5 Pro Tips for Maximising Your Rugby Video Analysis Software

By Darren Lewis

03-July-2020 on Tips

7 minute read

For his seventh article for Nacsport, Darren Lewis of Codex Analysis, has taken some of the accumulated knowledge from his previous 6 published posts and distilled it into 5 bite-sized tips for those using video analysis software in rugby union or any other sport.


This is knowledge at its purest, people. Enjoy!

1. Evaluate Constantly


Working as a performance analyst in elite rugby requires constant evaluation. Of yourself, your team and your analysis workflows.



Some key questions you should be asking yourself everyday include:


• How effectively am I utilising the limited time that weekly schedules and intense seasons permit?

• How impactful are the variety of resources my department creates for those that use them?

• How can we make the most of our analysis to affect the most positive performance changes for the team?


The competitive edge behind the analysis work I do is the driving factor behind my energy to continually challenge myself to develop and evolve and it’s one of the reasons I decided to change from Sportscode to Nacsport and asking myself the above questions allowed me to reach that decision.


2. Work Closely with Coaches and Players


Throughout my career, one of my philosophies has always been to ensure that the coaches I work with are able to be as self-sufficient as possible when it comes to using analysis software.



When we made the move from Sportscode to Nacsport, these are some of the measures we took to ensure a smooth transition for the coaches:


• We organised a number of workshops to introduce them to tools that I knew would have an immediate impact on how they work.

• We demonstrated tools which engaged them, were simple to use and demonstrated the power of the software. These included Dashboards, Presentations and KlipDraw.

• We developed bespoke workflows for coaches. Coaches need to have effective workflows that allow them to achieve their desired outcomes easily and this is not a one-size-fits-all deal.


All these measures made for quick integration of Nacsport into the team’s everyday work processes.


3. Get to Know the Organisational Aspects of the New Software


My philosophy for building button templates has always been to maximise the tools that the software offers, combining features intelligently to make the system work for you, allowing you to get the most bang for your click.


Here are some of the features in Nacsport which help with this:


Panel Flows. Nacsport gives you the opportunity to spread category and descriptor buttons, as well as XY co-ordinate maps (Graphic Descriptors) over a number of different template panels. Using Panel Flows effectively can drastically simplify your chain of notation as well as improve the accuracy of data collection.



Clustered Buttons. Clustered Buttons is a feature that can significantly enhance the level of functionality and open up possibilities in button templates. Nacsport has options for linking different button types to produce specific behaviours, based on the types of buttons that are being linked.  



Search Tool and Dashboards. The Search Tool and Dashboards are extremely powerful components of the software, so simple processes like purposefully naming our Nacsport databases and storing them in a structured manner opens up opportunities to maximise those tools. Both workflows rely on understanding the subtleties of the system, effective organisation and foresight.



These may not sound particularly important but having everything mirrored and organised on our laptops and server is crucial for our working processes.


4. Learn How to Convert Raw Data into Meaningful Information


The most important element of any analysis is how well it is delivered. The audiences for your analyses are the coaches and players on your team and there’s a need for a deep level of understanding to ensure the delivery of relevant information in a common language and format.


Nacsport provides many ways of doing this. For example:


Dashboards. It’s important to acknowledge that people learn in different ways so, coaches and players at Gloucester have their own dashboards that are specific to them and differ in terms of the information that they display.



Presentations. We use presentation windows as an alternative to dashboards to manage registers and data. Nacsport as a platform is incredibly flexible, a characteristic which is vital when catering to different needs.



Linking video directly to statistical and visual representations of registered data is an effective way for coaches and players to interact with information in a structured manner.


A universal factor amongst analysts and coaches around the world in any sport is that they’re all working to transform information into intelligence to best impact their teams and athletes.


5. If You Don’t Ask, You Don’t Get!


In my opinion, what sets Nacsport apart is that the software works for you.


The concept that the software is a dynamic tool, constantly reacting to the behaviour of the user, fuelled a discussion about an idea for a feature, which I presented to the Nacsport development team - Auto-Sum Descriptors. Consequently, they developed this idea and included it in their next software update.



This type of development based on a conversation with Nacsport is indicative of their openness to ideas and the company's intention to see them through to fruition and public release.


Nacsport works for you!


So, there you have it, a few top tips extracted from Darren Lewis’s first six articles for Nacsport, but there are many more gems to be found. We suggest you read the full posts at the following links:


#1. Evaluation, Evolution

#2. The Leap Isn’t That Far

#3. Once in a Lifetime

#4. Complex Simplicity

#5. The Software Works for You

#6. Information into Intelligence


If you’re thinking about changing your own video analysis set-up, we are always here to help and advise you. Get in contact today at info@nacsport.com for an informal chat or to arrange a demo.

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