An inside look at the video analysis process of the Philadelphia Union

2020-05-22 Soccer/Football, Technology
Philadelphia Union - Jay Cooney

For 11 years, Jay Cooney was an assistant coach for Stanford University’s women’s soccer team. But today, you can find Jay on the sidelines – and in the film room – of the Philadelphia Union where he is the Director of Video Analysis. We talked to Jay about how he approaches his role with the Union; including how video analysis can help with player development and for coaches to make tactical changes, accelerate development, and collaborate as a team.  

#1: Record everything from start to finish

Every minute of the Union’s training sessions and matches are recorded, including warm ups and rehab sessions. They analyze and tag everything from touches to injuries to formations to set pieces. For example, the Union Sports Performance coach watches every single warm up recording to get insight into player energy and fitness levels. 

With access to live or recorded video, Jay can easily include the other coaches to give feedback —  real-time or afterwards. And by using virtual panorama technology and scheduled recordings, the Union video team has coverage across the entire field.

The Spiideo system doesn’t miss anything on the field and helps us to clearly communicate with the player.”  

Jay Cooney, Director of Video Analysis, Philadelphia Union

Watch the video below to see how Jay and his team tag and import data with Spiideo: 

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#2: Save time and accelerate player development

Hectic schedules fill the days of coaches and video analysts around the soccer world. Which is why it’s so important for a coach like Jay to have his routine and process down to a science. He starts at 7:00 a.m. with a video staff meeting where they sort, organize, and prepare each tag and clip collection. 

“The workflow is done immediately after practice and this has saved me 6 hours of postcode per day.”

Jay Cooney, Director of Video Analysis, Philadelphia Union

Organizing and tagging each clip and collection is step one for the Union, but sharing and accessibility is the next step. By 8 a.m., Jay is working with the other coaches and players in 1-on-1 sessions to break down film. Whether it’s a training or a match recording, access via the cloud on a computer or mobile device is key for daily analysis. The Union players even share clips on Slack and social media. By empowering the whole team to have access to recordings, it turns into a daily routine to analyze how the Union are performing on the pitch. 

Watch the video below to see how Jay works with Spiideo to streamline cloud collaboration between coaches and players:   

#3: Using video to motivate and coach

It’s one thing to tell a player they did something positively or negatively. It’s another thing to show them. 

By having a seamless video system for recording, tagging, and sharing video clips, Jay uses it as a motivational tool to immediately show clinical finishes or a poor touch in the midfield. He wants his players to be daring during training, allowing them to fail and learn through video. Player development usually starts in the film room where the players can visually see their triumphs or mishaps.  

“When I present with Spiideo it looks like it does on TV, which makes it easier to communicate and illustrate my point to the players.”

Jay Cooney, Director of Video Analysis, Philadelphia Union

Watch the video below to see how Jay builds smart clip-collections for every player on the Philadelphia Union: 

#4 Player-to-player mentoring through video

Having systems and processes for video analysis hasn’t just been beneficial for Jay and the other coaches, but the players as well. It enables peer-to-peer mentoring, which Jay views as just as important as input from coaches. Players form an opinion, hold each other accountable, and develop in a whole different manner. 

That instant feedback and video breakdown gives everyone on the team a completely different perspective, whether it’s at the half or days later. 

“Spiideo’s a phenomenal system that has solutions for anything we want to do in the platform.”

Jay Cooney, Director of Video Analysis, Philadelphia Union

Watch the video below to see how Jay builds player and coach presentations with Spiideo: 

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