Soccer Film Study - Best Practices
Filming sports for film study is something some top coaches are utilizing to improve the vision and game IQ of their players. Stadium and tower camera systems are becoming a common site on fields across the US. In-line with this trend is the growing skill level of players. Players today are utilizing tools never available before to improve their fitness and level of play.
Recording games has become a great tool for many coaches looking to help mentally train their teams. To help coaches struggling to improve how they do film study, or even figure out where to start, we travelled with one elite soccer club team to several matches around the country. This included National League, State Cup and the US Youth National Championship. It was great to see how video was used by this team to help train their players. Below are a few observations we noted.
Set The Time
During a tournament, at least one hour each day was dedicated to reviewing game footage from that day. The microSD card was removed from the camcorder and the coach, players and parents reviewed situations from the recorded soccer match. Having the ability to watch the game footage from that day, while the game was still fresh in their minds, was helpful. What was also impressive was how the coach used film for situational analysis - improving their soccer IQ. The coach would show a given play or condition and then freeze the film. Players would weigh in on how they would react or play, giving their reasons for their choice. You could see the critical thinking of the players improving as they listened to each other and then their coach. Parents would learn and become more involved in understanding the game and also understand how to assist and support the players and coaches.
Pre-Planning Film Review
This was another “Best Practice” we observed. The coach would have several players review the soccer game film before the rest of the team met for film review. He would ask the players to look at specific events during the game and provide their insight to the team on their thoughts. Examples may be to focus on specific set plays, transitions during a specific portion of the game, or defensive positioning. This again helped the players to improve their critical thinking and learn how to communicate it. It was clear the coach understood that thinking and communication of their reasoning was a two-part process.
Being able to ask the players to dissect a game at specific points, as well as to do a situational analysis, required that the coach spend a few moments pre-planning. By having the players do some of the teaching and analysis, it really did not take too much time. The critical part was making sure a few key points were learned from each soccer film session.
Stats Versus Behavior
Statistics on a player are always good to gather, but they don’t tell the whole story. During film review, the coach would use film to help educate the team on behavior. For example, a star forward who would be very aggressive on the attack, but then stop and even somewhat pout when the ball was lost, losing the opportunity to help defend, could see the negative effect on the team. The stat was to get the goal, but the behavior if the ball was lost was hurting the other teammates.
It was really enjoyable to watch the coach build the players as they did film study. Their approach was not to focus on the things they did wrong – which they did address. They approached film study as a way to train the group on critical thinking. Whether they handled a situation right or wrong on the field, they did not dwell on that. The focus was on how to think through a situation. Since soccer requires a lot of critical thinking (position awareness, spacing, pace…), the more exposure players have to effective methods the better. Once the players capture the vision, the practice becomes more effective.
Individual Reflection Training
Another thing this coaching staff did was to ask the girls to watch 5 minutes of their soccer play and watch certain key skills and habits. These included:
Compare Personal Play with the Professionals
Last of all the coach would ask players to watch soccer film from a professional game. The players could then compare it to how they would approach a situation. In some cases, the coach would bring footage in from a professional game and freeze the film at specific points, such as when there was a transition. The coach would then ask for thoughts on where the next pass should go, or where a certain player should be moving. After some discussion, they would see what the professional player decided to do. Again, a great way for players to improve their critical thinking and soccer IQ.
SVT Can Help
Film study provides a great opportunity for players to really visualize the game, develop a higher soccer IQ and communicate clearer. It helps them really see what is/was happening on the field and compare it to their perception. We at SVT look forward to helping you film your sport. SVT provides economical and very mobile camera towers to help you record soccer games easier.
Why should you choose to go with SVT? We work with clubs and teams across the US and several other countries. We have several packages to choose from. Our Package 3 is the most popular and consists of a strong, lightweight aluminum tripod with a sturdy 16-foot carbon-fiber composite camera pole, plus a monitor and remote. We provide power packs and all of the cables and cords that you need to make the system work together. Once you purchase our system – use it as much as you like. There are no contracts. Contact us today for more information.