Sports video analysis – how to make a good game film

Camera specifications

First of all, we highly recommend an HD Camera. Why? Because it allows you to have a frame size (the size of the frame of the video) of 720p or 1080p. This resolution will enable a better image quality and therefore a better understanding of the actions on the field. As it is crucial to have a quality video, the equipment decisions had to be carefully thought, because after the video is recorded it’s not possible to upgrade it to a higher resolution, only downgrade it. Check the image below to better understand what it means.

Thus, an HD set (720p or 1080p) is the best option in order to have a quality video and practically all monitors run an HD frame size. Filming in HD will allow you to take the analysis process one step further.

Camera angle and position

When filming a match you need to be prepared to do it in different ways according to your needs. If you want a tactical analysis of the team or an individual analysis for scouting, the approach is necessarily different – if you’re making a tactical analysis you need to be in a higher position (wide angle) comparing to an individual analysis that requires a lower position on the field (close angle). 

Wide angleClose angle
More pitch areaFocus on a small area
Does not require much camera basculation to follow the playDoes require more camera basculation to follow the play
Play wide view More focus on the center of the play
Zoom requires less workZoom requires more work 
Better tactical perceptionBetter technical perception
Easier to understand the collective decisionEasier to understand the decision of the player

Wide angle

Close angle

According to the position you choose to film the match – central, lateral or in depth position – it’s important to understand the three of them have pros and cons. 

Central PositionLateral PositionIn Depth Position
Equal perception of both halvesAt one of the halves the footage is sideways, at the other one is more on the backBetter understanding of the width
Easier to basculate the camera to follow the playOne of the halves has a better vision, the other one requires zoomHarder to understand depth
Better control of ZoomRequires more zoom control when the ball is on the opposite halfRequires more zoom control when the ball is on the opposite half

Tactical analysis (wide angle) 

  • You need to be in a higher and central position so you can film as many players as possible – this way you´ll better understand the collective behavior;
  • As the basculation is reduced, the image quality is increased; 
  • As the camera is so far away it’s harder to understand the technical details of the player;
  • The zoom in/out – it’s important to zoom in when the ball is on the opposite side of the camera, but keeping in mind the angle needs to be wide and not narrow.

Bad example – Wide view with no zoom

Good example – Wide view with zoom

Individual Analysis (close angle) 

  • A lower position enables a better perception of the technical details, and therefore a better understanding of player’s interaction within the game; 
  • This position doesn’t allow to have a collective perspective, also important to understand the player’s behavior;
  • Camera basculation and zoom in/out is harder to control and keep fluid.

Wrong camera basculation



In order to do a nice basculation it’s important to have a good tripod, with enough weight to support the conditions (wind especially). You can add some weight to the tripod in the legs or in the central column to provide balance and to dampen vibrations.  A good handle with a lock system also helps to control the tension. There must be some tension so the camera is not constantly moving, but soft enough to be easy to understand the continuity of the play. 

Filming control 

In order to take a quantum leap, you must follow the game through the LCD Monitor all the time. It’s hard to keep focus, especially with emotions involved, but it’s important to be as professional as possible, so the post-game analysis is the more accurate as possible. 

Dead Space

You must pay attention to the“dead space”, which means the excess of field without players. Avoid this dead space by bringing the camera towards the attack direction to capture more players, and more actions to analyze later.

Predict the following action and direction

In order to make a smooth follow-up of the play, the cameraman needs to predict the next step according to what is happening in the game. This will allow to have a better control of the filming.  In this example, we can suppose there is a chance of crossing, so we must handle the camera in order to have a full view of the goal, so we don’t miss any move. 

Ball in the center

You must also avoid filming beside the sideline, keeping the camera as much as possible focused on the field. 

Also, remember that the ball is the center most of the time. 

Like in most things, practice makes perfection. Keep that in mind and don’t worry about the mistakes. Just keep moving forward, always looking to improve your skills and become better every single time.