Technology has ramped up a lot since the introduction of the iPhone, tablets and apps. We now have easy access to a million things that we couldn’t conceive of just 10 years ago.
The use of video analysis software in sports used to be slow, time consuming and expensive. Now we have it at our fingertips for basically free. Here’s a rundown of the main benefits of using video analysis for private coaching and small group coaching.
Technique wise, becoming comfortable with this type of feedback is a must if you want the athlete(s) to reach their full potential.
1. Technical Analysis
Sports performance analysis can be so powerful, motivating and interesting for an athlete. Take into account that the athletes you coach will probably never have had someone spend the time to video them and give them proper feedback. This will be such an eye opener for them that it will provide huge motivation and interest.
The other huge advantage of motion analysis is that it allows the performer to SEE what they are doing right and wrong rather than FEEL what they’re doing right or wrong.
Breaking the habit
Many athletes perform the wrong technique simply because they have muscle memory for a certain technique that they THINK is right and they FEEL is right. Video analysis allows them to break that habit and re-learn a skill in the correct way by seeing how it looks and gaining feedback that easily shows them where they can improve.
2. Comparison of a Perfect Technique
Whether the athlete is performing the squat, a swimming technique or a soccer kick, video analysis software allows the athlete to see the best technique possible, compared to what their technique looks like.
Rather than an athlete receiving feedback all the time as to what they’re doing wrong, showing the perfect technique provides an opportunity to give feedback in a very positive way, whilst also reinforcing the correct technique.
It is very difficult to describe what the perfect technique should look like and a lot of athletes probably won’t know what a perfect technique looks like, even after a description. Video is a very powerful way to give them something visual to work towards and provide nuggets for goal setting e.g. concentrate on arm action on the next shot.
3. Visual Learners
Knowing whether your athlete is a visual, auditory, kinesthetic or reading/writing type of learner is a key way to get the best out of your athlete. You should know which way your athlete learns best.
However, fortunately for you and the use of video analysis, approximately 65% of the population are visual learners (Mind Tools, 1998). The brain processes visual information 60,000 faster than text (3M Corporation, 2001) so using video analysis software is going to be a pretty good bet in reaching your athlete.
4. Injury Prevention
Sports injuries such as shoulder pain, rotator cuffs, tendonitis and joint pain are unfortunately way too common. A common reason why these injuries occur is due to incorrect form or technique.
Use of video analysis can help pick out these inefficiencies in performance (especially in closed skill sports such as baseball and tennis) and help reduce the probability of injury occurring.
Injury prevention like this can really help to keep those physiotherapy bills down!
5. Easy and Convenient
Video analysis software has fortunately become extremely easy to use and with the common use of video and camera phones, it is also accessible from almost anywhere.
This means there is absolutely no excuse for a coach to not be utilising these awesome apps and making them a part of their everyday coaching. All you need is an tablet or smartphone.
This convenience is complimented by the price tag on a lot of these apps. You are usually able to use a significant and certainly useful part of the app for absolutely free. The free price tag gives you access to enough features that ‘free’ mode is absolutely productive and worthwhile.
Literally recording the athlete there and then and being able to show them their performance, is extremely powerful in terms of its impact on performance.
Best Apps out there
In my previous blog ‘8 steps to Deliver a Brilliant Private Coaching Session’, I mentioned a few of the best video analysis software apps out there.
They’re easy to use and provide awesome recording, editing and analysing features.
Just like any form of feedback method or learning style, you can have too much of a good thing! Video analysis is so good that at times people (including myself) are guilty of overusing it and relying on it too much. I must suggest that a varied and balanced use of feedback options are the best way to produce a well balanced athlete and learner.
Show the video a few times to the athlete, but soon enough, there will be a time when it becomes overkill and the athlete will just need to practise through repetition. Make slight adjustments, rather than completely reviewing the technique after every strike, stroke, kick or shot.
Also, if you’re recording, you will find it difficult to record, watch and analyze at the same time. Sometimes you get as much accurate feedback through viewing the end result of a technique and hearing the noise of the technique execution, as you do through the video. If possible, it’s best to get someone else (a willing parent) to record so you can watch the live version and recap using the video.
So remember to mix it up and don’t over use the video analysis apps.
Used properly, with the correct analysis and interpretation of the athlete’s technique, video analysis is one of the most powerful methods to have a positive impact on any athlete’s development. So don’t be shy, download an app, get used to it and start implementing it into your athletes sessions as soon as possible!