The Importance of Video Analysis When Creating a Game Plan

By Duncan Ritchie

22-August-2022 on Tips

10 minute read

Video analysis plays an ever-increasing role in preparing teams for matches. Having a huge amount of quality information is a powerful tool which cannot be overlooked by coaches and clubs.


In our experience and according to what we’ve heard from other clients, video analysis is one of the key factors when creating a game plan, since it provides coaching staff with valuable information, not only about their own team, but also the opposition.


So, what role should this type of analysis play when it comes to preparing the game plan? Let’s find out…


What Is a Game Plan? 


A game plan contains the strategies and moves that a team utilises in order to beat their opponent. In other words, coaches try to predict what will happen during a game and try to work out the best way to get the upperhand in various different scenarios.


In addition, the game plan will contain strategies for dealing with abnormal situations in a game, such as sendings off and external factors such as extreme weather.


the importance of a game plan



Quality Information, Better Decisions


Our old slogan was “quality information, better decisions”, and the game plan is basically summed up by this idea. And this isn’t anything new either. It has always been the case that preparation has been the key to success, and good preparation requires good information.


Let’s look at a basic example. Imagine you have a game at the weekend. You don’t know anything about your opponent. Going in blind will cause a lot of uncertainty and surprise in your own team. However, if you do your research, watch some of their games, get to know their players, formation and playstyle, then you have a much better chance of winning the game.


In other words, you can find out your opponent’s weak spots and try to exploit them or find their strengths and look for ways to break them down.


There are many sources of information but, without a doubt, video analysis is one of the most essential. By conducting an analysis you can uncover such information as:


•    The typical formation of your opponent.
•    Differences in their game when playing home or away.
•    Typical tactics employed.
•    Trends from the last few matches.
•    Strengths and weaknesses.


These are just a few of the common question that analysis can answer, but you must remember that this information is dynamic and, as the match day approaches, it might change.


If you would like to know more about this, we recommend having a read of this article by eminent coach Sergio Almenara, in which he covers some of the most important KPIs to take into account when preparing a report on the opposition.


KPIs in football

BLOG. What are the most important KPIs when analysing an opponent?


Sergio has worked as an analyst in clubs around the world and, here, he talks us through opposition analysis, focusing on the most important key performance indicators.


Some teams go a step further and focus, not only on the performance of the team, but also on the individual player. In this article, by analyst Manuel Nuñez, you can read a step-by-step breakdown of how to perform an analysis of an opposition player. 


individual player reports

BLOG. How to conduct an individual analysis of opposition players



When Should the Analysis Be Delivered?


Although every coaching team in the world has their own unique way of working, there are some common features. As a general rule, information about the opposition must be delivered some time in advance.


In football, for example, coaches will tend to want an opposition analysis completed 7-10 days before matchday. At the very latest, delivery of the analysis will be on the Monday before a weekend fixture.


If you would like to read more about how a top-level team such as Liverpool FC conduct an opposition analysis, check out this article which provides an exclusive look inside one of the English Premier’s top teams.


analysis at liverpool fc

BLOG. Opposition analysis at Liverpool FC



How Is Analysis Used in the Game Plan?


A report on the opposition must detail, as precisely as possible, the collective and individual strengths and weaknesses of the upcoming opponent.


If you want to know how to prepare such a report, Sergio Almenara provides us with another extremely interesting article which deals with this subject.



analyse opponents football

BLOG. How to analyse an opponent in football


From here, it’s the responsibility of the coaching staff to take this information on board and change the game plan accordingly. The analysis may influence:


•    Exercises in training sessions
•    Specific work for specific positions
•    Team talks, by team, position or individual player
•    Delivery of material (compiled videos, dossiers, etc)
•    Video sessions


Here’s an example. Imagine the opposition bases its game on set pieces and has scored a significant number of goals in this manner. It’s your responsibility to review the matches to uncover their favourite moves, study their most dangerous players and, in general, get a feel for their strategies in these positions. You hand this info to the coaches and they amend the defensive strategy to defend against set pieces.


Or in offense, imagine you have detected that the opposition is quite weak when building up from the back. In addition to informing the players, there may be exercises introduced in training sessions designed to take advantage of this weakness with high blocks and high pressure. During the week, you can analyse these training sessions, adjust them as needed, and arrive at the match as prepared as possible.



How Much Should the Analysis Influence the Game Plan?


The influence of your report will vary depending on the head coach. There’s always been huge debate around whether a team should change its game plan depending on the team they are facing or not. And it's not our place to influence your opinion one way or the other.


Some coaches will prefer to focus on the play style of their own team. They focus on growth and evolution of the team in general. Others will prefer to prepare for the each game in a unique way, adapting to the opposition in order to exploit strengths and weaknesses.


In both cases, the analysis is still important. We’re simply talking about how you influence weekly tasks.





As we’ve seen throughout this article, video analysis is an essential resource when preparing a game plan. Having quality information is not only necessary, but absolutely essential.


Another story is how that information is used, and the impact it will have on the weekly work of the team. This depends on the head coach and their staff.


Nacsport is the perfect tool for collecting quality information. To get a free 30-day trial, click here and, if you want more information on video analysis, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us.


Thanks for reading.


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