Why coaches should make time for video analysis

Have you considered, as a coach, what you’re trying to achieve when you show players a video of a match or something that happened within a match? What are you hoping to achieve? Do you want to lead a true discussion with players and listen to their individual perspectives or are you trying to lead them to a solution you already have in mind?

You might not even realise you are guiding players to a solution you’ve already determined. Many studies have been completed about the effect of video analysis on the learning of players. The purpose is to illustrate that when a group of people watch the same footage, you’ll get a variety of perspectives. If a player made a suggestion that you, a coach, didn’t agree with, how open would you be to implementing it?

Image credit

Don’t be too hard on yourself though, as coaching has come on in leaps and bounds over the last decade. Gone are the days of cones, bibs and a coach shouting instructions like a drill sergeant. Today more focus is given to interaction, empowerment and developing a positive culture around a team. It is now generally accepted that players should have a level of input. Is this happening in reality though?

Traditionalists would still argue that training sessions should be coach-led, technically-focussed and about passing knowledge from coach to player. This makes learning a passive process, with little if any interaction.

This can work well for amateur teams who might only meet once a week and need to use the time for learning tactics and developing skills for the next match. In these situations, there is no time for a coach to debate several different perspectives.

However, current thinking from sports psychologists, scientists and coaches supports video analysis being a highly effective form of reflection, helping to improve skills and develop a player’s psychological understanding of the game in terms of tactics. Video analysis helps to boost decision-making in future games. For Rugby Training drills offered on video, visit

What does seem clear is that there is a heap of evidence to support the notion of player engagement being a positive thing and improving team performance. Coaches note that video analysis can help players see the actions of others, not just themselves and it can help to put an incident into the wider context of the whole match.

Image credit

Video analysis provides a great opportunity in engaging players but is a wasted exercise if the coach then ignores all suggestions and observations. Coaches need to learn to listen to other viewpoints and create an inclusive learning environment open to different ranges of experience, ability and knowledge.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *