Video Analysis for Dummies

Learn about the benefits of video recording your athletes and how video analysis can help you improve their technique and performance.

Sports Video

Some coaches think the use of video analysis is beyond their resources. Until relatively recently, the technology had been confined to high performance centers and sports science departments of universities. Now, its use is more widespread and tech costs are tumbling.

Learn how to incorporate video analysis into your coaching routine.

Start Simple

One of the main benefits of video analysis is to enable a coach to show an athlete what the coach sees. Any video camera can do this, and most people have a video camera somewhere, most likely on their phone. I've had sprinters who just cannot feel that they are leaning forward when they sprint—that is, until I show them the film. Then, their mental triggers change.

Moving Up The Scale

I capture every competition my athletes participate in on video. The athletes can watch their performance, and as a coach, I can pick out specific learning points to convey. Often a poor throw, jump or race can be narrowed down to a single point, which can be identified and prevented in the future.

Slowing Down

Slow motion capture is a fantastic tool. It requires a little more work, but the benefits are immense. Equipment doesn't have to be overly expensive, and a laptop computer has all the power you need. The ability to watch a slowed-down high jump and analyze the entire movement can help you identify even the smallest technique issues.

Tips and tricks

Location is one of the most important things to get right. Set up in a position that gives you the best angle to capture the entire subject. Make sure you can move freely and can zoom in with an unobstructed view. This is particularly important when recording a race with multiple laps, which requires you to follow the athletes around a track. If you want to break down a particular part of a skill, find the best viewing angle and lock your camera on the shot.

If you choose to film in slow motion, don't slow it down too much, because you will sacrifice picture quality. It is novel to slow the action down to 1/1000th of true speed; however, it's unnecessary. Use 1/10th speed to get the best combination of slow motion and picture quality.

If you want to film on your smartphone, Coach's Eye is a great app. This allows you to review footage in slow motion, edit and annotate the footage to emphasize technique tips, and even overlay with audio.


There's no excuse for not introducing video analysis into your coaching. With current costs of technology, the opportunity exists for everyone. In coaching, effective communication between coach and athlete is fundamental to the success of the relationship. And video vastly improves the effectiveness of that communication.

Check out more tips for coaches on STACK's Coaches and Trainers page.


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Topics: COACH