Video Analysis for Training Sessions: Why and How to Do It

By Daniel Muñoz

01-August-2021 on Tips

12 minute read

As the one and only Pep Guardiola says “If you train badly, you play badly. If you work like a beast in training, you play the same way”. Keeping this in mind, wouldn’t it be logical for us to analyse training sessions in the same way as we do full matches? 


Daniel Muñoz, former analyst at Spanish club Real Betis thinks so and, as an analyst at the highest level, he has always been clear about the importance of analysing training sessions as part of an analysts job. 


In this article, he explains how to apply video analysis to training in order to have the maximum impact on a team’s game plan.


Take it away, Dani...

Why Should Training Be Analysed?


It could be said that training is, perhaps, the most important part of the competitive cycle. Afterall, this is where the players prepare themselves for competition. Therefore, it’s important that, as analysts, we dedicate at least a percentage of our week to analysing these sessions.


To use an educational metaphor, training is like daily study and the match is the exam. The better prepared the players, the more likely they are to win the match.


We dedicate a lot of time during our working week to pre-match analysis of our opponents and, subsequently, post-match analysis of our own performance but we seldom concentrate on training sessions. We limit ourselves to filming these sessions in order to make footage available to the coaching staff or, on occasion focussing on a specific task but, in general, the analyst is sat in his office, busying himself with analysing the next opponent instead of focussing on his own team.


In my opinion, this is wrong and the analysis of training sessions is key.


What Can Be Analysed in Training Sessions? 


So...what should be analysed?


This is a great question with many different answers.


The first question should be: what is the identity of my team? Knowing the identity, style and philosophy of our team, club or coach will dictate and guide our training analysis. It will allow us to predict what might occur during the season and this will inform our analysis of training sessions.


Which brings us to the next step...


Creating a Suitable Analysis Template


The next phase is to prepare a button template specific for training sessions. This template must be comprehensive enough to address any possibility which may arise. To do this, you must carefully plan what information and filtering your analysis will have. To learn more about the Nacsport button template, click the image below.


Nacsport Button Templates Guide


You also need to determine the ultimate use of your data. Will it be used solely to create video presentations, stored in a video library or exported for use in a database or data visualisation software such as Excel or Power BI?



Knowing the dimensions that a template can have, I would use the Panel Flow feature of Nacsport which is available in Pro and Elite and allows us to create templates which can be tagged in a logical sequence. This also means that we have more space and organisation for our training template.



As an example, the template I propose will contain the following aspects.


•    Objectives and context of training session

•    Typology of tasks

•    Sub-typology of tasks

•    Complexity of tasks


This will allow us to collect the necessary data of any favourable or unfavourable situation which occurs in the competition.


It provides cumulative information which forces the analyst to be present for training sessions, analysing various tasks and, at the same time, watching to see if the work being done is positive in terms of facing an upcoming opponent. 


This type of analysis will enrich the other types of analyses which are being carried out and help evolve the team at a collective and individual level.


If the analyst knows what is being worked on in training and how the team are working on it, it will be much easier for him to guide his own analysis to successfully complement preparation.


Next, we’re going to dissect this proposed template and discuss how to organise it for optimal data collection...


Panel 1: Training Session Objectives


Before we get into it, it’s important to remember that this template, like any created using Nacsport, is completely scalable. You can reduce the number of buttons, add or remove descriptors and, generally, use what works for your own specific needs. 


Also, as explained above, please remember that this template has been designed using Panel Flows which are only available in Pro (max. 3 panels) and Elite (unlimited).


If you use Scout, which allows you to create unlimited buttons but no Panel Flows, it’s possible, although it won’t have the same level of organisation, to condense everything into the same template. If using Basic or Basic+ (limited to 25 and 50 buttons respectively), you may need to think carefully about what to include and be ruthless when it comes to cutting certain actions.


So, the first panel is used to describe the objectives of the training session. We have created the following sets of buttons:


•    Objective. Here, we define the objective or objectives of the training session, whether that’s to prepare for a match, work on defensive or offensive tactics or improve general fitness.

•    Timing of Session. On what day of the week the session is held and at what time of the week in relation to the match (for teams that play multiple times in a week, this is important).

•    Time of Year / Season. Obviously, this will allow us to identify and justify what happens in each session.


Nacsport Button Template for Training Sessions


Panel 2: Typology of Tasks


Throughout a training session there will be a variety of tasks worked on which we must document in order to be able to review them in preparation for a match. We may also use this information to observe evolution throughout the season, especially for tasks such as set pieces which can get more complex as the season wears on.


Therefore, in the second panel, we create buttons related to tasks seen in a training session. We may also wish to add an “Other” button which covers miscellaneous tasks.


Linked with the previous panel, we can identify specific tasks which happened at a specific time. For example we can now search for “All set pieces practiced in the pre-season”.


This is just an example, but with the Nacsport search tool (only available in Elite), you can precisely define what data you are looking for in order to produce an exhaustive analysis of the whole season.



Here’s an example of what this panel might look like...


Video Analysis for Training Session Tasks


Panel 3: Sub-Typology of Tasks


This third sequence specifies and filters the type of task being worked on at any given moment. 


In this case, the type of drills might be: 


•    Mobility

•    Rounds of Three

•    Aerial

•    Rounds of Pairs

•    Passing Lines

•    Athleticism

•    Transitions

•    Free Inside Man

•    Square Possession


Again, this is just an example. Your own template might contain completely different sub-tasks depending on your team’s training regime and nomenclature. You might even decide to eliminate this panel altogether if you don’t need this level of depth in your analysis. 


The creation of the template will depend on two fundamental factors: the need of the analyst and the limitations of the program they work with.


Analysis Template Training Drills


Sequence 4: Complexity and Method

Once we’ve tagged our training session, we’ll add this last sequence in which we indicate the complexity, space and working method of the task.


This allows us to complete the documentation of the training session and identify the key moments of the work done.


Nacsport Template Complexity


What Would You Add? 


As you can see, this template focuses on recording and documenting the tasks performed during training sessions throughout the season. This means that this data is stored and available to the coaching staff whenever needed. It can help prepare a game plan in the best possible way.


Once again, the versatility of Nacsport’s video analysis software means that the template can be adapted to any scenario. This one has been designed by me, based on my own experience and needs and actually goes much deeper than what we’ve covered today. That doesn’t mean that your training template will be exactly the same.


So...I’d love to hear what you would add or remove from it. What do you consider essential when analysing training? How would you organise your panels?


Please get in touch through any of Nacsport’s social media channels if you’d like to answer the above question or whether you’d like more info on anything we’ve covered in this article.


Thanks for reading!

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