Why coaches should invest in performance and video analysis (update)

In VO Sports we like to innovate, to think differently. It is one of the characteristics that distinguish us from the rest, and that is why we are at the forefront of game analysis. In this sense, we tried to understand how the general conception of game analysis has evolved over time. To achieve such a goal, we compared an article written by our team in 2014 with today’s reality. Join us on this journey.

“Analyzing the performance is a relatively recent task for most teams, but it is something increasingly common within technical teams”. 

When this article was written, the performance analysis area was in its path of development. Teams started to realize the advantages inherent to the process of analyzing their own team (example, see if the intended behaviors for each moment of the game are being executed, which areas need improvement, etc) and the opponent (identifying game patters, analyzing their strengths/weaknesses, etc), and so, they’ve been adding a person responsible for those tasks in their technical teams (see the differences between a video analyst and a match analyst).

Nowadays, the discussion is no longer focused on the relevance and importance of knowing who we have before us and who are we going to play against (that is, the “whys”); today, people are debating who should be responsible for the process.

“Video analysis is now something financially bearable and accessible for most teams and coaches”.

All the technological advances in sports have facilitated access to technology, making it possible for many clubs (even the clubs of lower divisions) to record their games. However, most of these clubs do not have a specialist in this area in their technical teams. It is well known that the tasks of the head coach and his assistant (ex: creating a certain game model and the exercises to optimize its development, talking to players and directors on a daily basis, among others, while at the same time taking care of their families), makes it hard for them to have the time to sit down and analyze a whole game of their team or the next opponent. However, you can ask a team of experts to do it for you.

The process of collecting info should not only focus on the collective actions (ex: the positioning of the defensive line, the behaviors in the build-up phase of the offensive process, etc) but also on the individual actions (ex: areas predominantly occupied, number of failed passes, etc), because only then will it be possible to produce a complete report of the opponent/our team. However, too much information can also be harmful; the final report delivered to the coach should only include the key aspects that are considered relevant by the technical team.

“It is quite common to see seminars and courses that address the performance analysis, and many of the most important universities around the world are including this component in their Sports courses”.

If this trend was already present at the time, the number of courses available today that are focused on the game analysis has risen exponentially, as well as the number of universities that specifically address this area in their courses, both in Portugal and abroad.

This is a very important aspect of Sports development. The greater the number of professionals in this area integrated into the technical teams, the greater the information and knowledge teams will have over each other, forcing the coaches (and their technical teams) to be creative and develop new ways to surprise their opponents.

“Teams and coaches that are not leading the way in performance analysis are staying behind their opponents, and they will have a lot of problems when playing against better-prepared teams”.

Although it was written in 2014, this statement remains true today. Seeking to know some of the characteristics of the opponent to be faced in next weekend is currently such a routine concern of the technical teams as the creation of training exercises or the individual chat with certain players. As mentioned earlier, the heart of the question now lies with the person who should be responsible for this task.

As we all know, competitive sport has teams with different financial capabilities; while some have specific and extended departments made up of several people exclusively dedicated to performance analysis, other teams do not have the human resources to carry out this task. However, even for these teams, it is still possible to perform this task, as there is the possibility of using customized game analysis services.