Today, sports video analysis is used extensively across all sports – both professional and amateur – to improve athlete development and team performance.
If used properly, it can drastically increase the efficiency of the coaching process. However, working with video often involves inefficient manual work and complicated tools. With coaches and analysts forced to take up additional roles as camera operators and technicians, legacy systems cost clubs significant time — time that should be spent on the field helping athletes to improve.
Are you a coach seeking to improve video feedback and analysis at your club, having grown tired of wasted time, technology struggles, and inadequate footage? Here are 3 questions to consider before making changes to you sports video recording and analysis setup:
1. What type of video and in what context do you want to capture footage?
Even the most advanced sports video analysis system will offer little support if the right camera setup isn’t in place. There are a number of choices such as handheld DVRs, action cameras, fixed cameras, pan-tilt-zoom, broadcast cameras, drone cameras, and even the handy smartphone – each of which offer different pros and cons. To determine which is right, you first need to consider what you hope to capture.
For team sports, where analysis typically focuses on team structure, spacing and formation, your cameras need to capture every part of the field. In this case, the ideal setup would include a number of wide area capture, high-resolution cameras, synced to provide footage from every angle. Spiideo’s S-Line camera, for instance, offers a 170° horizontal field of view for training grounds and stadiums.
However, this setup wouldn’t suffice for individual sports. Take golf for example, which requires a camera that can focus in on a small area of action and capture the high movement speeds as the ball is hit. As such, for individual sports, a good optical zoom (>10x) and a high frame rate (>50 fps) is typically of the essence. In this case, Spiideo’s VAR system would allow you to capture high-detail footage at up to 100 fps.
Another consideration is where and when the system will be used. Training ground systems, used daily, must be low maintenance and largely automated, for example, in order to avoid burdening analysts with tasks such as charging batteries and switching memory cards. Not only does this take them away from their actual work, but you also risk implementing a video analysis system that is left to gather dust, regardless of its quality. Designed for easy implementation and low maintenance, an automated sports video analysis system eliminates this burden, saving clubs like Brentford FC 10+ hours per week.
2. When and where do you view the video material?
Video footage offers a number of potential uses for sports clubs. For team development, video can be used before, during and after training or matches to adjust a game plan, learn new tactical concepts, or scout competition. For individuals, it can provide effective visual feedback that aids in recognising and correcting issues in their play. It’s uses can extend off of the training field too, helping the medical department to identify concerns, prevent injury, and improve recovery.
Having appropriate sports video recording equipment in place is, of course, vital. Yet, it is also fundamentally important that the system is quick and easy to access. To really take advantage of video as an efficient and objective coaching tool, you will need to provide live video feedback to coaches and athletes immediately – ideally live on the field, while the situation is still fresh in their memory.
In many cases — such as where footage and data needs to be shared across a coaching team, to a number of players, or in some cases across a league — legacy systems that require manually retrieval and distribution from a storage device or local server won’t be able to provide the speed of access required. Modern solutions help to tackle this. Footage captured should automatically be uploaded to the cloud and become immediately accessible via a computer, smartphone or tablet.
3. How does it integrate to your current workflow and coaching process?
Regardless of the video analysis setup, its success will ultimately be defined by how well it is integrated into the organisation’s overall workflow and coaching process. For large organisations, this often presents the biggest challenge.
Capturing video, extracting data and statistics, followed by team and individual performance analysis, and then collaboration around the material are all key parts of the process. The efficiency of each step and the information handover between them will determine how successful the system is.
Is footage easy for all departments to access? Can players effortlessly watch individualised clips of themselves back? Can analysts tag and share material, data and statistics effectively? Can coaches create presentations from the collected material through the same platform? Before choosing a solution, it is paramount that you consider who will rely on the system, and whether it offers accessibility and ease of use during every step of the process.
Allsvenskan: Effective sports video analysis implementation
Ahead of the 2017 season, Swedish football managers identified a league-wide improvement of sports video analysis capabilities as their top desire.
By asking similar questions to those above, Svensk Elitfotboll, the Swedish football league, was able to narrow down what the implemented system needed to offer.
- Live, multi-angle video of every inch of the pitch
- Availability for all training sessions and matches for deep tactical analysis
Usage and viewing
- Accessible and easy to use for any coach on a daily basis
- Easy to distribute footage across the league, including to individual players
- Works well for both first team and academy training processes
- Leverages existing tagging and presentation tools used by clubs
It was determined that Spiideo would best meet these needs. Spiideo now provides high-resolution 4k Virtual Panorama footage from every arena in the Allsvenskan and Superettan, the top two tiers of Swedish football. This footage is used as part of the training process at every club, and serves additional purposes such as official match tagging and player tracking for the league.
Svensk Elitfotboll is one of many organisations and clubs to have partnered with Spiideo, with partner clubs ranging from Italy’s famed Inter Milan to college soccer team the UCF Knights. The size of these organisations vary significantly, but ultimately they all required one thing — a sports video analysis system that met their video, usage, and workflow needs.