The One Solution’ Panathinaikos BC OPAP Are Using to Stay on Top of the Game

The One Solution’ Panathinaikos BC OPAP Are Using to Stay on Top of the Game

With 64 titles, includ­ing 38 Greek League cham­pi­onships, 19 Greek Cups and six pres­ti­gious EuroLeague tro­phies, Panathinaikos BC OPAP are the most suc­cess­ful team in Greek bas­ket­ball and one of the most suc­cess­ful in EuroLeague history.

But stay­ing on top means always con­tin­u­ing to improve both on and off the court. Learn about how this bas­ket­ball heavy­weight has upgrad­ed their analy­sis offer­ing to add a new weapon to their already suc­cess­ful arse­nal of talents.

For Panathinaikos BC OPAP Technical Director Nikos Pappas, the deci­sion to upgrade the analy­sis offer­ing in 2015 at the Athens-based club was attrac­tive for many rea­sons, but essen­tial­ly it was the abil­i­ty to cov­er all areas of the club that stood out the most.

We want to have one solu­tion for any­thing, for our acad­e­my, our men’s team and of course our scout­ing depart­ment,” said Pappas. So this aspect was most cru­cial for us and it’s again very impor­tant to have only one solu­tion, one soft­ware, so that way we can exchange all of our video eas­i­er and faster.”

Each year has brought on an increas­ing num­ber of fix­tures to an already con­gest­ed cal­en­dar as Panathinaikos com­pete on sev­er­al fronts both domes­ti­cal­ly and in Europe. Calendar con­ges­tion means less time avail­able between fix­tures, analy­sis needs to be com­plet­ed on a much quick­er turnaround.

It’s dif­fer­ent now than it has been since the last two years now sched­ules are run­ning faster and the amount of games is also increas­ing,” said Pappas. We need to be faster, we need to be quick­er and we have to be more effi­cient. So we need­ed a tool that can help us break down prac­tices, games and scrim­mages, as well as indi­vid­ual play­er analy­sis with very lim­it­ed time.”

With 38 Greek Championships to their name, Panathinaikos BC are the most successful team in Greek basketball history.

Hudl Sportscode is the tool that Panathinaikos have embraced to exe­cute their work­flow for pre-game, dur­ing the game itself and for post-match review.

To pre­pare for a game we always watch at least the last five games of our oppo­nent and our three assis­tant coach­es ana­lyze the video in the three dif­fer­ent ele­ments — offence, defence and indi­vid­ual skills,” said Pappas. So when the assis­tant coach­es ana­lyze these last five games, they cut the film and at the same time they can cal­cu­late the sta­tis­tics we need by tag­ging in Sportscode. 

That’s why we like Hudl Sportscode, as you can do so many things at the same time. You can cut, edit and film. You can cal­cu­late stats, for indi­vid­ual per­son­nel, offense, defence, set plays. All of this by click­ing a but­ton. We do all of the edit­ing at the same time at the same time we per­form our analy­sis, so it means we can do two jobs at the same time.”

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We need to be faster, we need to be quick­er and we have to be more efficient” Nikos Pappas - Panathinaikos BC OPAP Technical Director

The Panathinaikos coach­ing team often have three days to pre­pare — with the first day being offen­sive train­ing, the sec­ond defence, and the third indi­vid­ual skills. The Panathinaikos Technical Director goes on to explain how this train­ing strat­e­gy is exe­cut­ed using video.

There are many advanced stats that we try to keep. But one of the main stats that we keep is the oth­er team’s offense. So we tried to cal­cu­late the oth­er team set plays, which plays are more effec­tive and they pro­duce more scor­ing for the oth­er team. We tried to mea­sure these set plays and build our defen­sive strat­e­gy around this.

It’s very impor­tant for us to cal­cu­late how many times they run a play. So how many times they score or how many times they don’t score through this play, or which defences play­ing cer­tain plays are more effec­tive, so we can stop their scor­ing production.

So we build our strat­e­gy through these sta­tis­tics, and it’s very impor­tant for us because it shows what we need to prac­tice, which kind of defences we need to use. Finally, we have indi­vid­ual skills like angles of drib­bling, shoot­ing form and fun­da­men­tal skills.”

Win or lose, post-match review is always vital for any suc­cess­ful team to take fur­ther learn­ings into the next game. Panathinaikos use small focus groups to com­plete this analy­sis before head­ing back to the prac­tice court.

Ahead of the next prac­tice we aim to cut film for every play­er for the next day, hav­ing small indi­vid­ual groups of peo­ple who we want to show,” said Pappas. We show mis­takes and also show the good actions. To do this, we need a tool that pro­vides us the secu­ri­ty and quick­ness that is need­ed. This is the chal­lenge, as our coach­ing staff are very demand­ing, they demand things and they want to have it quick and fast.

    Panathinaikos BC OPAP Head Coach Giorgios Vovoras.

    The great thing for us is that this soft­ware nev­er crash­es, which is crit­i­cal for us giv­en this is some­thing we need to use every­day for our coach­ing. Things aren’t like they were in the past where we had only one or two meet­ings per week, it’s now a dai­ly task for us to meet and ana­lyze video, so the soft­ware needs to be reli­able – which it def­i­nite­ly is.

    The play­ers also enjoy the feed­back process — most of the time we are send­ing them their indi­vid­ual videos, which is some­thing that keeps them focused. They want to watch them­selves, they want to watch what they do wrong or what they do well. The play­ers very much they like to self-reflect and it’s the visu­al aspect that helps improve their game.”

    Read more:

    Assistant and Academy Coach Mike Rachovitsas using Hudl Sportscode during a live match situation.
    The new and improved Hudl Sportscode allows for better scripting, faster interactions and easier integrations with your custom workflow.

    It’s not only the first team scout­ing and analy­sis that is impor­tant at Panathinaikos, it’s the next gen­er­a­tion of cham­pi­ons that Greece’s num­ber one bas­ket­ball club wants to intro­duce through their academy.

    We want to build a young and hun­gry team, moti­vat­ed, that hus­tles hard,” said Mike Rachovitsas, the Assistant Coach of first team and coach of Panathinaikos BC Academy coach, who had an unbeat­en sea­son with the U16 team.. We use Hudl for our acad­e­my as it’s easy to share videos between play­ers and the coach­ing team to track their progress. 

    The play­ers and actu­al­ly also their par­ents, twant to down­load the games, they want to see high­lights, and it’s very impor­tant for us to give some­thing that was not pos­si­ble until now in Greece. Hudl has made it pos­si­ble for our acad­e­my play­ers to have access to pro­fes­sion­al-lev­el tools.

    Many of the young play­ers also want to play col­lege bas­ket­ball in the USA, so we see Hudl is some­thing we need to give our play­ers and their par­ents to sat­is­fy a need. We can give back to these par­ents with­out a cost to them. Especially this year, which has seen many challenges.”

    Many of the young play­ers also want to play col­lege bas­ket­ball in the USA, so we see Hudl is some­thing we need to give our play­ers and their par­ents to sat­is­fy a need”. Mike Rachovitsas - Assistant Coach first team and coach of academy at Panathinaikos BC OPAP

    Even though the improved analy­sis solu­tions at Panathinaikos BC are rel­a­tive­ly new each sea­son, they are already mak­ing a great impres­sion, and quick­ly becom­ing indis­pens­able tools — espe­cial­ly when com­pared to their past analy­sis workflows.

    It was so much hard­er before we start­ed using Sportscode as we couldn’t share infor­ma­tion quick­ly,” said Pappas, We need­ed to, for exam­ple, per­form a man­u­al process using a USB to trans­fer video to anoth­er lap­top. Also, some peo­ple used win­dows, some peo­ple used mac­books, so then you need to change the video for­mat so it can be played through dif­fer­ent oper­at­ing sys­tems. This process was very slow.

    That’s why we decid­ed to use only one soft­ware solu­tion for the men’s team, for the Academy and the scout­ing depart­ment. Hudl Sportscode inte­grates well with video data­base plat­forms in order to stream­line our work­flows. With more and more games appear­ing on our cal­en­dar every year, this old process would not be effec­tive for us to con­tin­ue with.”

    Learn more about how the Hudl Basketball Pro Suite is pow­er­ing mod­ern basketball.

    You can also sharp­en up your analy­sis skills using Hudl prod­ucts in our bas­ket­ball webi­nar series.