Since the world cup in 2006 “performance analysis” has been a hot topic in the football world. A combination of professional observation and post-match analysis are key elements in the attempt to optimize individual and collective performance. In competitive sports there are specialist centers with dedicated staff and state of the art technology where performance is given number one priority. But can you still make a difference without the funding? The two sport scientists Karsten Görsdorf and Christoph Dreckmann, are experts in theory and practice; they’ve both played handball for years. In this interview they’ll be talking about their own personal experiences as well as their work with the German Handball federation (DHB), specifically focusing on how you can implement performance-improving measures without a huge amount of money.
The interview in question can be found in the February 2009 edition of the old MAGIX Blog. We’re making it available again here (albeit a shortened version) for Euro 2012.
In professional sports vast sums of money are spent on performance analysis – how can movie editing software for private users, like MAGIX Movie Edit Pro help amateur athletes?
Essentially from a sports science perspective any kind of structured video feedback can help athletes and their coaches. The type of sport and the level at which it is played is unimportant: from hobby golfers and foosball players to up-and-coming swimmers and skateboarders – video can help everyone. Anyone from beginners to olympians can further than technical and tactical qualities through the use of video analysis. Just being able to see yourself moving often helps you understand the technical side more thoroughly. Above all its use in schools holds exciting potential.
How can movie editing software be useful in post-game analysis? How is it used?
You have to ask yourself certain questions such as “what were our biggest weaknesses in the last game?” and “what did we do well?” Movie making software such as MAGIX Movie Edit Pro or MAGIX Video Pro X provide the technical capabilities that allow you to cut out footage pertinent to the above questions, arrange it, manage it and output it. In addition, you can give the coach and the players feedback during the game, for example, at half-time. It’s up to the experts in their field to take care of the qualitative assessment of video footage and stats because they have practical experience in the sport and scientific expertise to boot, and can thus impart knowledge to coaches and players in an effective way. We take charge of this task for our partners such as the German Handball Federation and first and second division football teams. In amateur teams the coach is responsible for filling this role, as is the teacher in schools.
How important is the output video footage? Will footage from a few spectators do the job or do you need special recordings for analysis?
It would be worth the experience just to analyze videos on a Bundesliga match recorded on a mobile phone. You’d at least have enough angles. Saying that though we have used footage taken by one of the players’ dads for a motivational video before.
Normally, for handball in any case, it’s best to have a relatively high, central position to film from. A tripod, camera (we’re using a HDV camera), a FireWire cable and a copy of MAGIX Movie Edit Pro installed on a laptop will do you just fine. Depending on circumstances you can also transfer the videos when you get back home. Sometime we work with two or three cameras simultaneously to ensure we catch certain specific aspects of a game.
Can techniques for analyzing handball videos come in useful for other types of sport?
Qualitative video analysis was originally used for beach volleyball by Gunnar Hansen in 1999. Using this he and his team won the bronze medal at the Sydney Olympics. We then adapted this method for handball and have been using it to support the German Handball Federation for more than three years. Last year we won the Junior European Championship in the Czech Republic with the boys and the coaches. This year we want to do our very best at the Youth World Handball Championship in Tunisia. Having practical and theoretic experience means it’s possible to use post-game analysis in some sense for all kinds of sports. At the moment we’re working with three separate professional football teams. The relevant social frameworks do need to be respected though. A team in the Bundesliga is under different pressures compared to a youth team, who are very much still in training. Different elements are important for different people, golfers and water polo players need to focus on distinctly different areas.
What analysis tips or suggestions are there for different athletes and sports? What should you pay attention to?
To list all elements to look out for in the analysis stage would take far too long, mentioning a few wouldn’t hurt though:
- Design video sessions to be no longer than 20 (which works out on average to around 8 minutes of footage) because concentration levels will start to drop.
- It’s advisable to use both realtime and slow-mo footage.
- Clips should be arranged into categories (e.g. defense, attacking, fast breaks)
- It’s important to review both positive and negative points.
- Video sessions should be held at regular intervals
The sky’s the limit to your creativity Aim for the top in your sports too!