Learn how one of Auckland Football’s best clubs fosters player development and shapes its practice programs through the use of video analysis. 

As any coach can attest to, finding time to reflect on your team’s performance can be difficult – that’s why the world’s best coaches rely on video to maximize their practice time and enhance player development.

We caught up with former Central United head coach Jose Manuel Figueira—now at Auckland City—to gain an inside look at how he utilizes video insights to prepare his team on match day and throughout each practice. 

As a coach with a proven track record of success, most notably leading Central United FC to the Northern Premier League championship, Figueira knows firsthand how video can tip the scales of victory to the most prepared coaching staff. Figueira attributes his rise through the coaching ranks to his use of Hudl. 

“I think it’s vital,” said Figueira. “Normally you are watching the game the day after, so you are watching the game completely objectively. It gives you the facts of how your team played and player performances, where perhaps on the day of or after the game your emotions are driving your thoughts. Secondly, it enables you to see your playing model a lot clearer, because I think we will all admit on the sideline during the game, there is only so much you can take in and observe and adjust. Therefore, being able to watch the game the day after is vitally important to track those things and to shape your week and upcoming trainings.”  

Video analysis provides valuable insights that can drive match day strategies, but it also helps Figueira and his staff develop week-to-week practice schedules.

“Watching video shapes our week quite a bit,” said Figueira. “I have always worked in a way that once you are into the season, your training programs become a lot more reactive after the games. For example, you might have played on the weekend and, regardless of the result, you performed well in these areas but not so well in other areas. Video provides that objective feedback you need and it allows you to plan and review those areas that perhaps need a little bit of focus. Then after one or two sessions you’re now starting to shape your trainings towards your next opposition.”

It’s not just coaches that reap the benefits of re-watching the game objectively. Video also allows players to see the game through a more objective lens as well.

“Players can objectively see their performances,” said Figueira. “Right after the game, players may think they played well or not so good, but the video represents a true reflection of their performance. It’s really valuable for the players to put into context their own performance."

Outside of pinpointing strengths and weaknesses, Figueira also understands the effects video review can have on the team environment.

“I also think it’s a great tool in building a real growth mindset environment within the team,” said Figueira. “You're getting players who are encouraged and want to watch their own performances. Using video to provide objective and factual feedback to the player also takes away any of the ‘you’re just picking on me’ or ‘you just don't like me’ comments that might come up.”

“I also think it’s a great tool in building a real growth mindset environment within the team.”

There are many video solutions available to coaches, but Figueira finds Hudl’s video analysis tools simple and effective.

“Hudl has become an integral part of our program and it has allowed me to have a real objective approach to my feedback to the players, and aids in the planning of trainings and preparations to our next game,” said Figueira.” It has made it really easy to watch games, make notes, add drawings and add comments. What is great about [Hudl] is the features are very easy to use for the coaches and provide real clarity for the players. It was really, really easy to implement and made the review process and watching games that much more enjoyable.”

“The features are very easy to use for the coaches and provide real clarity for the players.”

One way Figueira gets his players to buy in to his preferred style of play and week-to-week strategies is through the use of Hudl’s playlist features.

“Once the playlists and notes are done, I share them with the team,” said Figueira. “The players then know they have clips they can watch on their tablet, computer or phone. They usually watch these clips before the first training of the week. Since practice sessions have already been framed for the players, they are arriving at training already having an idea of what the focus is going to be, which is pretty powerful. We got to a stage where the players were arriving early before each session and initiating impactful conversations with coaches about what they watched.”

Although Hudl makes it easy to implement video analysis into teams’ routines, Figueira pointed out that his video-centric culture wasn’t achieved overnight.

“We didn't ram it down the throats of players,” said Figueira. “We introduced Hudl at the start of the season, explained what it was and why we were doing it. We told the team about how it was going to enhance our playing model and help our players understand those concepts. We also mentioned that the responsibility was on the players if they wanted to know more about it, understand our playing model better, improve their tactical knowledge as a player. We sold it that way and I say we had almost everybody in the squad really buy into it and run with it.”

To learn more about how Hudl can enhance your practices and drive player development, visit our products page.