Video Analysis as a Psychological Tool

By Daniel Muñoz

14-February-2023 on Tips

15 minute read

Can video analysis influence the psychology of a team? Yes, definitely. Although we generally talk about it being used to collect objective information, the truth is that, by using the tools available to the cunning analyst, a team can be motivated to improve their performance and whipped up to a frenzy of competitiveness.


Video analysis can play an important role in group performance, beyond the essence of providing information to coaching staff and players, in the same way that a coach’s speech can influence morale or vocal fans can boost the players.


So, how can this be achieved? Our colleague Dani Muñoz, who has extensive experience as an analyst at the top level of football in Spain, talks us through some of the most important concepts in this area.


But, before we get stuck into it, let’s look at some of the key points of the discipline…

What Is the Purpose of Video Analysis?


Video analysis is a discipline that aims to show different game situations to coaches and players in order to help improve team and individual performance and tactics.


It also aims to aid understanding of specific game situations such as set pieces in football and game systems in basketball, or game winning situations such as penalty corners in field hockey.


video analysis psychology


Video analysis gives players a perspective on the game that they, otherwise, might not have. Information comes from a different point of view to the ground level vision of the game they usually have.



Shots and Angles that Go Above and Beyond What a Player Sees


In general, the video footage with which you work will be shot from a high vantage point. It may be filmed from the stands or a tower. It make come from automatic or IP cameras mounted on masts on the sidelines, filming options that are extremely fashionable at the moment, especially in sports and entertainment circles.


In addition, if you use Nacsport Scout, Pro or Elite, you can incorporate different angles into your video analysis work, such as footage from behind the goal, although in general, these still tend to be wide-angle shots.


video analysis perspectives


At some teams, there is even some experimental work going on in analysis departments in the shape of wearable technology, body cameras that give a view of the action from the players perspective. This type of work is usually confined to the context of training as, at the moment, this type of technology is limited in scope and, due to its limitations, quite uncomfortable for the players to wear.


All of this adds up to giving the player a 360º view of the action happening on the field. And, as we say, this is a view that players and coaches generally don’t have, being at eye-level on the field of play. This gives them a wealth of information and insights into their own performance, or that of an opponent.



Giving Feedback to Players


Obviously, there are some downsides to this 360º view. Intrinsically, it moves the player away from their own reality, seeing action objectively for the first time. As such, you run the risk of rejection when showing it. In other words, if the analysis is applied as a corrective method, the athlete receiving it may disagree with it and, therefore, reject it.

When showing the reality of a situation, poorly directed and unfocused analysis can generate an aversion towards the analyst or their methods.


So, it’s here that the psychological aspects of video analysis appear. It should not be used as a mechanism for correction, but as a tool to support and help the athlete improve their performance. 


video analysis positive feedback



Psychology When Analysing Your Own Performance


Ok, let’s see how to use video analysis as a psychological tool when analysing your own performance, that is, focusing on your own team as opposed to the opposition.


A fundamental aspect of this that we’ll deal with throughout this article is that the context surrounding the analysis should always be taken into account. In other words, the analyst must be aware of the team’s competitive level and the emotional circumstances surrounding a game, as well as any upcoming games and the opposing team against which they are being measured.


If your team is going through a barren patch in a competitive sense, or if a player is not currently playing to their full potential, our advice is to concentrate on the positive. Show action where the team played well, select the videos that encourage positive reinforcement.


You can, of course, also show those moments that need some work. But keep these to a minimum and always sandwich the bad between the good. In addition, try to keep it as light as possible. Start with situations that are easy to remedy and don’t rely on a lot of acceptance from the player.


On the flipside, if the team is playing well and are due to face an opponent who are objectively inferior to them, you must try to generate the opposite effect. Don’t let the team be lulled into a false sense of security. Reveal actions which, while good, can be improved upon on the training ground. And remember, there are always aspects of the game which can be improved, despite what many players and coaches may think.


Psychology When Analyzing the Opposition


When conducting an opposition analysis and presenting it to the team, you should, again, be trying to improve morale. This is especially true when it comes to a team which may be considered stronger than your own.


In this case, motivate the team by identifying weaknesses in the opposition which can be exploited by your team. Show them how to penetrate the armour and make them believe that they can win.


positive reinforcement with video analysis


Be aware that opposition analysis can do more harm than good. Imagine if you present your players with an analysis of an opponent who has been tearing up the league, playing at the highest level of the game. Your analysis shows a team which has no weaknesses, no chinks in the armour. Now, imagine how this will make the players feel. Completely demoralised, no doubt. They’re going to go into the game with a losing mindset, convinced that there is nothing they can do to win the game.


On the contrary, if you show them that even the strongest teams have their weaknesses, just like any other team, you’ll unleash the competitive spirit in your players and give them belief. Video analysis can motivate players by showing them what it takes to break a superior opponent.


The same is true for an individual player analysis. Your team may be about to face a world class striker with unmatched speed and vision, or a tough-as-nails defender who hits hard and defends his goal area with the precision and discipline of a 5-star general. But everyone has weaknesses. Reveal these weaknesses to your players and they will go into the game with the belief that these players can be overcome.


Send positive message to your players and the seemingly impossible will soon become possible.



Tools in Nacsport that Favour Positivity


There are certain tools in Nacsport that can support the psychological work of the analysts. Let’s take a look at a few:



The Video Player



The unprecedented control that the analyst has over the video player in Nacsport can condition the reality of your analysis.


Imagine that you’re facing an opponent who play an extremely high-paced game. Well, showing your selected game highlights in slow motion can change the perspective of the team, making the opponent seem slower and more vulnerable.



Filtering Tools


If your template includes descriptors which reflect the psychological side of the game, it will be much easier to hone in on these aspects when using the filtering tools provided by Nacsport. Tools like the data matrix, dashboards or the high powered search functions include in Pro and Elite make searching through your analysis for positive reinforcement a breeze.



Add Drawings and Animations to Motivate the Team


drawings and animations for positive reinforcements 


With a thorough understanding of the tools at your fingertips, you can reinforce your messages. For example, the use of colour can have a huge psychological effect on the team. Red, for example, usually signifies danger and can be considered a negative colour. Orange, on the other hand, is associated with success, while green is generally though of as a positive colour.


Think about this when creating illustrated clips, along with the type of text you are using and other tools for positive reinforcement such as emojis.



Add External Audio


Video analysis doesn’t have to be purely visual. You can add an auditory level to your analysis too.


Many scientific studies have shown the correlation between music and motivation. It has been shown that a carefully chosen track can increase positivity and improve a mental performance.

Video analysis does not have to be only visual, but also auditory. Different scientific studies have shown the relationship between motivating music with increased positive feelings and physical or mental performance.


A good example of this is the famous video that Pep Guardiola showed the FC Barcelona squad minutes before the Champions League final in Rome against Manchester United, a perfect blend of inspirational images and music. We’re not saying that this video was responsible for the Spaniards lifting the title, but if a successful coach like Guardiola is using this type of mechanism, then maybe there’s something to it, eh?




Slides in Presentations


When creating video presentations with Nacsport, you can add other elements, such as PowerPoint slides or external images. Favourable statistics, key details or motivational quotes alongside the video actions can lift your team and serve as a call to action and increase the performance of your squad.


slides in nacsport presentations



Discussion Forums Like


Another proven technique of motivating a team is allowing for mutual feedback between each member. If the general vibe of the group is positive, then a bit of banter and some peer observations is likely to lift morale even more.


There is scientific foundation for this. Described by German political scientist Elisabeth Noelle-Neuman in her book Spiral of Silence, the theory goes that the public behaviour is generally influenced by the current opinion of the majority.


Basically, positive opinions posted in a safe space generates more positive feedback to the group.


Sharimg for psychology in video analysis


As well as providing a great place to share your analysis work, our online video analysis platform, Sharimg, offers several tools for improving communication at your club, such as team chats, group messaging and polls.


Sharimg also allows you to share your analysis insights with the whole team, individual players, or small groups. This favours positive and confidential communication between all members of the squad.


These are just some of the features provided by this quality online platform which can be also be used as a psychological tool to improve your team’s performance. We recommend giving it a try for yourself and seeing what it can do for you.



Conclusion: Video Analysis as Positive Reinforcement


In summary, video analysis can, without a doubt, be used as a psychological tool. It provides positive reinforcement for coaches and helps players improve their performance. However, it must be used correctly, as incorrect use can affect the group badly.


We could, of course, delve much deeper into this subject and look at the scientific theory behind the psychology of sports but, for the moment, we prefer to keep it as light and accessible for everyone as possible.


If you would like to contribute to the discussion, we’d love to hear from you. Let us know your own opinions and stories through any of our social media channels.


Until then…


Thanks for reading.

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