Be better prepared to win more games with a closer look at individual and team performance.

Video analysis has been widely adopted by teams at the highest level of competition, giving them insights that fuel team and player development and better prepares them for the opposition. A new generation of video analysis tools are making these game changing insights available to teams at all levels.

Here are four ways you can use video analysis to help your team win more games:

Let Video Be Your Eyes

No matter how observant you are, it’s impossible to see everything on the pitch from the sidelines, and it can be tough to remember everything you saw post-game. Jonathan Branch, who coaches at Oxford High School (Miss.) said, “a lot of times I think I see something on the field, but when I can go back and review the film and make notes on it, I can really see what we’re doing wrong. That has helped me become such a better coach.”

Reviewing game video will unlock game-changing insights that you and your staff can use to prepare for the next matchup.

Video Is the Ultimate Teaching Tool

It can be tough to get your coaching points across in a way that players will remember come game time. “I can tell one of my wings that I want him to cut across the middle when the ball is on the opposite side. It kind of makes sense to him just hearing it. But when he can see that run and see how open it would be, it helps tremendously,” said Coach Branch.

The visual elements of learning have been studied by researchers at the University of Iowa. They found that we want to assume students, in this case athletes, will remember everything we say. “But if you really want something to be memorable you may need to include a visual or hands-on experience, in addition to auditory information.”

When you use video as a coaching tool, you can take those mental or verbal notes that you’ve made and attach them directly to the real plays that matter most. You then take those notes and share them directly with the groups that you think need to study them.

Coach Branch even has his players do the analysis. “I let them kind of run the thing and say, ‘You tell me what went wrong.’ They’re taking the initiative. They’re starting to see the game in a whole different sense.”

He went on to add, “By the fourth or fifth session, they were all paying attention, saying, ‘Coach Branch, can you stop it here. This is what you did wrong here.’ They’re picking up the whole aspect of the game we’ve been trying to teach them. It makes them better soccer players and teammates.”

#Protip: Have your position coaches break down games as it relates to their specific athletes. Have your goalkeepers coach find the plays that relate to his keepers, and have him create a playlist with notes and drawings to share with the keepers directly.

"[If] you really want something to be memorable you may need to include a visual or hands-on experience...” Amy Poremba, Associate Professor - University of Iowa

Improve Team Chemistry Through Highlights

Celebrating accomplishments together is a proven way to build team chemistry.  Use your video review sessions to highlight personal and team wins. Spend a few minutes congratulating players who demonstrated personal growth. You can even ask you team to call out moments that are worth revisiting.
#ProTip: Your team’s highlights should be immortalized on your team profile. Not only is it fun for your team to relive those special moments, but friends and family will be able to join in.

Understand the Strengths and Weaknesses of Your Opponent

Preparation isn’t complete without knowing your opponent’s strengths and weaknesses. Reviewing video of your opponents will allow you to identify tendencies that you can use to develop a game plan. Take this a step further by breaking down that video into playlists with notes for your team to study. By dissecting every aspect of their game, you and your team will be better prepared come game time.

#Protip: Have your players break down an opponent’s game and create a playlist to present in your next film review session. Not only will they show the rest of the team what they saw on film, it holds them accountable to be prepared for the next opponent.

Smarter soccer starts with video analysis. You can learn more about Hudl and its tools by subscribing to our free monthly newsletter. It covers feature updates, team close-ups, and expert tips on improving performance.