ASM Clermont Auvergne Performance Analysis Processes – Part 1
ASM Clermont Auvergne are currently leading the Top 14 rugby championship after 10 matches, with a healthy points difference. Clermont have been French champions twice before, with the 2016-17 season being the last time. The desire to continually stay ahead and improve in this competitive league led ASM to re-evaluate their analysis structures and to search for further improvements.
After a full department review, where ASM assessed the top analysis tools available on the market, we were delighted that the coaches and analysts remarked that they found the Nacsport and KlipDraw software to be the most comprehensive tools available to meet their requirements. ASM are committed to constantly finding the most innovative solutions and partners for their high-level performance environments and were equally pleased to become the first French rugby team to pioneer our performance analysis tools.
To succeed as a team, everybody knows there are many cogs that need to work in synergy to turn the wheel of performance. One of those cogs is performance analysis, which is headed up at Clermont by Joe Larkin and Franck Vuilbert. Joe has kindly provided us with some fantastic insights into ASM and how the Clermont performance analysis workflows run throughout the week, so let’s firstly start with learning more about Joe (left) and Franck (right)!
Franck was an ASM Academy player, but unfortunately, a very serious motorcycle accident forced him to put an end to his rugby career. Franck used his experience and passion to convert himself from a player into a performance analyst for the club (he is now in his 9th year in the analysis department), along with being one of the ASM Academy coaches too.
Joe has been working in analysis in top flight rugby since 2006, with roles at Northampton, University of Exeter (where he studied Sport and Exercise Science), Bristol Rugby, Gloucester Rugby from 2011-2015 and then Harlequins from 2016-2017, before he was brought over to ASM to implement analytical systems to aid the performance of an established and successful team. Joe is also an RFU Level 3 coach, a great qualification and understanding to enhance performance analysis.
We were delighted to announce the start of us working with ASM Clermont this year, supporting Joe and Franck and providing the Nacsport video analysis software, AP Wireless unit, Nacsport Coach Station and KlipDraw Animate plugins to the senior team, along with the ASM Clermont Academy team, who are also using our tools too. In this blog, Joe has provided us with an insight to the different performance analysis processes of ASM Clermont used throughout the week in training, team meetings and the all-important match days.
I visited ASM at their training complex in August (and I’m there again from Friday 23rd ahead of the Lyon game!), and to say I was amazed by the facilities doesn’t quite do it justice! It really is a state-of-the-art training complex, complete with a large S&C area that is overlooked by open spaces above and surrounded by physio rooms, pool recovery areas and many team rooms for coaches, players, analysts and many other ASM staff. To see our AnalysisPro solutions as part of that complete setup was a fantastic moment. Take a look at the complex with this great video from Vimeo.
Whilst I watched the processes you are about to hear about in action, I was seeing a squad of over 45 players training so that 3 full teams could roll on and off for run-throughs. Everywhere you looked there were internationally capped players and the level of talent within the club, which is replicated throughout the Top 14 league, was very impressive.
So, let’s look in more detail at those processes as I hand you over to Joe! In Part 1, we will look at the Clermont performance analysis workflows used in Training, the sharing of video analysis and Previews. In Part 2, we will follow on with more detail and look at Matchday, Reviews and how the team have found moving over to Nacsport this season.
At our training complex next to the stadium, it’s important for us to capture as much video as we can of our training sessions. For our scrum analysis, we work with 4 camera angles all from different sources, including tablets, a standard camera and a drone overhead, which is controlled by Franck Vuillbert.
Whilst filming, I use Nacsport Tag&go to register actions live to speed up our process of putting a complete training database together ready for the coaches and players to review after the session and during the week. As the forwards run through their set piece, the backs will also be running through their strike moves and other skills. Franck is filming this with a second drone, providing an overhead view of the shapes and lines the backs are running (2 drones at once!).
For the team run-throughs when the backs and forwards join up, Franck will continue to film with both drones and I film a tight angle with a standard camera from an elevated position on the side of the stadium. This gives us a side on view and an overhead view. Whilst controlling the 2 drones, Franck is also registering actions in Nacsport using the ‘register without video source’ option to speed up the analysis process for afterwards. Whilst I’m filming this section, I am capturing and registering actions live into Nacsport Elite, which also saves us time again for bringing a comprehensive analysis database together for the team.
Video Analysis Distribution
Nacsport handles the different video sources and formats we use, meaning that the team all have access to Nacsport timelines with multiple angles from HD and SDI feeds to review the training sessions and match content. All the coaches have Nacsport Elite licences to review with and in our analysis room, we have 12 Nacsport Viewer licences, so the players can easily review our footage and analysis. Once we have synced the video angles together and analysed, we put this folder of videos and the automatically created .sync file, along with the .nac analysis file, onto our server in an organised folder format. With the server folders set up in the Nacsport My Analysis section and all the .nac files named, all the coaches and players can easily find and open the content we provide them with by using the folder tree and search bar.
This is how we analyse and review our opposition. After analysing actions with a combination of our own templates and XML data imported from OPTA, we create Presentation windows with the key clips to review. These presentation windows have various lists containing different areas of the game, that are reviewed by specific player units on the Nacsport Viewer systems. Our players actively search for opportunities to exploit or find patterns in opposition play that we need to be aware of. Through Nacsport Viewer, the players can select clips from the Presentation window and add them into a separate ‘Player List’, which is then reviewed by everyone through the server.
In our team meeting room where we have a big screen, various player groups and the coaches use the Presentation windows that have been created, and KlipDraw Animations that have been added into the clips, to create a plan for the match.
We also use separate rooms for the forwards and backs to break out to do their own presentations, both with interactive TVs for them to use. We are lucky to have this amount of infrastructure, so we try to make the most of it. With these rooms to use, it gives our players ownership of both the area and their own analysis. They put Nacsport presentations together and add their own further details with the KlipDraw tools to highlight their points together too.
Continued in Part 2 here!