Introduction course scout/analyst: Part V – Video analysis report

One of the most essential tools in football analysis is video analysis. By analysing game footage, coaches and analysts can gain valuable insights into the performance of their team and their opponents. Video analysis allows coaches to identify strengths and weaknesses in their team’s performance and make data-driven decisions to improve their tactics and game plans.

Moreover, video analysis is an indispensable tool in modern football reporting. Journalists, commentators, and pundits use video analysis to provide in-depth insights into team performance, player abilities, and game strategies. Video analysis can help to paint a clear picture of a match’s events and give context to important moments that might be missed by casual viewers.

In short, good video analysis is crucial in football. It enables coaches to make informed decisions about their tactics and helps journalists and analysts to provide accurate and insightful reports. By analysing game footage, football professionals can gain a deeper understanding of the game and unlock new levels of performance on the field.

Last week we looked into working with data in terms of collecting and preparing data. If you want to read again of haven’t read it yet, you can view it here.

Why video analysis?

Video analysis is a powerful tool that can be utilised by coaching staff to enhance the performance of their athletes. Through video analysis, coaches can identify and address technical flaws, strategic errors, and areas of improvement. In this way, video analysis can play a crucial role in developing and refining athletes’ skills and tactics, which can ultimately lead to improved performance on the field or court.

One of the most significant benefits of video analysis is the ability to provide a visual record of an athlete’s performance. This record can be used to identify patterns and trends that may not be immediately apparent during live gameplay. By analysing these patterns, coaches can develop strategies to help their athletes improve their performance. For example, a coach may notice that a basketball player consistently misses shots from a certain angle. By analysing video footage of the player’s shooting technique, the coach can identify and correct the flaw, resulting in a higher shooting percentage.

Another advantage of video analysis is that it allows coaches to provide specific feedback to athletes. Rather than relying on general feedback such as “you need to work on your footwork,” coaches can use video footage to pinpoint exactly where an athlete needs to improve. This specific feedback can be invaluable in helping athletes to understand and correct their mistakes.

In addition to technical feedback, video analysis can also help coaching staff make strategic decisions. By analysing footage of opposing teams, coaches can identify weaknesses and develop game plans to exploit them. Similarly, coaches can analyse their own team’s performance to identify areas where they need to improve their strategies and tactics.

Overall, video analysis is a powerful tool that can help coaching staff to enhance the performance of their athletes. By providing a visual record of performance, specific feedback, and strategic insights, video analysis can help athletes to identify and correct flaws, refine their skills, and ultimately perform at a higher level.

Building a report

If you watch a game and want write a report, the video analysis is crucial. There are, however, a few things you need to think about. What’s the purpose of the report? In other words, think about what you want to convey to the reader/viewer and what the message should be. The context is everything. The video analysis consists of the video and the written analysis.

It’s important to understand that you are not just describing what you see. Start with the description, but end with the analysis. After all analysis isn’t so much about WHAT you see, but much more WHY something happened.

Using video analysis in a report: Images

The first way of introducing your video analysis is by the use of stills in your analysis. I will give a few example of how screenshots can help your analysis and make your analysis become visual.

In the image above you see a single still of the game PSV vs FC Groningen. With a single still you will zoom into a specific situation and often the visualisations needs more annotation and your analysis will go slightly deeper. In this specific image I would describe what I’m seeing first, which is an image of PSV on the ball in the middle third with their defensive minded players. I see FC Groningen lined up without the ball.

The aim of this image is to follow PSV in the build-up and how they use the defensive midfielder in how they do that. It illustrates how easy it is for PSV to play through due to the lack of a correct pressing-scheme by FC Groningen. In this case the analysis should focus on how it’s possible that PSV could play through it that easily, rather than that they could.

Here you see 4 stills of Real Madrid where we follow a specific player. The purpose of this particular set of images is to show what skills the player has in one sequence, and highlighting every skill with a separate screenshot. You will look at the specific skills of the player and analyse the whole sequence, with a deep dive into the specific skill under every screenshot.

In the images above, I wanted to look at a corner and analyse the routines employed by Borussia Dortmund. Here no annotations are used because it’s too difficult with all the players close to each other. With these images it is about describing and analysing the different steps of the routine, and explaining how an advantage was create through it. Every image should show a change and a progressive step towards the endgoal.

Using video analysis in a report: Videos

The second way of introducing your video analysis is by the use of videos in your analysis. I will give a few example of how videos can help your analysis and make your analysis become visual.

In the video above you can see how to use a video with pauses. In this way you have a video that tells the analyses and pauses after every phase/step of the routine. That way the viewer has the time to process what exactly is going on and how to put it in perspective. With this video, the analysis you add to it – purely is focused on how you can gain an advantage. The descriptive part has already been done.

The video above has pauses too, but it does this in change of the role of players portrayed. It start with a pause so we can assess what both players are doing at the beginning. When there is a change from role/action, there is a pause – after which the video keeps on running even with the visualisation in it. This shows a very specific moment for two attackers, but doesn’t provide context at all.

Adding context is of vital importance to understand more about this game and about the team in question. Your text will be more focused on the context and focus of this part of priniciples of play. Why do these players behave as they do? What effect would they like to have as a result?

In this video we focus on the actions of one player, but also focus on the actions that come after. So the player in question has a good passing skill and he can make sure other players will get in better position to create a chance. We focus on what happens before the action is taken, during the action and what the result is. For that to do, it’s important to describe/analyse the different phases in the video.

One of the most important things with these videos is to give context and make the viewer aware of the paterns in this kind of play. The execution wasn’t good enough to create something out of it, but the intention is good and if the details are done a little bit better – this team can create something out of it.

Final thoughts

The main thing with this all, is that video analysis can be incredibly helpful for coaching staff, but also for people who write reports in football clubs and journalism. I haven’t given the analysis in my examples, but I wanted to show you how images and videos can be used in different setting with video analysis. There are tools that you can use to enhance your visualisations to make it even better.

Next week we will come to the sixth part of the tutorial We will have a look at data contextualisation.

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