The Question is How Can They Learn it not How Do I Teach it? A Coach’s Perspective of Sports Analysis

In our previous blog we explored bony stress injuries in youth athletes, summarising some of the key information on this topic around training design, bone health and biomechanics. In this blog we explore a coaches perspective of sports analysis with our Head of Girls Football.

What does analysis mean to you in your sport?

Analysis of matches and training gives us the chance to learn from our own actions, learn from real scenarios and to study the game in detail. This way we can fully impact into our playing & coaching philosophy. An image is worth a thousand words, but to be able to see, to explain through images and videos, to understand, to interact as a group and, consequently, to generate solutions is the best possible way of learning.

What advice would you give to an analyst coming into your sport?

Having passion and loving your job would be something that would make you, not just better, but will set no limits to your development .

Understanding each other’s’ ideas in the coach-analyst relationship and trying to give each other support and challenge is really important. It means we are constantly working to enhance our understanding of capturing, coding and sharing footage in the most effective manner. It is also important to keep the pupil at the heart of any decision making.  

What do you think are the key skills an analyst needs to have?

As for any type of coach or practitioner, awareness of yourself and others and being creative will help you to skip over and learn from potential barriers.  

To have the desire to know everything in your field, to have the curiosity to dig for new possibilities (i.e. filming systems, software, new methods…) and to know the key technical areas of each sport and important aspects of the coaching process would be very important in order to optimise the content that is being collected and shared.

What benefits can pupils get from analysis?

The potential benefits are countless. To be able to watch themselves, watch their team, watch others and revise and study real scenarios, it will always be one of the most powerful teaching and learning tools to have at our disposal.

For example, spatial awareness; to improve decision making by seeing a wider picture of each situation, to be able to look further away than just focusing on where the ball is, and to support the creation of different outcomes from each situation so they would potentially have a wider range of options in future scenarios.

In summary, analysis in school sport has the potential to impact the coaching process and a coach’s philosophy. Video footage allows coaches and pupils to critically review actions in training and matches and to learn about the impact of their actions on their teammates and the games as a whole. The coach-analyst relationship is critical to optimise this process with the need to gain clarity on the desired outcomes of video analysis and sharing processes to allow the analyst to support the coach and pupils in the best way possible. It is important therefore, to keep the pupil and their video analysis experience at the heart of the coach-analyst decision making process.

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