I’ve been using the Veo video system for the last month. In essence, it shoots video without the need for a camera operator. It then analyses the footage to give you a video which follows the play. You can then use that to share clips or the whole game with your players. Here’s my overview... MORE
How sharing Veo footage improves decision making (Product testing part two)
In my previous article, I outlined how I set up my Veo for games and training.
I’ve now had a greater opportunity to use it for recording games.
Again, I come at this without much recent experience of using video analysis software. I don’t have much time to sit down and code games. Instead, I will mainly use the footage to pick out some key points to help inform my coaching and to share moments with the players.
Using the Veo, the ability to create highlights and download them is great. While a player loves to see their own performance, I’m keen to look at patterns on the pitch, so we can understand how we might play the game differently. And then, in training, what we can do to change this.
Often players don’t see the big picture because, understandably, they are wrapped up in their own game. However, if they understand why they are executing a skill within in a play, they might perform it more effectively.
One way I think it works well for a busy coach is to share the footage with the captain. I’ve done this several times. They receive a link which they upload in their app and then they can share highlights or the whole game with their team.
At recent training sessions, I found that those players who were invested in the way team plays were debating different situations. In a sense, this was self-directed analysis at its best. Not every amateur player has the time or, indeed, the inclination to do this. But it really works for those who do.
For example, look at this moment in this game:
In attack, what does this picture suggest you should be doing?
In defence, is this most effective set up?
The referee (who I also shared the video with) might check that the physio has left the pitch!
The picture below shows what then happened. It’s a 5 v 2.
Now watch the highlight (you can see the little yellow dot on picture above for this highlight), and we might say to the players: what skills might change this outcome?
THE POWER AND DOWNSIDES OF VIDEO
The power of this video is clear. We can relive the game to assess performance, think about ways to repeat successes and correct faults.
The higher up the playing food chain you go, the more chance that you will have lots of footage and analysts to “code” that footage. That means, they can break it down into component parts so you can access the key moments.
Veo’s analysis package is basic in comparison to some, but easy to use and, crucially, you can share footage with anyone.
The downsides of video are several. First, it can take up an enormous amount of time (and computer space and energy) to analyse. To watch back a game and analyse effectively can easily take an evening and not everyone has that time. There’s no doubt it has benefits, but if you have limited space to plan and connect with your players, you have some choices to make.
Second, you can become lost in the detail and forget the “huff and puff”. Players decisions can be based on how they feel, not just what they see. I can tell you that in the game I’ve shared above, I was close to the sideline and the first three passages of play went on and on. The players were absolutely shattered. Some of the realignments were based on purely getting up and standing still to catch their breath.
That’s why, at the levels I coach, I’m not counting. In other words, we are not breaking down players’ tackle counts or metres made. It’s too time consuming and it really doesn’t make much difference to them. Instead, I’m keen to pick out themes.
A game model is YOUR way of playing to win a game. The most effective game model is understood by the whole team. For example, the attacking game model for the red team might be: We want to get to the midfield from a line out and then attack where the defence looks weakest. We have quick wingers, so we want to draw in the defence and then release them.
Did they do this? And what would be the defensive game model for the stripes? It should be based on your strengths and weaknesses, not on a generic plan.
Sharing the footage with all the players does two things. First, you can check with the whole team that they understand the model. Second, you can discuss whether that’s the way you want to continue.
In my next article, I will discuss how we have used the footage to identify individual skills to develop.