Essential Preseason Tasks and Responsibilities for Analysts

By Duncan Ritchie

10-July-2023 on Tips

21 minute read

The preseason is an important time for analysts. It’s the time when they patch up their weaknesses from the previous season and improve their workflows. So, how can this be done effectively? We’ll try and answer that in this blog.



Video analysis is a relatively new discipline and, as such, it is one that is in constant evolution. Analysts continue to seek perfection or, at the very least, improvement from the previous season.


From our point of view, we completely understand this need for evolution which is why we are constantly improving our software to meet the needs of the analysis, as is the case with the recently released Nacsport 9.0.


dani preseason tasks


So, in this context, the period between seasons is extremely important for the professional analyst. It’s a time for self-reflection about what has gone before and a time to investigate methods and workflows which can help them improve their performance, and the performance of the team, in the future.


It’s a time for developing new, more efficient workflows and for getting to grips with new tools that help them get to where they want to be.


In short, it’s a time of preparation so that they are up and running BEFORE the new season begins because, as we all know, time is a commodity that is in short supply for analysts.


So, let’s dive deeper into some of the essential tasks for analysts during this busy period.



A Tagging Window Fit for Purpose


A short while ago, we spoke to an analyst working in the Spanish first division. He showed us every version of his main tagging window that he had created. After just a few games had been played, he had made at least twenty modifications to his tagging window, refining it to the needs of the team.


This is an extremely common scenario. Tagging windows are living documents which are designed to respond to the needs of the team, the analyst, the coach and, of course, to the competition being played.


So, this is one of the most important tasks for an analyst during the preseason - to edit, optimise and implement the best possible tagging window.


This may involve meeting with colleagues and fellow coaches, gaining feedback so that there is a consensus about what the most important aspects of the game are for analysis.


Common Issues When Improving Tagging Windows


There are two major major issue that a badly structured template can pose:


•    The game is not tagged correctly because the tagging window doesn’t have the necessary buttons
•    A loss of time due to inefficient design


Both issues are easily fixed, however. Nacsport provides tools which make this job easy, quick and efficient.



Ideas for Improving Your Tagging Window


Here are some ways that you can improve your tagging window with Nacsport:


•    Assign keyboard shortcuts to buttons. In Nacsport, there are almost 250 different key combinations that can be assigned to your buttons in order to make the tagging process much quicker.

•    Create button groups. Button groups allow you to bring several buttons together under a common theme, adding another layer to your analysis and giving your analysis greater depth. You might have a group for “Defense” for example, or another for “Attack”. These are completely customisable, so the choice is entirely yours.

•    Activation links. This tool allows you to chain buttons together so that one click tags several categories or descriptors together at the same time. Read more about them in this blog.

•    Panel flows. This tool allows you bring supreme organisation to your tagging windows by separating it into different panels which flow together depending on the initial button click. This means that tagging is smoother and faster. Read more about it in this article.

•    Graphic descriptors. Add XY data to your analysis and see where the action happens on the pitch. Create heat maps, movement maps and more to filter your data and access your clips in visual manner.

•    Inactive buttons. Simple but effective, inactive buttons do nothing more than bring organisation to your tagging window, allowing you to “frame” groups of buttons or simply add headers. These make your tagging windows easier to understand and much less cluttered.

•    Auto-lists and auto-presentations. This is the ultimate time saver as buttons that have these behaviours will automatically send clips to a list or presentation, meaning that you don’t have to waste loads of time filtering through all your tagged clips. Read more about these features in this blog. Auto-presentations are also very useful for those of you who use Nacsport Hub and the Team Tracking Area feature of the platform.

•    Customise columns and rows in the matrix. There are many analysts who ignore this simple little trick, but taking the time to organise the data matrix before you start tagging can help you find and filter your clips after tagging a game.


So, these are just a few ideas that can really help you improve your tagging window. Simple but effective, we would encourage you to check out this video tutorial to see how you can speed up your working processes within the tagging window itself.





Organise Your Data Storage


Videos, tagging windows, teams, analysis, presentations - you’ll collect a whole lot of data during a season, and you need an effective and organised way of storing it all.


Although Nacsport has a fairly comprehensive set of default folders for storing all this information, you may prefer your own method. You may also want to think carefully about how you name your files in order to find what you need as quickly as possible.


So, our next tip has nothing to do with the Nacsport software and everything to do with your naming structures, something which is extremely important for any professional analyst.


We strongly recommend that, before the season starts, you develop a file naming protocol. How you do this is entirely up to you but, as a general rule, you may want to include some or all of these things in your naming structure:


•    Competition
•    Matchday
•    Opponent
•    Type of analysis


By doing this, both you and your colleagues will be able to find the data and video you need quickly and easily.


We also recommend that the structure of folders where you save these files has a similarly organised naming structure. Make it as streamlined and easy to understand as possible and, again, this will save you a lot of time during the season.





Nacsport 9.0, an update to the software released in the summer of 2023, brought with it a completely overhauled system of creating dashboards, one that is much more visual and simpler.


So, who can you use dashboards to improve your performance? Here are a few ideas:


•    A dashboard containing a summary of the game. We recently saw something similar to this being used at a fairly big club and thought it was a great idea. The analyst created a dashboard that contained a succinct overview of the entire game, one which coaches and players could access and see the most pertinent information. Because Nacsport dashboards are interactive, they could simply click on any statistic or graph and watch the relevant video clips. A great way to get everyone involved in the analysis and review process.

•    A dashboard for each tagging window. You don’t have to limit yourself to just one dashboard. In fact, we recommend that you create a specific dashboard for each tagging window you regularly use. This means that you can get visual access to all your data at the click of a button, a great way of sharing important insights with players and coaches on the fly.

•    Individual dashboards for each player. Nacsport has a dashboard tool called variable labels which allows you to create one dashboard that can be changed to show statistical information about each individual player by simply selecting them from a drop down menu. Physical training is catered to the individual, so why not analysis too?

•    Insert graphic descriptors and matrixes on dashboards. These are new features that arrived with Nacsport 9.0 and they are quite revolutionary ideas for your dashboards. Either two will add great depth to the data that can be displayed on your dashboard, so try them out, we’re sure you will find them very useful.



Profiles: Improve Your Timeline Experience


Another common difficulty that analysts face is the overload of information, tools and processes. 


Although we assume that giving an analyst more and more tools is an advantage, and it is in most scenarios, we know that it can be overwhelming at times.


That’s why one of our overarching goals is to make the software as customisable as possible, and therefore as manageable as possible.


And there is a feature of the timeline that allows for this level of customisation - timeline profiles.



Basically, this allows you to assign your most used tools to a profile and have only those tools visible on the timeline. This means that you have exactly the tools you need at any given time without the additional clutter.


The tools that an analyst will use are not the same as those that a goalkeeper coach might use, for example. It may be that an assistant or head coach will use the software too, and their needs will also be different.


An assistant coach, for example, may want to have the drawing tool and the clip filtering tool close at hand, whilst the dedicated analyst will probably need the data matrix or presentation tool.


So, the answer is simple. A profile for everyone that uses the program that can be switched between each other using a drop down menu. 



Organise the Structure of Presentations


At the end of the day, a large part of the analyst’s job is to create a final report to present to the team. A report that contains all the insights they have gained during the analysis with accompanying video clips to illustrate this.


And this is why getting the presentation workflow correct is crucial during the preseason. The goal is to put working processes in place so that presentations can be created quickly and easily.


Here are some ideas for doing this: 


•    Favourite list structure. Agree with the coaching staff how the presentations are going to be shown and every time you open a new presentation, the saved list structure will be loaded.

•    Favourite presentation. This option is slightly different from the previous, but just as useful. If you set a presentation as a favourite, every time you open this environment that presentation will open and you can keep adding new clips to it, making it an accumulative affair.

•    Presentation script. This generates a PDF file with all the clips and lists that make up the presentation, including notes and descriptors. Print it out and share it with the coaching staff to make the structure clearer.


These are just a few ideas to help you get on with making quick, effective presentations. We recommend taking a look at this blog for more information on making professional presentations.


And here’s a video about the presentation environment so you can see how easy it is to create them:




Nacsport Hub: Revolutionise Your Analysis Work


In addition to everything we’ve already looked at, we’d like to introduce you to a new Nacsport product which can revolutionise your work and communication at your club.


Nacsport Hub is an online platform designed specifically for video analysis and communication.


Hub - which is also available as an Android and iOS app - makes sharing insights and feedback much faster and more collaborative.


How does it work? Well, basically, you upload videos, analyses, presentations and documents to the online platform and share them with whoever you want on your team. 


Players, coaches and other colleagues can come together in this private, secure online environment to view videos, open conversations, partake in polls and much more. The Hub Team Channel is very much like a private social network in for your team and using it can make the difference when it comes to being fully prepared for a match.


Teamwork makes the dreamwork, right? Well, check out this video and see how Nacsport Hub can make your dreams come true.



The typical Hub workflow involves uploading the video directly to Hub as soon as the match ends. Once the analysis work has been done, you can upload your raw data or presentations to the platform and link it with the video, where it can then be broken down, shared and commented on by all members of the team.


Share the video clips to the team channel and tag relevant players, coaches or groups. They will be able to see the clips and any associated data and comment on them. It’s like a team huddle in the cloud.


Repeat the process of uploading videos and data and you can also track the team or individual performance over a period of time with the Team Tracking Area in Hub.


This is truly a powerful tool.



Useful Analysis Resources


At Nacsport, as well as having one of the most powerful video analysis solutions on the market, we also have a huge repository of free resources available for the busy analyst to use, the majority of which have been designed in collaboration with professional analysts.


We’d like to present a couple of these resources, a tagging window for analysing training sessions and another for match analysis, both of which can be downloaded and used right now. 



Training Session Analysis


This tagging window has been designed for use in Basic+ and above. It is also compatible with our mobile analysis app, Tag&view. This means that you can analyse comfortably with an iPad or iPhone using it. 


training analysis tagging window


Download this FREE tagging window now for Windows or for Mac


Designed by pro analyst Dani Muñoz, it can be used to collect three types of data:


•    Time of the season and day of the week
•    Tasks, objectives, typology and spaces
•    Method and result


All of this info is great for organising and studying training sessions to ensure that your team is meeting its training objectives.



Match Analysis


In this case, we have two different tagging windows which can be used depending on the version of Nacsport you use.


The first has been designed for Basic+.


Designed in conjunction with professional analysts, it is the perfect resource for those just getting up and running in the world of analysis, allowing you to tag some basic concepts such as phases of the game, shots on goal, set pieces, etc.


basic plus tactical analysis tagging window


Download this FREE tagging window now for Windows or for Mac


The second has been created for use in Nacsport Scout and above. The graphic descriptor is the main difference here. You can tag all the same concepts as the previously mentioned tagging window, albeit with a higher level detail, plus XY coordinate data for a much deeper analysis.


tagging window tactical analysis scout

Download this FREE tagging window now for Windows or for Mac


In the Samples section of our website, you can find many more materials that you can download for free. As well as more tagging windows, we have graphic descriptor images, dashboards, images for making shirt-shaped buttons and more. Check them out now



Other Preseason Tasks and Responsibilities


We invite you to read this blog by our colleague Dani Muñoz, former analyst at Spanish club Real Betis in which he talks about other tasks and responsibilities that an analyst may have during the preseason period.


In addition, we’d love to get your feedback on this topic. What other tasks and responsibilities do analysts have during the preseason?


preseason tasks for analysts


Get in contact with us through our website or any of our social media channels and let us know your thoughts. We’d love to hear from you.


Until then, we hope this article has been useful to you.


Thanks for reading.

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