other hand, you can define various levels of success, e.g. "good + saved by keeper" "bad + goal". After all, not everything is necessarily black or white.


Game Periods


Is it important for you to know at which point in the game the action happened? The answer is probably “yes”. You can create a button for the period of the match, e.g "first half" or "third quarter". You can also divide the game into segments, e.g "1-15 minutes", "16-30" minutes, etc.


Time Descriptors are classic buttons which we encounter in almost every template daily.




There are usually buttons in a template which represent both teams in the game. For example, a “Team A” and “Team B” descriptor button which can be pressed in sequence, e.g. “Shot” (Category) followed by “Team B” (Descriptor). It’s also possible to simply create a single Category to represent this action (“Shoot A” or “Shoot B”).


You could also create “For” or “Against” buttons which would do a similar job.


At this point it’s important to note that although we’re talking about analysing two teams at the same time, this is not mandatory as you could look at the behaviour of an opponent at a later time or not at all.






By creating a button for each player on your own team or that of an opponent is a great way to generate individualised information for a more detailed analysis. This could be an evolution of the previous section or an extra which gives more depth.


If you are overwhelmed by the thought of individual analysis and find the “Teams” proposal a little weak, a good balance would be create positional buttons such as “Defence”, “Midfield” or “Forwards” in football, for example.




We rarely see possession buttons in a user’s first template but, as time goes on and they get more confident and familiar with the program, they almost always end up incorporating it as it gives invaluable info.


This basically gives extremely valuable data on the percentage or time of possession for your own team and your opponent.



Areas of the Field


Enhanced Graphical Descriptors, available in Scout, Pro and Elite, allow you to collect information on the exact area on the field certain actions happen. This info can be collected very accurately by simply clicking on a graphical representation of the pitch.


If you are using Basic+ and don’t have access to this feature, you can work around it by creating buttons with an image inside the button instead of text.





We often see these types of buttons in both basketball and futsal, not so much in football. These are a good way to registered pre-defined plays such as pick and rolls, zone defense, 1x1, 5x4, or any other play you come up with.


Dead Ball Situations


Situations in any sport where strategy is important. In football or hockey this could be Penalty or Corner, for example.


In hockey we might see specific actions such as Penalty Corner or, in rugby, Scrum, Drop Kick or Lineout.


Phases of the Game


A descriptor button used to describe in which part of a move the action happens in. This could be the start, build up or completion phase. It’s not the same to lose the ball at the start of the move than it is to lose it during the completion phase, after a shot has been taken.



Type of Play


We’ve seen this in a few templates and we liked it a lot, so here it is. These are Descriptors which don’t as much define what happens but how and under what conditions and what the observer can expect when reviewing such actions: short output, long, combination plays, direct, passing, folding. These are just a few examples of this type of button.


Game Transitions


With sports such as football or hockey where the games flow and there are no defined periods of attack or defence like in American football, it is important to note how the game moves from attack to defence and vice versa. Typical buttons here include “offensive transition” and “defensive transition”.


Defensive Behaviour


This is another common button in football which allows you to analyse how a team behaves during defensive phases: high, medium or low block. If we analyse this behaviour in an opponent, it can inform our strategy in attack.




Ball losses


This is intrinsically linked to the previous button or, in a template, be located in the same area. It allows us to see how the ball is lost or stolen, whether due to forced or unforced errors, or allows us to see how a team behaves defensively, e.g. “pressure after loss” or “organised defence”.


Completion of Move


How many ways are there to finish and attacking move? Probably more than you think. Many analysts consider this to be an important element when analysing behaviour. Whether the play ended in a loss, shot or freekick.


Types of Shot


In most team sports, the end goal is to score more points than your opponent, so shots which dictate the result are extremely valuable source of data for analysts. There are many differences between shots and, depending on the sport, each shot may be of differing value.


In football, for example, you can score a goal with your head, left foot, right foot or any other part of your body apart from your hands. This can be useful thing to look at when analysing individual players on an opponent’s team. Also, in basketball, there are different types of throw such as a standard basket (2 points) or a triple (three points).



Result of Shot


If the origin of the shot is important, then the result of that shot is probably even more relevant. Did it lead to a goal or go wide? Did the keeper save it? Did it hit the crossbar and rebound? There are many possibilities.


A simpler variant on this may be “Attempt” and “Goal”. The first includes those attacking moves that did not end in the desired result, the second, a cause for celebration.




These types of button are not very common, but we have seen them in various templates. If you, as an analyst, specialise in defensive systems and how a team responds to them, you’ll probably have a section of your template dedicated to sanctions.


Registering Yellow Cards and Red Cards (Green Cards in hockey or Exclusions in handball) can provide you with interesting data for further analysis. As we said, these buttons are rare, but they can definitely be useful in when analysing team discipline.


Match result


Does your team behave in the same way when it is winning or losing? Probably not. So, you can assign three buttons, incorporated onto your template as automatic descriptors, to describe the current state of play: winning, losing or tied.






These are buttons which have a specific function but do not refer to action the is happening on the field of play. Usually these are used to easily recall the action after the analysis is complete.


For example, if you know straight away that an action is to be included in the post-match presentation, you can create a “Report” or “Presentation” button which allows you to find that action easily at a later time and put it directly into your presentation.


Maybe you want to positively reinforce your players and highlight positive play. Do this by setting up a “Motivation” button. Create a subsequent presentation with these actions and add some stirring music to get the athletes spirits up!


Bonus: Descriptors in Basic


No, we haven’t gone crazy, there is a way to include descriptive elements with Basic buttons. The trick is to combine the Category and Descriptor into the same button.


If for example, I want to differentiate between shot type, I can create two buttons to measure this. Shots Good and Shots Bad. This can add more depth to your Basic analysis.


But be careful and remember, in Basic you are limited to 25 buttons, so use these types of button sparingly…or upgrade your Nacsport to Basic+!


More Ideas...


As we said at the beginning of this post, Nacsport is blank canvas, fully customisable by you, allowing you to create the Categories and Descriptors YOU need. This article is just a way to give you some ideas and help you on your way.


So, tell us, how do you organise your templates? Is there anything you’d like to share with us and Nacsport users? We’d love to get in contact with you and keep talking about this theme. Let us know at media@nacsport.com or through any of our social media channels.

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