Virtual Academy: Video Gaming Meets Video Analysis

The FIFA video game series is the undis­put­ed world leader in sports gam­ing. Using FIFA in com­bi­na­tion with video analy­sis of your own games can be a pow­er­ful play­er devel­op­ment tool.

Virtual Academy: Video Gaming Meets Video Analysis

The FIFA video game series is the undis­put­ed world leader in sports gam­ing. Using FIFA in com­bi­na­tion with video analy­sis of your own games can be a pow­er­ful play­er devel­op­ment tool.

With an esti­mat­ed 150 mil­lion copies sold since its launch in 1993, the FIFA video game series is the undis­put­ed world leader in sports gam­ing. Pair that with the fact that 80% of American house­holds con­tain a gam­ing con­sole, and there’s a good chance your play­ers have played the game.

From the tac­ti­cal deci­sion-mak­ing to the incred­i­bly real­is­tic game play, your ath­letes are immersed in a video analy­sis tool whether they see it or not. Using FIFA in com­bi­na­tion with video analy­sis of your own games can be a pow­er­ful devel­op­ment tool. Don’t believe us? Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Today’s youth com­pre­hend the game from an enter­tain­ment perspective.

The Virtual Playground

While gam­ing, your ath­letes are in con­stant con­trol of the action. They’re con­tin­u­ous­ly try­ing to prob­lem solve to play a step ahead of their oppo­nent, and they are allowed to do so via tri­al and error. Kashann Kilson at Inverse​.com stat­ed, in the vir­tu­al world these lessons are learned in low­er-stakes envi­ron­ments: mis­takes’ are typ­i­cal­ly only seen by a few sets of eyes as opposed to an entire play­ground or gym­na­si­um. This allows the play­er to mit­i­gate anx­i­ety and fears of embar­rass­ment and ridicule asso­ci­at­ed with failure.”

Encouraging your team to play FIFA will help your ath­letes think more strate­gi­cal­ly about the game. There’s a cog­ni­tive con­nec­tion between the deci­sions made in the vir­tu­al world of FIFA and the visu­al cues they see on the field. Playing FIFA allows ath­letes to be cre­ative and instill their own unique coach­ing style into the game. Players are asked to make tac­ti­cal adjust­ments pri­or to games based on form and fit­ness, as well as the opponent’s strengths and weak­ness­es. It’s exact­ly the same thing you do in the real world when prepar­ing for a match.

Try tak­ing it a step fur­ther to engage your ath­letes. For exam­ple, the abil­i­ty to stop an attack in FIFA comes from antic­i­pat­ing an opponent’s next move. Connect the dots by ask­ing your ath­letes to look for the same oppor­tu­ni­ties in your own game video. Not only can you have them ded­i­cate time in film review ses­sions to ana­lyz­ing and break­ing down oppo­nents, but you can have them sug­gest tac­ti­cal adjust­ments to make pri­or to your next game.

The FIFA Angle

Whether they’re play­ing FIFA or watch­ing tele­vised com­pe­ti­tions, today’s youth com­pre­hend the game from an enter­tain­ment per­spec­tive. The high and wide side­line angle is famil­iar to them. Any video is usable video, but get­ting the right van­tage point enhances the bond between a sim­u­lat­ed match and a real one. 

With this, ath­letes will be able to spot missed oppor­tu­ni­ties as the field opens up, just as they already do in FIFA. It will not only help them see it, but it will help your tac­ti­cal guid­ance to hit clos­er to home. With a lit­tle direc­tion, their entire mind­set will begin to change as they trans­late what they see in the game and on game video to the field of play. They’ll start to see pass­ing lanes from a dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive, and will be able to cre­ate chances from pre­vi­ous­ly unseen spaces.

Take It to the Pitch

A sta­ple of a cham­pi­onship pro­gram is fos­ter­ing a cul­ture of fun. Consider repli­cat­ing the envi­ron­ment of the video game on the prac­tice field. Before every match in FIFA, there are mini-games that play­ers com­pete in for the high­est score. Try hav­ing your ath­letes pick a few of their favorite drills from the game and set them up for your next prac­tice. After all, the mak­ers of the game did ask kids for their feed­back on how to make the expe­ri­ence more fun.

See For Yourself

You could host a FIFA night for your team. Not only is it a great team bond­ing activ­i­ty, you’ll be able to observe just how involved your play­ers are in the deci­sions they make on their own in the game. Keep it light, but make sure the team gets more out of it than just free piz­za. Who knows, maybe you’ll pick up a few new coach­ing ideas along the way.

Soccer is a beau­ti­ful, amoe­bic game that is taught through rep­e­ti­tion on the pitch and dur­ing film review, but study­ing and under­stand­ing the game goes beyond the film room. Try instill­ing the fun­da­men­tals of video analy­sis through FIFA, and see if it makes your film review ses­sions more impactful.

Let us know if you’d like to set up a free account to give our video analy­sis tools a try with your team.