When Björn Lohmann joined the German Wheelchair Basketball Federation as a performance analyst in 2018, he and the men’s national team faced an almighty challenge. Germany had struggled at that year’s World Championship, held at home in Hamburg, losing to Iran and Canada and exiting in the preliminary round.

Somehow Lohmann, a decorated former player and three-time Paralympian, had to help get the team ready for Paralympics in Tokyo three years later. “The biggest goal is to get back to the top of the world again,” Lohmann says.

After Björn started as an analyst, the German side began to fully develop their performance analysis, engaging with the players by sharing videos and statistics, both at a team and individual level. The results are already showing.

The biggest goal is to get back to the top of the world again, for the German team.

In the Paralympics, Germany qualified for the knockout stages from a competitive Group B, beating Great Britain (who would go on to win bronze) 71-59 and losing by only three points to eventual gold medallists the USA. Germany eventually lost to Spain by just three points in the quarter-finals, but it was a huge advance to be competing once more with the best teams on the planet.

As Lohmann says: “The team finished seventh in Tokyo, but if you just look at the results and the teams that they played and how close they came, this is already a big result after being very far behind in the 2018 World Championship. Somehow, they got back on top of the world.”

Utilising Hudl Assist and Hudl Sportscode is vital for the work Lohmann has been doing. Firstly, in providing rapid turnaround in opposition analysis – crucial when you’re mid-tournament and need post-match data on your opponent’s last game – and in working remotely, as Lohmann was based in Cologne while the Germany team were in Tokyo.

Before working with Hudl, the analyst recalls that teams “used to waste a lot of time watching a whole game together during team meetings, where they had to constantly rewind and fast-forward the video to show scenes.”

Using Hudl has changed that forever. “It is evident that you can go much deeper with such an analysis tool,” says Lohmann. “Without having to work with the players for hours and hours, you can very specifically pick out and show things that matter to you.”

Shot chart delivered to the German team via Hudl Assist.

Hudl Assist – which can deliver a post-match breakdown from analysts in less than 24 hours – offers Lohmann a rapid, in-depth report (on top of what he himself does in Sportscode).

This is especially important mid-tournament when games come thick and fast. “They can upload the last four-five games of your next opponent and have a good overview of how they played so far – e.g. from where a certain player usually shoots well, from where he shoots badly, his shooting rate, etc,” says Lohmann. “Stats are only stats, but they are an important tool that accompany and complement the overall analysis.

“Especially during a European Championship or a World Championship, it saves a lot of time because the competition itself does not provide those kinds of stats. They play one game a day, so it's a real time-saver not having to tag all the games, but relying on a very quick Assist breakdown.”

“It is evident that you can go much deeper with such an analysis tool. Without having to work with the players for hours and hours, you can very specifically pick out and show things that matter to you.” Björn Lohmann - Performance Analyst, German Wheelchair Basketball Team.

When it comes to the most valuable elements of the Hudl Assist report, Björn lists Lineup data  – which highlights connections between players – as the most important, followed by shot charts and the playing time of each player.

In terms of his working pattern outside of an international tournament, Lohmann explains that Hudl has become essential. He watches opponent’s games in Sportscode and tags important events that are relevant to his team (how opposition do on defense, offense and what systems they use).

“I then use the Sportscode Organizer to prepare a presentation to present on-site – and also to share on Hudl for players to review at leisure,” he says. “Also, preparing a recap playlist of every opposition player, with six-seven clips, focusing on what characteristics the player has, where he likes to shoot the most, where he goes, where he stands, what priorities he has.”

Björn adds: “I love the new version of Organizer, it’s a huge time-saver for my workflow.

“Organizer is really important. I can sort clips, edit clips, make them shorter or longer, add comments and drawings… Even if I do a video presentation on-site from Sportscode Organizer, I then share everything to Hudl, so that the players can review footage afterwards and access clips anytime.”

The Sportscode Organizer tool used for sorting, editing and exporting clips.

But Lohmann – who is also an analyst for RSV Lahn-Dill, the 2021 European club champions in wheelchair basketball – cannot always be on site with the national team.

One of the great benefits of using Hudl, however, was that working remotely from Cologne during the Paralympics was incredibly smooth, even with a seven-hour time difference to Japan.

Sharing everything on Hudl meant players and coaches could watch the clips Björn had cut in their own time zone, while video linkup Hudl Session could be used for real-time reviews. “It’s much better than Zoom,” he says, “you can watch clips together and go into detail.”

This is perhaps the No 1 overall gain that the analyst has found on working with Hudl. It is not only that it makes Lohmann’s role easier – it’s that basketball players and coaches are the ones really benefiting.

The Germany team qualified for the knockout stages in the 2021 Paralympics.

Björn could work from Germany and, despite the time difference, players and coaches woke up in the morning knowing that he had already prepared everything and they could easily access it on Hudl. The team in Tokyo could also do further analysis from Björn’s package or focus on what was most important to them.

“The players have realised the value of video analysis and it has become increasingly important in their daily work and in their journey to improvement,” he says.

“Video analysis has become – and continues to become – an important component of their success. They can now do more, and in much greater detail. It helps them in all areas.”

Learn more about how Hudl Sportscode is powering modern sports and check out our elite basketball case studies with Panathinaikos BC and the Atlanta Hawks.