Two seasons ago, Atletico de Madrid createdthe Department of Analysis for their Academy teams. This was an essential part of a decisive commitment to integrate video analysis as a resource to help the grassroots improve performance. Jose Luis Sanchez Vera, Head of the Department, showed us how they are structured and their philosophy.
First team & Academy
All Atletico de Madrid teams work in synergy. However, the first team and Academy pursue slightly different goals. “The relationship between all analysts in our club is great and communication is constant, with the three analysts working for the first team”, explains Sanchez Vera.
In the Academy, analysis responds to a unique club philosophy that is common in all teams. This is part of the Atletico de Madrid brand. In the first team, analysts are also responding to the current coaching staff. In any case, all sides –both first team and Academy- are using Nacsport for their video analysis workflows.
First team analysts have Elite & Pro Plus licenses and the Academy’s Department of Analysis count on a considerable package including Elite, Basic Plus and Tag&go licences.The origins
Nacsport landed in Atletico de Madrid three years ago. The former performance analyst in the first team started to use an Elite licence at that time. That very same year, Jose Luis Sanchez also made a parallel analysis with our software on his own for the Atletico de Madrid U19 team. The results that season were incredible!Theybecame the Madrid-area champs and conquered the Spanish King’s Cup.
That next season, Atletico de Madrid decided to create the Department of Analysis for their Academy teams. “They have placed great hope on us. They have invested so much money to provide us with the staff, resources, facilities and services... and despite our recent history now, our main goal is to become one of the three most important analysis departments in the world”.
Season 2016-2017 represented the official beginning of the Analysis Department for the Atletico de Madrid Academy. TheNacsport package was then extended with new licenses so all coaches and performance analysts could have the same software. Structure and organisation
The Department of Analysis covers all the analysis needs for the Academy teams. The structure is composed by different teams and development stages: High Performance, Formation, Women’s Team and international programmes.
“There are ten performance analysts working for the department right now”, explains Jose Luis. Atletico de Madrid B (David Delgado), U19 (Igor Asenjo) and Women’s Team (which is in Spanish top tier, Javier Aguado) have a full-time analyst working for them. The other four analysts are designated to different development stages: U18 & U17 teams (Santiago Azurmendi), U16 & U15 teams (Fernando Álvarez), U14 & U13 teams (Javier Aguirre) and finally another one for U12 to U9 teams (Ignacio Cabezón).
Apart from these, there are two other analysts (Miguel Ángel Muñoz and Saúl Gómez) designated to project Dart 360 to make a deeper analysis on Academy players with outstanding skills. Nacsport plays a key role here as a visual support for the analysis workflows.
The ten performance analysts are headed by Jose Luis Sanchez Vera, who is the man responsible for the Department of Analysis.Any given week at the Academy
“Analysis work in the Academy is based on the individual and team club models”.
Let’s describe how the weeks at the Atletico de Madrid Academy are for a performance analyst. “Ten days before any given match, our analysts hand their corresponding coaching staff a written report with some insights to help coaches prepare next week’s operational strategy”, says Jose Luis. “We want our performance analysts to provide coaches with key information which could modify how they prepare for games”
Performance analysts in Atletico de Madrid travel with their designated teams when they play away. It’s important to stress that they are fully involved with the coaching staff. In fact, they are part of them. At away games, the analysis is made live.
On Monday, head & assistant coaches together with the performance analyst prepare a presentation to be shown to players in the first training session of the week, to correct mistakes or reinforce tactical concepts from the last game.
Tuesday is a day off for players, so the coaching staff use this day to define the strategies and goals they will try to achieve during the week. Presentations to players will combine information from the report presented ten days ago and the last game clips. A larger report is made according to the goals they are pursuing during the week. On Friday, the cycle starts again.
In developing ages, the focus is on training sessions rather than games. “We have a strict plan of which players are being analysed every week and which kind of exercises we need to control during the week. At the weekends, analysts also travel with away teams. Home games are already tracked by Instat, so they provide us with clips and we just need to import them into Nacsport and the work is done!” he adds.
As stated before, one of the most important goals in developing stages is to study both individual skills and team performance according to the model we have set as club.
“We intend for our players to develop in all areas. We control and analyse all training sessions and we have scheduled in which players we should focus on. We need our analysts to be involved with their corresponding teams”, concludes Jose Luis.Critical eyes instead of mere multimedia witnesses
Josa Luis Sanchez Vera illustrates how the Atletico de Madrid’s Department of Analysis methodology is. “We want our analysts to observe games to get information, not just capture videos to get footage. We think our work will be important if our knowledge is applied during games, to reshape goals if necessary so we can improve our players’ performances both as a team and individually”.
Despite this short life, the Department of Analysis is really satisfied with the current results and the work together with Academy coaching staff. “We are all part of the same engine and we all work together to achieve the same goals”, he concludes.