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COACHES PERCEPTIONS OF THE USE OF VIDEO ANALYSIS

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Although the use of video may appear appealing to many coaches, little is known as to the effectiveness of this approach to training and match preparation. Often the assumption is made that if the players see what they are doing right or wrong, this will reinforce good or appropriate behaviour, also that the more information the players have the better. However, research from the mainstream motor learning literature has highlighted several key issues relating to the provision of feedback in learning. For example, Williams (1999) highlights ten aspects which can affect the effectiveness of feedback: ● Feedback should be constructive. ● Develop a model for comparison (Performance Goal). ● Feedback should relate to the players' skill level. ● Frequency should depend on the learners' skill level. ● Do not provide too much information. ● Do not provide feedback that is too precise. ● Provide feedback at the right time. ● Provide the learners with the opportunity to practise the skill. ● Try to provide positive rather than negative feedback. ● Provide some variety in the delivery of feedback. Currently, there is a limited amount of research that supports the use of video-based coaching sessions. This is particularly surprising as modern pedagogy has highlighted the importance of "reflective practise" to consolidate and improve new coaching methods (see Knowles, Gilbourne, Borrie, & Nevill, 2001). Also, with advances in video and computer technology, there has been a reduction in the size and cost of cameras and laptop computers, which has enabled video feedback to be used as a tool for developing youth players and not solely a luxury for the 1st team. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to reflect upon the 2003/04 season using video analysis with an U17 team of 1st year scholars.
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COACHES PERCEPTIONS
OF THE USE OF
VIDEO ANALYSIS:
A CASE STUDY
Although the use of video may appear
appealing to many coaches, little is known as
to the effectiveness of this approach to
training and match preparation. Often the
assumption is made that if the players see
what they are doing right or wrong, this will
reinforce good or appropriate behaviour, also
that the more information the players have
the better. However, research from the
mainstream motor learning literature has
highlighted several key issues relating to the
provision of feedback in learning. For
example, Williams (1999) highlights ten
aspects which can affect the effectiveness of
feedback:
Feedback should be constructive.
Develop a model for comparison
(Performance Goal).
Feedback should relate to the players’
skill level.
Frequency should depend on the
learners’ skill level.
Do not provide too much information.
Do not provide feedback that is too
precise.
Provide feedback at the right time.
Provide the learners with the opportunity
to practise the skill.
Try to provide positive rather than
negative feedback.
Provide some variety in the delivery of
feedback.
C
urrently, there is a limited amount of
research that supports the use of video-based
coaching sessions. This is particularly
surprising as modern pedagogy has
highlighted the importance of “reflective
practise” to consolidate and improve new
coaching methods (see Knowles, Gilbourne,
Borrie, & Nevill, 2001). Also, with advances in
video and computer technology, there has
been a reduction in the size and cost of
cameras and laptop computers, which has
enabled video feedback to be used as a tool
for developing youth players and not solely a
luxury for the 1st team. Therefore, the aim of
this paper is to reflect upon the 2003/04
season using video analysis with an U17 team
of 1st year scholars.
Methodology
The participants in this study were two
professional Advanced Licenced Youth
coaches; both were ex-professional players
and had over seven years of coaching
experience. As no previous research has
attempted to reflect on the coaches’
perceptions of the use of video analysis, an
exploratory qualitative methodology was
employed to examine coaches’ perceptions of
the video analysis sessions carried out during
the 2003/04 season. A semi-structured
interview with the two coaches (C1 & C2) was
used to identify key themes and trends across
the participants.
The semi-structured interview consisted of
questions relating to five key areas:
(1) General usefulness of the video sessions
(Usefulness)
.
(2) What had been learnt in the sessions
(Learning)
.
(3) Whether the sessions had influenced
their reflection on the matches
(Reflection).
RYAN GROOM and CHRIS CUSHION
Many Premiership football teams have adopted video based match analysis into their preparation for matches. Clubs such as Arsenal,
Chelsea, Liverpool, and Manchester United have used match analysis systems to break down matches providing statistical information of
both a
Physiological
and
Technical
nature. Historically, this information was created using hand notation, where statistical data would be
collected on paper. However, the introduction of computer-based systems, where the statistical information is linked to the video, has
signalled a conceptually different use of the analysis information. Namely, the information itself can be viewed directly by the players as a
selection of video instances. This allows managers and coaching staff to use this information to provide feedback to the players regarding
individual, unit and team performance in matches. This information may vary from
Physiological
information relating to sprint/walk/jog
ratio data (see Strudwick & Reilly, 2001) to specific
Technical
and
Tactical
information for example, team shape, midfield pressure, and
the use of diagonal balls. Also, elements of decision-making such as, the selection of passing and marking options and positional play can
be highlighted. Typically, video analysis is often used to highlight strengths and weakness of players, thus attempting to reinforce
behaviours using positive modelling.
56 INSIGHT – ISSUE 3, VOLUME 7, SUMMER 2004
57
INSIGHT – ISSUE 3, VOLUME 7, SUMMER 2004
(4) Whether the length of the session was right
(Timing).
(5) Whether the video sessions had had an impact on any mental
aspects
(Mental Aspects).
Coaching Philosophy
Central to the construction and delivery of the video feedback
sessions was the experience and philosophy of the coaches who
identified the themes of the session: Technical/tactical content, how
the information is delivered (timing/style), and the tone of the
sessions (positive/negative). In the interview with the coaches a
clear philosophy had developed, which was to try to create a
positive learning experience for players, whilst providing them with
the information they required to improve on previous team and
individual performances:
“The first thing we said at the start is that we did not want it to be
a negative thing (C2).”
“We’ve won games, quite comfortably, threes, fours, but we’ve
always been able to come in on a Monday morning, and go well
done in this area, but you could have improved on that, but I
don’t think it has been in a negative way, I think the balance has
been right (C1).”
Data Analysis Coaches Perceptions
Usefulness
The coaches found that the video analysis sessions were useful
for providing feedback on specific areas of the game that players
often found hard to recall. This enabled the coaches to discuss
decision-making:
“If someone’s made a technical mistake on the ball, we can say
this is what you did, a cross where instead they could have stood
it up at the back post, which would have been the best option
but then elected to whip it, we can stop and say look (C2).”
Also, the video provided the players with a view of the game that is
often reserved for the coaches:
“We can talk about it but until they actually see it up on the board
on the screen, then they don’t know what we are saying, they
can see it for themselves the mistakes that they are making, but
they have also gained so much confidence seeing themselves up
there doing well (C1).”
Learning
The coaches perceived that the video sessions had been useful in
improving players’ game understanding. The main advantages the
coaches highlighted using a video-based approach was that you
could work on the players understanding of their positions in relation
to the team both “on and off the ball”:
“For me it’s their positional sense, whereas we can do it out there
on the training ground, which is a great starting point, but in
games they’ve got to make decision really quickly, on a Monday
morning you can say see the position you were in, and work with
the team to get a bit more understanding (C1).”
The coaches also identified that the session had encouraged players
to analyse the game and their own performance in a critical manner:
“It’s a learning curve for them, it’s probably the first time that they
have had to sit down and maybe look at themselves (C1).”
Technical Information
The coaches also perceived that the video analysis was particularly
useful for highlighting technical information for the players. The video
enabled the coaches to highlight the players “in-game performances”
relating to their decision-making skills and their roles and
responsibilities within the team, for example:
Technical mistakes on the ball.
The selection of passing options.
To highlight overplaying in certain areas of the field.
Goals scored against us at set plays.
Players caught wrong side.
Positional play.
Organisation.
Defending at set pieces.
Marking positions.
Reflection
The next section highlights some of the main themes, concerned with
how video analysis sessions have altered the coaches’ own reflection
on the previous game. In the initial video session both coaches
reported that they were pleasantly surprised with both the team and
individual performances, given the chance to review the game
analytically using the video:
“We were better than we thought, the players are better
individually and as a team, than I thought myself personally, in
terms of what we have done with the video, we look more
organised, using the video equipment they understand their jobs
and roles, it can only help them as players really (C1).”
Importantly, the video analysis gave the coaches a chance to reflect on
the match when the emotions from the game had passed:
“Sometimes I think that the players have performed better at
times when you see them on the video than when you are
actually there at the game (C2).”
The coaches perceived that the video had been particularly useful in
highlighting action “off the ball” as sometimes the coaches were
concentrating towards the “on the ball” play:
“Sometimes, because you think you’ve seen the game you think
that you’ve seen everything, but then when you look back on the
video you realise that, missed that, didn’t know he did that, that
was good or that was bad, sometimes you can see a reoccurring
thing, where someone is making a constant mistake in a certain
situation (C2).”
Also, because of the success the team had experienced in the filmed
matches, the coaches where able to analyse where the success had
58 INSIGHT – ISSUE 3, VOLUME 7, SUMMER 2004
Ryan Groom previously worked as a match analyst with the England
youth squads. He has an undergraduate degree in Sports Science
and MPhil degree in cognitive development in youth soccer players.
He is currently working at Brunel University examining the application
of match analysis in soccer.
Dr Chris Cushion is a Research Lecturer in Sports Science and
Coaching at Brunel University. He is an Advanced Licence coach and
has published several scientific papers in the area of coach behaviour
and coach education. He is also an Academy coach at Fulham FC.
come from, and use this information to develop the team’s playing style:
“We now have a style of play, where, and its come sort of
through the video seen where how well we have done through a
lot of pressurising, because we have seen it work, its really honed
it down, that we did not really have at the start of the season, the
style of play (C2).”
The coaches felt that on reflection, the use of video analysis with the
players had given them an extra medium to express their coaching
ideas through:
“It’s certainly helped me in my development as a coach, I’ve
never had that video equipment, but now we can do it, on a
Monday morning to sit down with yourself and go through it’s
helped us as coaches ourselves (C1).”
Timing
The coaches were asked to reflect on their perceptions of the timings of
the video analysis sessions. Typically, the sessions consisted of a 30-40
minute debrief of the game. Video instances were selected to reflect
key themes from the game, which the coaches had decided they
wanted to highlight (eg pressuring, attacking play, defensive play, team
shape, and goals). These video clips were then displayed by a projector
onto a wall in their sections and the coaches would highlight key points
and ask the players questions relating to their decision-making and
examine alternative options:
“At times we were maybe long winded, at the end we had a fair
idea of what you were going to show us, and we got quite hot on
it (C2).”
The coaches both felt that as they became more comfortable with the
use of the video session, that their efficiency improved:
“As the season went on it got better, at first for me we were
going into the unknown, because I’d never done it before, and
you know it’s a learning curve for me, and as the season went on
we got quicker and quicker and went crash, bang wallop, got the
points and that was it, we moved on (C1).”
They also felt that the players experienced a similar learning curve to
the introduction of video analysis sessions into their weekly training
programme:
“The players got an understanding of it as well, the longer the
season went on mentally if you like, when they were coming in
for training, right were going to sit there and go through the
video, for both parties really from the coaching point of view and
the players (C1).”
Mental Aspects
Two main themes came through the interview with the coaches,’
firstly, that they were able to give the players Technical Feedback
relating to game performance and secondly, the positive impact both
coaches felt that the video sessions had had on their players
Confidence:
“Due to just how we have played especially in our home games it
has improved their confidence on the video to see them winning
games and scoring goals (C2).”
The coaches also felt that it was important for the players themselves
to see how well they had performed, as in the past the coaches could
only give the players this information using general praise. Both
coaches felt that this was a particularly powerful way to build
confidence in the team:
“The big thing is they have seen themselves being a success on
the video (C2).”
Further Reading
Knowles, Z, Gilbourne, D. Borrie, A. and Nevill, A. (2001). Developing the reflective
sports coach: A study exploring the processes of reflective practice within a higher
education coaching programme. Reflective Practice. Vol. 2, pp.185-207.
Strudwick, T. and Reilly, T. (2001). Work-rate profiles of elite premier league football
players. Insight. Issue 2, Volume 4, pp 28-29.
Williams, A.M. (1999). Providing feedback during skill learning: The ten
commandments. Insight. Issue3, Volume 3, pp 12-13.
Summary
For the coaches, the video analysis had been a useful tool in the
development of their players. Specifically, the coaches felt that the
video feedback had improved four key areas of the players’
development:
Benefit for the Players
Players Technical and Tactical Knowledge was improved.
Critical Thinking was developed.
Decision-Making was improved.
Confidence was improved.
The coaches also felt that the video session had improved three key
aspects of their own coaching practise:
Benefit for the Coaches
Assisted in the development of an effective style of play for the
team.
Enhanced their own professional development and coaching
practice.
Allowed for an in-depth review of matches.
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