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Video Analysis Processes in Rugby League: "The Centurions Way"

Video Analysis Processes in Rugby League: "The Centurions Way"

Ste Mills is the Head of Performance Analysis at Leigh Centurions & Wales Rugby League. He shares with our community how his team uses Nacsport to make the most of their performance analysis workflows. A worthwhile read!
"We are now 4 months into my role at Leigh Centurions and I don't think I could have predicted how far our analysis processes would advance. All our coaches have found Nacsport so easy to use that we are using pretty much every feature that it offers. The software is currently being used every day, by all the coaches, myself and the players, who have been asking for the instant feedback that Nacsportallows us to provide.

In this post, I will try to give as much insight into our different video analysis processes as possible.

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Head of Performance Analysis, Ste Mills

The first thing that I do is film every training session. When the weather allows it, we use a Phantom 4 drone and when the weather is poor, we use a video cameraon a portable scaffold.

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Ste Mills filming training

Once the session is finished, we convert the video straight away to a smaller size and within 10 minutes after training has finished, the coaches have access to the video, using their own Nacsport software to review it before feeding back to the players. The players can now also do this, as we have 1 Basic Plus licence which we are using to educate the players on how to clip/cut training sessions and start to educate each other. At Leigh Centurions,we have 4 Basic Plus Licences (for players and coaches), our Assistant Coach Kieron Purtill has a Scout Plus Unlimited licence and I have the Pro Plus licence, which allows us to go into great depth when analysing training and games.

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Players learning to analyse themselves with Nacsport


Now we are in a routine with the season just kicking off, as a coaching staff we all use Nacsport to complete the tasks we have to do before we go into a game. So reviewing training carries on as normal and we all have to do our own bits previewing the opposition. My role is to look at the opposition players’ traits, for example 'Hand they carry the ball with, which foot they step off, what foot they kick with’ etc. and then formulate that into a 'Tip Sheet' that the players can study if they wish to. Kieron & Paul Anderson both look at the opposition’s attack as they concentrate on our defence, and Neil Jukes & Paul Cooke look at the opposition’s defence to see where we can get the best results with our attacking play.

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Coaches analysing training footage with Nacsport


They all use their Nacsport software to clip multiple games & video angles and then they bring all of it together into a presentation window, where they can add drawings and notes to their clips to highlight to the players about the main focuses they should be looking at. With Nacsport being so simple to use, the coaches have gone from pen & paper to presenting videos with drawings and notes within weeks, never mind months!

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Training analysis template


Live analysis during the game has become the biggest part of our process at Leigh Centurions. We purchased the AP Wireless solution, as this allows us to send registered video clips AND the dashboard in real time over to the Subs Bench! This is probably the best bit of kit I have seen combined with the Nacsport process, as the coaches and subs can view clips instantly;so, who says we have to wait until half time these days?!

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AP Wireless for long distance streaming from Nacsport


Up in the stands where myself and a few of the coaches are, I am registering roughly 100 things which all feed through to my dashboard that is displayed on an external screen next to me so the coaches can easily see it. We also have a video feed going into a laptop which the coaches are tagging on for half time if they want to show anything to the players on the TV we have in the changing rooms. Finally, we have a delayed feed on a TV Screen so the coaches can rewind and just double check what happened in situations before giving messages down to the bench and in some cases, influence decisions made on substitutions etc. 'In Game Analysis' has become a big thing for us at Leigh and we are constantly changing and playing around with the Nacsport features so we get the best out of it.

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Live match day setup

In Super League, we get provided a variety of stats from OPTA. We use a couple of things from them, but most of the stats we do are all done by myself or Paul Anderson after a game. I cover all the attack stats and kicking, while Paul does the defensive side of things. We get 3 different XML files from OPTA which we can import into Nacsport (our individuals, opposition individuals, sets). I import them all separately into my Nacsport, then use the 'Joining Database' feature which brings them all together into one timeline.I then send this complete timeline to the coaches, so rather than them having to swap to different analysis files all the time, it is all in one if they ever wish to use the OPTA analysis.

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OPTA Import


Myself and Paul go through the game and currently we are registering around 120 actions, but again with Nacsport its very simple to do. Once this is done, I import Paul’s stats into my Nacsportand use the 'Joining Database' feature to bring all the offensive and defensive stats together! The process we all go through is to then share this database so that all the other coaches can import the 'Quality Stats' into their Nacsport and can look through the stats without having to search through the whole game to find the action. The coaches will then build presentations which we use when we all sit down and have 1 to 1 reviews with the players, going through some stuff they need to work on and praising some of the stuff they did during the game.

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Players and coaches reviewing performances through Nacsport


Once the Nacsport Database has all the Offence & Defence stats in, I then use the Matrix feature and export that to a Microsoft Excel file. This is then imported to a customised Excel sheet, where we database all these stats to each individual player so it comes out with an individual sheet for the player. In this, they get points for certain actions they do and we have a winner each week! This whole post-game cycle is made so much more efficient with the help of Nacsport, it honestly saves us hours of processing time which is now being used moving on to the next game.

We have come a long way so far at Leigh Centurions within a couple of months. The coaches have adapted so well to this software and I cannot recommend it enough to other teams, not just in Rugby League but in any sport. But that was just a small insight into what we do at the Centurions. Without the support of Josh Bryan, Jon Moore, Daniel Moore, and Alberto from Analysis Pro and Nacsport respectively, we would have been stuck a few times, but as soon we need some advice or guidance then they are there straight away to help us and its very much appreciated. We look forward to working with them for years to come and each day getting bigger and better in Performance Analysis at Leigh Centurions".

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Leigh Centurions Coaching Staff and Josh Bryan

Ste Mills
Head of Performance Analysis
Leigh Centurions
@stemills1
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