Only a small group of football academies are awarded with Category One status and Norwich City FC’s Academy is part of this elite group.
The difference between Norwich City and the others, is that they have one of the smallest analysis teams in the Category One tier. This means they have to work incredibly efficiently, which they achieve through their use of technology.
Check out this video feature with Norwich City, where Academy player Uriah Djedje and Lead Academy Performance Analyst George Buckley walk us through what a day in the life of their Academy looks like.
Stage One: The Gameplan Meeting
The day begins with the players entering a gameplan meeting to prepare for the next upcoming fixture.
Players split into groups and review footage of specific game areas their playing units will focus on. For example, one group will focus on build up play and another on high press.
The coaches use Hudl to feed specific instances to the players for the gameplan meeting and the players then clip different instances from that footage.
“One of the core aims of the player gameplan meeting is to develop clever, intelligent players that can adapt in the moment”.
Stage Two: The Lotus Academy - video capture on the training ground
Out onto the Lotus Academy training ground, the Norwich analysis team captures training footage in three different ways: IP camera, drone footage, and primarily Hudl Focus Flex.
Hudl Focus Flex is the only portable automated football camera that records anywhere, anytime across multiple angles. Footage captured on the Flex camera is sent directly to the Hudl platform, where it can be reviewed immediately. Focus Flex also integrates with Hudl Sportscode for live coding purposes.
“Hudl Focus Flex enables us to move the camera around depending on where the session is going to be. It’s also instantaneous on review and as soon as you hit that record button its uploaded straight to the Hudl.com platform and Hudl Sportscode allows us to ingest that into the multi-angle capture, where we can simultaneously look at drone footage, IP camera footage and also Flex footage.”
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Stage Three: Post-training Review
As the players hit the training sheds, they can turn on their mobile phones and immediately access Hudl footage from their devices - this footage has come directly from the Focus Flex camera on the training pitch.
“I’ve just come back from training and it’s already been uploaded to Hudl and I’m just watching myself back to see what I have done well and see what I can improve on”
In the analysis suite, the analysis team uses Hudl Sportscode to live code the automatically captured footage, which syncs straight into the timeline. This coded footage is used for specific aspects of individual player development.
“Players all have technical and tactical IDPs, or individual development plans. So we predominantly focus on clipping live moments that link with their individual development clips.
We can then monitor which type of drill the coaches are running and also access those clips, rewind any particular instances we might see, and anything that relates to the players game plan meeting.
We can also clip these out as well, so we’ve got these ready, rather than have to wait we can tackle that straight away.”
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Stage Four: The Lunchroom
The best part of the day - lunchtime.
As the players eat their food, footage from the Hudl platform is displayed on the big screen in the lunchroom to keep information fresh in mind ahead of the afternoon’s unit review meetings.
Stage Five: Unit Review Meetings
As a key form of delivery, the academy utilizes unit review meetings as an effective way of feeding back information, particularly training and post-match clips and topics.
“The unit review meetings give us another way of involving the players and with the smaller numbers it creates a forum of discussion, promoting players to have a voice and continually improve understanding on the technical and tactical aspects of the game”.
We present all of our meetings through Hudl Sportscode Organizers, which gives us flexibility throughout, particularly to last minute changes or reordering of clips and we use Hudl Studio to sync back to the Organizer to telestrate any focus points.”
This completes our behind-the-scenes tour of Norwich CIty FC's Category One Academy.
To learn more, watch our Day in the Life Video at the top of this page or take a closer look at Hudl Pro Suite - the complete connected solution Norwich City Academy use for professional-grade analysis.