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Do You Know The Best Kept Secret of Video Analysis?

best kept secret of video analysis an iphone using the coachnow app behind two chained wooden doors
At CoachNow, we take immense pride in the functionality of our video analysis suite. 

But video analysis is only part of our story. And it’s just one small piece of the bigger puzzle we aim to solve for our coaches..

From day 1 of CoachNow, I knew that video analysis on its own was insufficient. 

You can do all the analysis in the world, but that doesn’t necessarily translate into improvements in your athlete’s performance. 

You can spend hours going over technical footage, providing voice overs, V|S comparisons, and markup media with hundreds of annotations… 

You can send in-depth explanations for how to improve their form, going over every detail of their technique from top to bottom. 

But here’s the best kept secret of video analysis: it’s ONLY valuable if it improves you and your athlete’s COMMUNICATION and creates a SHARED UNDERSTANDING for your coaching relationship. 

Without this overarching goal in mind, video analysis is actually a complete waste of time. Full stop. 

Without a shared understanding, your athletes will likely just “spin their wheels” without getting a clear sense of the WHY behind their actions. 

Your athlete misses the forest for the trees when they don't have a clear understanding of where they’re going or how far they’ve come. Over time, they invariably fall off their programming and become discouraged. 

That’s because continuous analysis and feedback is no replacement for PLANNING, GOAL SETTING and TRUST BUILDING with the support of tools like video analysis.. Especially when the analysis itself is done in ineffective ways. 

So… How can video analysis help you improve communication with your athletes? 

First off, analysis is only useful if your athletes engage with it. 

It sounds like an obvious thing, but you’d be surprised by just how many coaches have come to me confused that they are losing clients, even though they’re giving them “hours of valuable feedback and video analysis”. 

Time and time again, our data suggests that athletes are far more likely to watch a 1-2 minute video SEVERAL times versus a 5+ minute video ONCE.  

Make all your CoachNow posts relatable, engaging, and, most importantly, digestible. 

Get. To. The. Point.

By doing so, you build healthy habits with your athletes for regular, dynamic communication. And you build their trust – now when they see a video they know it will be dense with valuable info, quick to digest, and always worth their time. 

If you send too many long-form, rambly videos in a row, they will disengage, get discouraged, and may even find another coach. 

And keeping communication simple has multiple positive effects. 

It also opens up two-way communication and helps train your athletes to do their own video analysis. 

To reiterate the thesis here: video analysis is a powerful COMMUNICATION channel. And, like all healthy, sustainable, and effective communication, it can’t be a one-way street. 

I’ve noticed that coaches rarely empower their athletes to analyze their own technique for the purpose of communicating BACK TO THE COACH on what they're learning, working on, or feeling.

Allowing your athletes to take ownership of their development is a big deal. And you can help them take ownership by giving them cues and support on how to do effective analysis themselves. 

In short, teach your athletes how to break down technique….Don't just break it down for them. 

With this socratic “call and response” strategy, you increase your value AND save yourself time by not putting all the pressure on yourself. 

Plus, as I’ve said before, putting athletes “on the spot” and encouraging them to analyze their own footage adds cognitive effort and leads to better retention. 

This reinforces the mentor-mentee relationship and teaches the athlete to analyze their own behavior when engaged with their improvement plan.

I could go on and on, but I want to keep this short. So here’s a quick summary of the takeaways here:

  • Video analysis is a TYPE of communication. As such, the goal when conducting analysis should always be to minimize confusion and create a shared understanding.

  • Improve your communication by creating video content that is direct, concise, engaging, and rewatchable.

  • Like any communication style, it’s a two-way street. Don’t fall into the trap of being the only one giving the analysis – train them to do it on their own and seek your feedback proactively. 

Trust me, this advice is powerful. I don’t call it the best kept secret for nothing.. 

Tons of companies will run ads highlighting nothing but their FEATURES and have very little to say about how their platforms actually help coaches IMPROVE COMMUNICATION. 

Feels like a no brainer to me, but it bears repeating. 

Hope this helps!

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Video Analysis Coaching Best Practices