How to Get Players More Involved in Video Analysis

By Duncan Ritchie

23-January-2023 on Tips

13 minute read

It’s not exactly breaking news that the use of video analysis in sport is becoming increasingly common. But the flow of information still tends to be a one-way street, going from the coaching staff to the players. New trends in the discipline, however, are trying to redress the balance somewhat, with players participating more actively in the analysis process.

 

This article explores this idea in more depth, showing you how players can get involved in a natural, non-invasive way. We hope to show you that video analysis can be collaborative, as well as corrective, and that getting the players to participate can be beneficial to everyone.

 

So, let’s get started…

 

Why Should You Involve Players in Video Analysis?

 

Simply put, involving the player will allow you to get more out of your analysis. The player will feel more invested in the process and feel that their opinion is being taken into account. In fact, it will help to break down one of the traditional barriers encountered by many analysts - that many players, especially at the top levels of the game, simply don’t take well to being corrected by members of the coaching staff.

 

And, until recently, this part of a coach's work was the perfect breeding ground for discontent. Long, boring video sessions, often conducted directly after a tiring training session, could lead to players turning off and a lot of valuable information being lost to the ether.

 

And as the use of technology increases, so do the number of sessions. Video review sessions have become an almost daily occurrence with post-match sessions, opposition analysis sessions, individual or positional sessions and, possibly, many more.

 

This increase in demand has meant that clubs have had to adapt their video analysis methodology in order to not overwhelm the player, finding new ways to share important information with them.

 

The ideas that follow are born from the talent and needs of real analysts and these initiatives have been launched at professional clubs throughout the world and in different sports.

 

analysis room warrington wolves

 

A Dedicated Analysis Room for the Team

 

Although this may be considered one of the more revolutionary ideas on this list, it’s probably the one that demands the least from the player. The idea here is to create a space with several Nacsport enabled computers where players can review game footage under their own steam. The number of computers and licenses will be dictated, somewhat, by the needs and budget of the club.

 

Each computer has two screens (it can be done with one, but we’ll stick to real life examples that we know), placed vertically to each other. The bottom screen hosts the video player while the top contains a dashboard with relevant information about the analysed game. This dashboard can be generic or designed specifically for each player or position.

 

analysis set up at warrington wolves

 

The player then sits in front of the computer and reviews the action by clicking the dashboard to get visual video context to the statistics. This is a way of associating the quantitative statistical data with the qualitative data in the video. The most difficult thing here, of course, is getting the player up to speed with the technology and teaching them how to use it correctly but, at the end of the day, it puts the ball in the player’s court, meaning that they have to actively participate in the process.

 

We were first introduced to this idea by Ste Mills, current Head of Analysis at English Super League club, Warrington Wolves. Ste first set up an “analysis lab” at his former club, Castleford Tigers and has, subsequently, gone on to do the same at his new club.

 

You can read more about Ste’s work at Castleford Tigers in this article. Or check out this blog by our friends at AnalysisPro for more information on Ste’s initiatives at Warrington Wolves. Perhaps the best thing about these projects is that they are fully scalable to the needs and budget of the club.

 

 

We’ve also seen a similar idea being employed at Sevilla FC. Although this was created more for the use of coaches, it could easily be adapted to apply directly to players.

 

analysis at sevilla fc

 

The Analysis Area at the Seville club designed a dashboard so that coaches could access the video analysis data directly from a computer. 

 

The main mode of communication with the coaches is through the Dashboard. We’ve developed a model with a summary of the match, so they can come to the office and see a summary of the match filtered through Nacsport”, said manager Ramón Vázquez at the time of publishing.

 

A similar system was in play at French rugby club ASM Clermont, under supervision of analyst Joe Larkin. In this system, players had access to an analysis room where several computers were available with the Nacsport Viewer app.

 

analysis room at asm clermont 

 

This is a read-only version of the program, where players do not have access to the editing and data collection tools such as button templates. Thet can, however, open timeline and dashboards and make and view presentations made by other coaches and players. They can also add illustrations to their video clips.

 

 

Players Actively Participate in Data Collection

 

Another interesting development that we believe can improve player engagement with the analysis process is that players take an active role in collecting data for analysis and creating presentations for their team mates.

 

 

This initiative was revealed to us in a recent interview with Andy Wilson, Head of Scouting and Analysis at the Spanish Field Hockey Federation. Andy told us that players who were not currently on the field playing occasionally sit in the stands and collect data with the Nacsport Tag&view app. During breaks in play, these players will often meet with their teammates and give some insights that have been gathered during the game.

 

Of course, the difficulty here is that players have to be taught how the technology actually works. But the fact that Tag&view, and Nacsport in general, is so intuitive to work with, means that this could be a major step in getting players to engage more thoroughly with the analysis workflow. 

 

analysis room at the spanish field hockey federation

 

Online Communication and Analysis

 

All of the previous ideas have a common element - that they are carried out in situ. In other words, the player must be present in a place where there are computers and video analysis software provided for them.

 

But there does exist the possibility of taking the whole game review and feedback process online. A space in the cloud where players can watch video footage, read comments left by coaches, and add to the discussion themselves.

 

sharimg analysis nacsport

 

Of course, this could be done via conventional methods. Videos can be sent by email or messaging apps, but this can become confusing and long-winded if many videos are being sent back and forth between staff and players. It also makes communication difficult, with no way of keeping ordered conversations or of knowing whether or not a player has even watched the sent videos. 

 

But there is an online video and communication platform that has been designed specifically for video analysis and solves all of these problems. It’s called Sharimg.com and it offers coaches and players a shared space in the cloud where they can upload videos and analyses directly from Nacsport. Players can access video clips, comment on them in public or private groups and review the data in many different ways. 

 

This platform allows different levels of access to different types of user and facilitates team communication without having to be always in the same room. In general, it allows clubs and analysts to share video and data in a single space that’s organised to meet the needs of the club.

 

This platform allows different types of users with different levels of access, and facilitates both team communication without being present and the possibility of sharing videos in a single space organized according to the needs of the club. 

 

But Sharimg also provides even more opportunities for getting players involved. 

  

 

Teach Players to Make Their Own Edits

 

We already mentioned this previously, but it’s a task which has many benefits for all involved. With Sharimg, players can create and edit their own video clips without affecting the work that the coaching staff has already done.

 

For example, players can use this feature for analysing training sessions. The analyst uploads the video of the full session and, subsequently, the player can watch the video online and create clips of the action in which they are involved. This gives them a personalised record of their own performance and is a great way to get them invested in video analysis.

sharimg video analysis on mac

Players Do Analysis

 

The last step we’d like to talk about is flipping the analysis process on its head. A reverse workflow where the analyst simply uploads the video and the players themselves create video clips that they think would be of interest. From here they can present their findings to coaches, talk about their own performances and even make proposals about how they are going to develop and improve their performance or technical abilities.

 

By doing this, the players are fully involved in the analysis of their own and team performances and, in addition, will guide the workflow of the analyst, helping them to improve their own work.

 

 

Any Other Ideas?

 

These are just a few initiatives that we’ve compiled over the years, based on conversations with real, professional analysts. But, as the discipline matures, there are always more innovative ideas cropping up. 

 

So, what about you? Are there any other suggestions that you’d like to share with the community for getting players more involved in the analysis process? We’d love to hear from you. Please get in contact with us through our website or any of our social media platforms.

 

Until then…

 

Thanks for reading.

 

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