Reviewing and Presenting Game Footage Effectively

Thursday, August 20, 2015

By Scott Whyte - Director of Sport – Melbourne Grammar School and Vic Metro Academy Assistant Coach

As coaches we know that providing feedback to players is invaluable. One of the most powerful ways to do this is through the use of visual stimuli. With the access to technology such as video camera, laptops and video editing software becoming more in reach of coaches outside of the elite environment, it is vital to know how to make best use of this to gain an advantage.

What equipment do you need?

It is important that you have the right equipment to allow you to get the job done properly. There is nothing worse than preparing all week to have the game recorded and then realising you are missing something five minutes before the game starts! The level of football you are involved in will determine in some way what equipment you require. At the elite level you will already have some type of filming happening throughout the game and access to video editing software. As you go out to local football this may not be the case. I suggest talking to your committee and asking if they would be willing to provide the funds to buy the following:

  • Video Camera (Doesn’t have to be fancy – ideally has the ability to zoom well and record to an SD card)
  • Camera Tripod
  • Access to a laptop
  • SD Card with at least 10GB of memory
  • Video Editing Software (Some really good ones on the net that are next to nothing and do what you need up to programs such as Sports Code and Dartfish)
  • Two batteries (Unless you have a professional camera one battery will not last a whole game of football!)

You will also need to find someone to video the game for you – it’s important that if possible the person doing this has an idea of what your intended use is for the footage.

What are my focuses?

Knowing what you are focusing on will determine both what you are filming game day and then looking for when editing. For example at Vic Metro Under 16’s level, my video camera is used to provide behind the goals vision and to provide another angle for the coach from the normal footage which is taken side on. Before the game I speak to the person filming the game and go through what my intentions are in using the footage. It’s important for them to know how close/far out you would like them to zoom and where they are filming as the game progresses. This footage is then used by the coach to show players where they were at boundary throw ins/around the ground stoppages/on transition etc. It allows the coach to show the players what they were doing off the ball which the side on footage wouldn’t allow. Knowing your focuses is vital to reviewing and presenting game footage effectively.

So what’s next?

So now you have your footage from the weekend’s game and you are sitting at your laptop ready to go – what’s next? As stated previously, it’s important to know what your focuses are and what you want the players to see at the review. My suggestion is to base it either on your focuses from the game OR what your focuses are going to be at training that week. If one of your focuses from the weekend’s game was to harass the opposition when they have the football, then you would be looking for examples of this happening. You may also want the opportunity to present plays that worked really well or improvements that the team need to work on that will link into your training focuses. It is really important that you don’t present too many edits to the team at the review – there can be a tendency as a coach to show too many edits and for the players to lose concentration. I know that I have been guilty of this, especially earlier in my coaching career. My advice would be to present no more than 10 edits to the players at any one time and to engage with the player (s) about each edit and why you are showing it. Question them, provoke them and you will see the benefits on the ground.

How am I going to present this?

Now you have your edits and you are looking forward to presenting them to the players. There are different ways you can present them to the group including a presentation to the whole group, in line groups or one on one. Once again it depends on what your focuses were. I think it’s important to have a review of the previous week’s game and doing this on a Tuesday before training works really well. Depending on the resources you have at your club, you could then allow your assistant coaches to use the footage to provide feedback to their line groups and one on one to players. My experiences with using video footage for feedback have been 99.9% positive and something that players really appreciate.

Why am I doing this?

Research states that providing feedback to players soon after competition is one of the most powerful tools in a coach’s toolkit. As Jarrod McCarron states ‘Video analysis, a commonly used tool in modern sports, can provide a training boost for individual and team competitions. Coaches and trainers analyse video from live action and training exercises, and the results of their careful analyses provide helpful feedback for the athletes. Thanks to video analysis, athletes can gain a competitive edge, correct faults and maximize their strengths.’

Using video footage in your coaching can seem quite confronting when you first use it. If you stick with it you will see the long term benefits that it provides. The feedback that you provide your players will become much more detailed and relevant to them both as individual players and as part of the team. So get out there, talk to your committee and sponsors and give it a go – you won’t regret it!

Scott Whyte is Director of Sport – Melbourne Grammar School & Vic Metro Academy Assistant Coach.

This article was written as part of the requirements for AFL High Performance Coach Accreditation.

Noel Fanning, 06-10-15 14:44:
Good insight. Whatsoftware package do you use?
Richard, 28-10-15 16:34:
Can u recommend any editing software we can use?

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