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Through enhancements in technology, it’s become cheaper and easier than ever for coaches at all levels to film matches and provide their players with matchday clips and analysis.

No longer do clubs need a camera operator or expensive kit set up on a gantry, making matchday and training analysis accessible to clubs well below the elite level.

But, beyond setting the camera rolling and uploading the footage, are coaches making the most of this opportunity? Here are some top tips to help grassroots clubs get the most from their video recordings.

1.  FILMING MATCHES

The quality of cameras is improving all the time and prices have dropped – this is also true of video storage solutions. It’s even possible to film on a tablet or similar, although it possibly limits what you can do next.

Many in grassroots have started using Veo cameras to capture matches and share with players via their platform.

Regardless of how you choose to record the match, there are some key things to remember:

  • Height is really important: It is worth being slightly further away if it means you can get higher to From height, you can more easily look at team shape. It is worth investing in a good tripod to achieve this, or a Hi Pod if budget allows.
  • Keep player in vision: Try to make sure most of the players are on camera most of the time – having around two-thirds of the pitch visible should achieve

If you have a camera operator, then they can zoom in a bit for set plays and to see shirt numbers, but a wide angle is definitely best for team analysis.

“The quality of cameras is improving all the time and prices have dropped”

2.  STARTING THE ANALYSIS

When working with young players, it is important not to overwhelm them with information. That said, it is good to start them early on watching parts of performances and beginning to make evaluations on what they see.

Stick to a few key points and consider using video to look at technique initially rather than whole team analysis.

There are lots of fantastic apps for filming and analysing for technique, including Coaches Eye, iAnalyze and Ubersense.

If you are keen to start looking at whole- team analysis, there are some good apps that can be used during the game to collate the timings of key moments.

This can really speed up the post-match process by timestamping the things you want to focus on. At times I’ve had substitutes and injured players collect this for me.

Dartfish EasyTag works well but there are others available – Focus X2, Tagit, etc. These systems will allow you to collect stats and quickly find key parts of the video footage after the match.

If you are lucky enough to have facilities, equipment and personnel to consider live tagging – recording from the camera straight to laptop and timestamping events as they happen – then there are lots of programmes that allow for this.

Kinovea is a completely free programme that allows for live work but many of the major analysis programmes offer a free trial or basic package that is cost effective (Longomatch, Sportscode, Focus).

I have a PowerPoint user guide for Kinovea that I devised that I am happy to share – send me a DM on Twitter, @gillcampbell80, to ask for a copy.

With elite players we spend a lot of time looking at the opposition and how we can break them down, but I would definitely focus on my own team more at grassroots level and how to learn from previous performances.

 

3.  SHARING ANALYSIS

Nowadays, sharing videos is far easier than it used to There are lots of online sharing platforms and free options for transferring footage such as WeTransfer and MegaVideo.

The programs I have mentioned in this article allow for text to be added to videos and drawings over the footage, and this can be really helpful for young players.

They also allow you to form short clips of content, so you don’t need to always be sharing the whole match with your team – a 3-4 minute video of key points can be far more effective.

Consider asking for local media students to volunteer to help with filming and editing. This can be a great support for you but also valuable experience for them.

When coaching at clubs, I would have others film for me and then quickly pull clips afterwards using the timestamps from the app.

I also regularly use an iPad to preload some clips – set-plays particularly – that players can look at before games and before, during or after training sessions.

The use of text on the clips means they don’t need lots of explanation.

Gill has worked for the Scottish FA since 2010

4.  EVALUATION AND FEEDBACK

Video and performance analysis is such an important part of the modern game and therefore we have to start preparing young players for Encourage them to comment on what they see and reflect on their own performance.

While we are in the middle of this pandemic, I would encourage players to record their individual skills themselves on a phone or tablet and look at them via one of the suggested apps.

When working with young players, I like to gather a bank of clips of various teams – men’s and women’s, club and international – to exemplify positive aspects of play that I want to see.

I always stick to the magic rule of three – that’s the maximum number of key points I would talk about in one session.

 

IN SUMMARY

  • Start small: There’s no need to spend lots of money or devote lots of time to this as you are getting started.

There are lots of free products that work very well and will buy you some time before investing further.

As players get older, they will spend more and more time poring over video clips. To begin with, occasional inputs is plenty to get them into good habits.

  • Get help: Try and find some willing volunteers to support this work. You will often find parents and older siblings that are at games may be happy to help out. When filming wide angle for team analysis, it is really quite a straightforward

Also, Twitter has a large community of analysts who are happy to answer questions and point towards resources.

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