Video Analysis on a Budget

Performance Analysis often conjures up images of specialist coaches working on laptop computers and, where the budget allows this will usually be the case. There is however everyday equipment available, that won’t break the bank, that can be used to provide useful information to help players and teams identify areas to work on in training.

My one warning here; while the lack of specialist video analysis software doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t do a good analysis job, the time needed will increase dramatically. A good working relationship with the head coach is essential so as you make best use of your limited time.

Notational Analysis

This is by far the cheapest method of analysis and if done correctly can certainly give you some very useful information to work with. It is worth mentioning that notational analysis can be done live during a game and without having the game recorded, although if you have the game recorded you can analyse in much more depth afterwards.

There are many different forms that notational analysis can take but the two most popular are frequency tables and Schematics .

  • A frequency table is a simple case of creating a table based sheet and ticking off each event as it happens.
  • A Schematic on the other hand involves plotting what happened on the pitch, this method gives you a more graphical representation of the events.

Notational Analysis, especially when done live, is very time sensitive, the action won’t wait for you to record everything you need. Be selective in what you look for, it is better to record 5 things accurately than 25 inaccurately. Because of the time pressure you need to come up with some simple techniques to get as much information as possible in as short a time as possible.

In this example (below) you will see that as well as recording where on the pitch an event has happened I have also recorded some information using a symbol and used the player number to give me even more information.

These little combinations will mean you will get a good account of what happened in the game as well as who performed well. Don’t be afraid to mix and match the methods above. There is no reason why your notational analysis sheet could not be split in half, with one section being used for frequency stats and the other for a schematic of one particular aspect of play.

Dartfish EasyTag

369126115x356With EasyTag, notational analysis comes to the iPhone. Start the timer at the beginning of the game then a fully customizable tagging panel is used to time-stamp the key performance indicators (KPI) of your sport and display instant statistics of their frequencies.

EasyTag can be used as a standalone device or information can be further analyzed by spreadsheet software or tagged events can be related to a video recording by import into Dartfish video analysis software (TeamPro and Connect+ editions).

Download it for €2.69 from the App store. Click here

For videos on a Dartfish EasyTag Overview, How to Create a Simple Tagging Panel, How to Create an Advanced Panel and Creating a Heat Map click on the link below:

And Finally

Having limited (or no) resources is not an excuse to do nothing. For free everybody could be doing some form of notational analysis. To make this more appealing to players and management spend some time and energy with Excel, this will make your analysis look much more professional and engaging.

Videoing the game can add huge weight to your analysis. Simply having the tape to go  back over will enhance your notational analysis work as you have more time to collect information. Start to become familiar with some editing software, you will never be able to replicate the same results as if you add specialist software, but there is no reason why you couldn’t clip small sections of the game (e.g. set-pieces) each week.

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