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Football Video Analysis as an educational tool

Why is video so important to learning, and how does it relate to football?

It is no surprise to anyone who’s read the interviews we posted previously that video helps people learn. Uri Uzan, a former player and coach, described not just how video helped him see his own performance and see his weak spots, but also how eye-opening it was for his players to see their own play on tape. Track160’s analyst Geva Alon said that he incorporated video into his personal training sessions, calling it an incredible tool. What was surprising, even having conducted these interviews, is just how strongly science says that analyzing videos helps everyone, not just football players, learn.

The numbers, what do they mean?

Writing an article for Huffington Post, Michael Tsur, president of Kaltura, discussed how strong a tool video proves to be when teaching. Specifically, she says that “one minute of online video equates to approximately 1.8 million written words”, and furthermore, that “90 percent of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than text”. Her article is about video teaching for classrooms, something that has become somewhat more relevant since 2014, when the article was written, but applies to football even more.

This article from Virtual Learning is even more applicable to football. It is a more biological look at the issue, but what it says is that our minds learn from mimicking visuals, or as Geva said, “when you can physically show [a player] what happened [...] [his results are] different”. Humans are wired to learn through mimicking what we see, and showing the correct action is a powerful way to learn, and it is especially important when learning physical movements as a football player should.

We were going to bring it back to football video analysis eventually

Football video analysis is an incredibly powerful tool. As mentioned before, it can help players learn. A player who watches the way he played when important events happened can more easily replicate it. Memories are untrustworthy, as we’ve mentioned previously, but even if they were, the visual learning aspects are incredibly helpful. There is real value in players and coaches getting clips of every important moment that happened in the match. Video analysis is not only for analysts.

Hypothetically, without further tools, a player can watch a broadcast of a match and keep track of himself, but not every game is broadcast, and broadcasts will focus on the flashier plays, not on specific players. A player could ask a family member to record him while he plays or hire someone to do so, but this isn’t always available, and quality can differ - a camera operator who doesn’t know how to operate a camera will often have images that are out of focus, or otherwise unusable.

Even then, lack of editing will mean a player will have a lot of unnecessary footage and will need to do the work to differentiate what’s important and what’s unimportant. Proper video analysis is important to ensure players have footage that helps them learn. So how will we ensure players can get access to it? How would kids in academies or players in sub-elite teams get access to it?

The Football Data Revolution

We've written about it before, but real accessibility and availability will come through the bigger organizations. Leagues, clubs, academies, and associations could all arrange for data analytics with far more ease than players could. Clubs gain a lot from giving data to coaches and allowing access to those solutions to players and parents is just one more stage.

Video clips, as mentioned, are incredibly helpful in learning, but players can also use them in their own business dealings. Whether marketing themselves on social media or using the footage to show their skills in negotiations, players can use videos to great effect on a business level. While the multiple benefits clubs can get from adopting data solutions in their business are clear, clubs that give their players access to data have an incredible leg up in their own attractiveness to players.

The secret to making high quality video analytics available to all: Automation

The problem remains of how smaller leagues and clubs will be able to afford it - while they have more resources than players do, data analytics are not a simple thing, especially at scale. At Track160, we believe that automation is the secret to making high-quality video analytics available to everyone. Advanced machine learning methods power our own solution, which requires only the installation of cameras in one place to cover a pitch of any size and provide both numbers and video analytics.

Track160's system automatically tags every single one of the 1,600 events that happen in an average football game and turns it into a clip, analyzing the numbers and providing coaches, players, and analysts with immediate results. With more advancements in technology making it more available, we believe that this data will stop being a luxury and become a basic expectation for everyone.

Personalized video clips of every player action in the match (Taken from Track160 product)

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