Video Analysis at Basketball Academie Limburg (BAL)

By Duncan Ritchie

12-June-2024 on Users

19 minute read

Although we can boast Nacsport users in many different sports, the top three rarely changes. It’s a fact that the majority of our users come from the worlds of football, field hockey and, of course, the focus of today’s blog, basketball.

 

And these are, arguably, the sporting areas where the adoption of video analysis as a discipline has been highest. 

 

So, in today’s blog, we shift our gaze towards the Netherlands and one of the top basketball clubs in the country - Basketball Academie Limburg - more commonly known as BAL.

 

Here, we talk to Academy Head Coach Koen van Gerwen about his use of Nacsport and how it is used to improve the performance of developing and pro players. We’ll also talk a bit about his coaching philosophy and how video analysis fits into it, as well as touch on the work that he does with the Dutch national team.

 

So, without further ado, let’s get started…

 

Basketball Academie Limburg

 

Located in Weert, in the Limburg province of the Netherlands, Basketball Academie Limburg, or BAL for short, is a prominent Dutch basketball club. 

 

Established in 2013 with a focus on nurturing young talent from Limburg, the club transitioned to the Dutch Basketball League in the 2017–18 season.

 

Today, BAL competes in the BNXT League, showcasing its continued growth and presence in the basketball scene.

 

Most notably, in 2021, BAL achieved a milestone victory by clinching the DBL Cup, defying expectations when considering their eighth-place ranking in the league that season.

 

Despite their continued involvement in the Dutch pro leagues, there is still a focus on the training and development of new talent at the academy. 

 

With eight youth teams and two senior teams, BAL offers full-time coaches, health and fitness trainers and facilities to kids as young as 13 years old. Players at the basketball academy train an average of eight times per week, as well as participating in the highest level youth competitions in the Netherlands and internationally.

 

And it’s here that we find Academy Head Coach, Koen van Gerwen, who we speak to today.




Meet Koen van Gerwen

 

 

basketball assistant coach

 

 

As we said, Koen van Gerwen is the Head of Education at BAL, helping develop the youngsters under his wing into fully fledged pro basketball players.

 

But that’s not his only role at the academy, nor indeed in the Dutch basketball community, as Koen is also an assistant coach for the men’s team at BAL which plays professionally in the BNXT league. 

 

And that’s not all. This summer, he will be at the Eurobasket B Division U16 Championships in Skopje, acting as head coach for the Dutch national team.

 

So, it’s fair to say that Koen knows basketball. But he also knows video analysis and has been a Nacsport user for over 10 years. 

 

So, let’s hear from the man himself and chat to him about his work with Nacsport and how it fits into his daily and weekly coaching schedule.




Hi Koen, can you tell us how Nacsport and video analysis fits into your coaching work?

 

“Hi there. Well, I use Nacsport in literally every aspect of my work. At the academy, we use it to analyse our game and also to scout out our opponents.

 

“Traditionally, we would have focused much more on opponents, but it’s funny because, in the modern game, there has been a huge shift to analysing your own game in order to understand the strengths and weaknesses of our tactics.

 

“When it comes to scouting our opponents, we look at the offensive and defensive playbooks of the opposition, as well as individual players and their tendencies. To do that, we implement shot charts to show where the player is shooting from and we look at what side they are dangerous on and where they may pose a threat to us.

 

“There’s also a smaller aspect where I make videos specifically for our own individual players. This tends to be quite simple. I’ll only send five or six clips to the players, but it helps them to improve in certain situations.

 

“Basketball is a situational game with a lot of small reads and areas where players can manipulate the situation. These are very small details about the game and Nacsport is excellent for showing this”.

 


koen van gerwen analysis bal

 

Would you say your analysis work is split 50 / 50 between own and opponent analysis?

 

“Listen, as a coach, I’m probably a little old-school. As a coach, you want to know everything about the game, but that doesn’t mean you have to tell the players everything.

 

“I think one of the most important jobs of a coach is to filter the information you give to your players.

 

“So, yes, while I think it’s probably 50 / 50, but in regard to the playbook, for instance, we’ll only show them maybe three or four plays. But, as coaching staff, we will have all the relevant information.

 

“For example, an important aspect of basketball are those situations out of timeouts. So, what are the tendencies for teams defensively after timeouts? Do they play zone defense? Offensively, do they always look for a backdoor screen or flare action?

 

“Those are the types of things we want to know, but that’s not necessarily what we want to show the players.

 

“With the players, you want to communicate a style of play and certain plays. So, in that regard, using Nacsport to show players our own systems and how we want to play is more important because the style of play and systems means that we can control all the different tactical situations.

 

“If you play a lot of games, there’s a lot of data being generated and it’s not possible to communicate all of this to the players, so we create a system where everything is covered while the players see special situations.

 

“But, as I said, individual player scouting is becoming more and more important. So, if you ask me, instead of it being 50 / 50 between own and opposition analysis, it’s more like 33 / 33 / 33 with individual analysis included”.

 

 

analysis at basketball academy limburg




Can you give us an example of how individual analysis has helped you?

 

“Our team is very young, with an average age of 21 years old. But we were able to win the national cup with this relatively inexperienced group.

 

“One of the things we did was force a very dominant opposition player onto his weak hand. Analysing his game, I always said that this guy was an NBA player going right, but a normal player going left.

 

“So, tactically, we sent him to his left throughout the game and this worked well. It allowed us to put the opponent on the backfoot and we eventually went on to win the cup.

 

“So, these are the types of game situations you want to show the player.”

 

 

nacsport at bal



How many video sessions do you have with the team per week?

 

“It depends on the week and scheduled games, but generally, we usually have two video sessions per week with the team - normally on a Tuesday, where we focus on our game, and Thursday, where we focus on upcoming opponents.

 

“If we play on a Saturday, we might also go over some aspects of the game after training on the Monday.

 

“Although the players might not know this, we develop some drills in training based on our analysis and these drills are enforced by video clips.

 

“Personally, I always watch the game directly after it has finished. If I don’t do this, it can be difficult for me to sleep. During the game, I form opinions about it, and I want to see if my opinion is correct. I especially want to see if our tactical changes were correct.

 

“But this is more for my own peace of mind than anything for the team, it helps me close that chapter.

 

“While I’m doing this, I often make some tags at the same time.”

 

 

nacsport basketball tagging window




Speaking about tagging, do you do live analysis during a game?

 

“No, we don't do that yet at the club, but there will be a summer program with the men’s national team this year, and one of our proposals is to implement live analysis.

 

“Although we don’t have official games, we’ll use it as a trial period for live analysis to test and to try some things. We’ll work with the guys from CaJa Sport to get this up and running.

 

“I think being able to give direct visual feedback is something which is extremely important in the modern game and this is the way that basketball is progressing.

 

“The game is now so tactical, that a video coordinator can see straight away where the advantages are on the court. Also, the games are so fast that it’s easy to miss certain aspects, so it’s great to have it available on an iPad for quick review.

 

“Overall, live analysis is a logical development for the game.”

 

 

video analysis limburg



Do all the teams at BAL use video analysis in their training?

 

“Yes. We have eight youths teams and two senior teams, men and women, and all of them use Nacsport to help develop their game.

 

“Obviously, when it comes to the youth team, the use of video analysis is more compartmentalised and we don’t go into the details too much. With them, it’s more about playing style - do they pressure, do they run on the right, do they make the right decisions, etc.

 

“It’s a pretty wide and general way of introducing video analysis to them, but it works because they haven’t seen themselves play yet. It’s important for them to understand that their perspective of the game is different to the reality of the game and different to what coaches see. And that’s what video gives them.

 

“What we do with the youngest kids is really video-analysis-light, but it’s an important part of their development.

 

“They are used to getting feedback from parents and coaches, but this allows them to see their own game - and they want to look good on the video, so it spurs them on to success.”




What are the most common tools you use in Nacsport?

 

“I’ve been using Nacsport for around 10 years now, since my first summer with the under-18s national team.

 

“The most common tool I use is the video tagging feature of Nacsport in order to make my videos, but I also use KlipDraw quite a lot to illustrate what’s happening in the videos.

 

“An example of this might be the feedback videos I make for referees. I’m quite tough on referees, to be honest, and I always send referees videos with KlipDraw drawings included to clarify the points I want to make. I aks them, ‘what is this?’, ‘what happened in this situation?’, ‘will there be repercussions?’ - all that kind of thing.

 

“I think this is important because, to make a successful basketball league, everyone has to be better, not just the players and teams, but also the referees.

 

“For the kids, KlipDraw is a great tool which encourages visual learning. In fact, with the Dutch under-16s, we are moving away from paper playbooks. As everything becomes more digital, it becomes even more important to show the nuances in the clips, and KlipDraw is the perfect tool for doing this.

 

“The video presentations tool is obviously an important part of my work and something I find useful here is the ability to upload PowerPoint presentations into the video before exporting it for sending to the players.”

 

 

 

 

 

Do you use Nacsport Hub?

 

“I have recently acquired Hub but haven’t had the chance to dive deep into it yet. It’s something I am hoping to do with the national teams during the summer.

 

“But it’s something we have to be aware of as coaches and be pragmatic about - the fact that we live in a digital world. 

 

“It’s the same with the paper playbook - I really think that it’s not efficient anymore. Kids need to see things visually and, in the modern world, they consume all of their content digitally.

 

“One thing that worries me about making everything digital would be the security of the information. Obviously, as a coach, I want to keep my tactics secret so that they can’t be seen by the other teams and used against us, but Hub seems like a secure platform and I think it’s a good development.”

 

 




Do you combine Nacsport with other tools?

 

“Yes. A lot of the time, I download game clips from InStat and use Nacsport for editing them and making presentations.

 

“And it’s the same for the national teams. The video and data is already uploaded to Instat or Synergy Sports, so I choose what I need, download it, import it into Nacsport and use the software like a cutting tool in these cases.

 

“But obviously, this only works when the games are available on these platforms and already tagged. But in situations where the games are not available, the tagging and filtering tools in Nacsport are still used widely at the club by our coaches.”




How much do you think video analysis actually helps improve performance?

 

“I think that it can literally change careers. Players, clubs and coaches who really take it to heart and get deep into video analysis can improve substantially.

 

“On the flipside of that, the people who refuse to do it are really missing out. In every part of life, you’re teaching kids to reflect on their own performance, and now in basketball, we have a tool which allows you to reflect and immediately see what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong.

 

“Video provides objectivity. It gives you the tools to gain insights into your own performance and work on your game in the next practice.

 

“There’s a great return of investment when it comes to video analysis, because coaches, players and teams can make immediate changes to their game.

 

“When you go into video analysis with an open mind - and this is especially true for young players - there’s a world of improvement. It’s a tool which can make you exponentially better, very quickly.

 

“I think it’s important that young players are exposed to this at a young age and get into the habit of self-assessing their own performance. If they can get into this habit, they will develop much faster than their peers who do not do it regularly.

 

“Simply put, it’s a form of evidence-based learning and it’s essential in the modern game.

 

“Also, as a coach, if what you are teaching correlates with what they see on the video, it gives you much more credibility, and this builds trust in the team, allowing you all to grow together.”

 

 

basketball coaches at bal



We’d like to thank Koen for taking the time out of his obviously busy schedule to give us this fascinating insight into his coaching philosophy.

 

If you’re reading this and have questions about how video analysis with Nacsport can improve your team’s performance, why not get a free 30-day trial? We have software packages suitable for all levels and budgets.

 

Alternatively, get in touch with our sales team who will be happy to talk you through all the major features of the software and discuss what would be the best package for your needs.

 

Until then…

 

Thanks for reading.

 

 

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