From the Experts: Getting Started with Video Analysis

Video analy­sis and foot­ball are a match made in heav­en, and staffs all across the globe are real­is­ing its poten­tial to rev­o­lu­tionise their match preparation. 

We sat down with top coach­es all across the UK, and they offered up some crit­i­cal advice on how to get start­ed with video analy­sis at your own clubs.

I’d advise them to keep it sim­ple to start with, because the lev­el of stats and infor­ma­tion that can be gath­ered these days is incred­i­ble. However, you’ve real­ly got to know why you’re doing it, and what you’re using it for. Any infor­ma­tion that you gath­er, you must know why you want it and what you’re going to use it for in terms of feed­back to the play­ers. Otherwise it’s just infor­ma­tion for information’s sake.”

Have a clear ratio­nale behind what you want them to learn from it, how you want them to use it, and then make it a part of your week­ly pro­gram because the ben­e­fits are clear for all to see.”

To imple­ment it, it isn’t actu­al­ly that hard at all. You just need a video record­ing device, whether that’s an iPad or a video cam­era, and then some­body to film it. It’s as sim­ple as that. Even if you’re just video­ing your games, I would high­ly rec­om­mend it.”

Sometimes I’ll be watch­ing a clip twen­ty-plus times before I’ve real­ly deter­mined actu­al­ly what we can do to improve there. So it’s hard just from mem­o­ry to be able to go, oh yeah, you were in the wrong.’ [Previously] that was some­times what deci­sions would be made off the back of, peo­ple being dropped, let go. Whereas, [now] you’ve got the video evi­dence to sup­port that, whether that’s pos­i­tive or an area of improve­ment. It’s mas­sive. Absolutely mas­sive to aid any team, any club, any sport.”

It’s easy to find bar­ri­ers, but it’s also easy to find a solu­tion. Stop look­ing at ways in which you can’t do it and just go and find a way to film your sport, your game. Even if that’s start­ing with the coach, you’d be inter­est­ed to see the play­ers actu­al­ly buy into what you’re doing.”

In terms of our video set­up, it’s not expen­sive at all real­ly. We have a sim­ple tri­pod that we use to video the games. Our cam­era wasn’t over­ly expen­sive at all. It’s a fair­ly stan­dard HD cam­era. We don’t have a video ana­lyst, so we gen­er­al­ly get one of our injured play­ers to record the game. Then it’s just a mat­ter of upload­ing the video and hav­ing a room where you can ana­lyze. From that point of view, it’s not real­ly expen­sive at all.”

In any­thing, we always try and find con­sis­tent themes through­out, whether it be the match footage or train­ing footage. Usually there’ll be a reoc­cur­ring thing due to the way to oppo­si­tion is play­ing or the way we’re play­ing. So we always look for key themes to pull out and show them through repetition.”

You have to be real­ly clin­i­cal with the theme you’re try­ing to show when­ev­er you’re using video, because with too much noise the boys just get con­fused, and they leave more con­fused than when they came into the ses­sion. So it’s real­ly impor­tant that you just [hone in] on one theme.”

It’s about coach­ing, but it’s about learn­ing. I think the younger gen­er­a­tion now is an iPhone gen­er­a­tion. It’s an iPad gen­er­a­tion, and they’re used to visu­al stim­u­la­tion. I can sit and talk in front of the lads all day long, as any coach can and try repli­cate a sit­u­a­tion. If we can film some­thing and actu­al­ly then just go back and look on it. Firstly, it’s real­ly impor­tant for the coach, because it’s not always what you were expect­ing in the first place, and some­times you real­ize the play­er is right when you think they’re wrong. But sec­ond­ly for the play­er, it’s love­ly to get that visu­al rein­force­ment of areas that you’re doing well and obvi­ous­ly areas that you can improve upon.”

The key thing I’ve learned from our expe­ri­ence using Hudl, and analy­sis at all has been [that] you’ve got to cre­ate a we.’ We’re doing this togeth­er, and we’re learn­ing togeth­er. So, that’s how I feel it works for us.”

Obviously, we play in such a com­pet­i­tive envi­ron­ment and results are real­ly impor­tant, but we are a devel­op­ment pro­gram [too]. In terms of devel­op­ing play­ers, there’s no bet­ter tool. You go into train­ing ses­sions and game sit­u­a­tions where it’s hec­tic. Lads are affect­ed by what’s going on around them. In a class­room, they can just see it on the screen and see the actu­al move­ments or what they do with the ball from a pos­ses­sion­al sense.”

We don’t high­light mis­takes unless they keep hap­pen­ing. We try to empha­size posi­tion­ing in terms of sce­nar­ios and spe­cif­ic game sit­u­a­tions as much as we pos­si­bly can. Young play­ers need to see that, oth­er­wise we’re just telling them things constantly.”

It’s a great learn­ing tool for the young play­ers to devel­op their knowl­edge of the game.”

Don’t be scared of it. Yes it is a very refined sys­tem, but it’s cer­tain­ly noth­ing to be ner­vous about. It will only aid you. It will only enhance what you do. It’ll help your play­ers, and any­thing that helps your play­ers and makes you bet­ter is great.”

I am an absolute techno­phobe. Anything to do with tech­nol­o­gy scares the life out of me. The sim­plic­i­ty of using Hudl — it’s just so good. Literally, your ana­lyst puts it on to there, you’ve got your login [and] you click on the game.”

Video is an absolute neces­si­ty in the mod­ern game, and I would cer­tain­ly be encour­ag­ing every­body at all lev­els to embrace it.”

There’s no doubt­ing the pow­er of video analy­sis, and as you’ve read, there are count­less ways to imple­ment Hudl.

If you have any ques­tions while you get start­ed, don’t hes­i­tate to reach out to us direct­ly. Make sure to fol­low us on Twitter and Facebook for the lat­est tips and tricks.