How to create a video analysis room for sports team meetings
If you’re reading this, you are probably already aware of the many benefits of using video analysis tools and video feedback to enhance understanding and ultimately, performance for your sports team. There are many ways to deliver your performance analysis reports and results to your team. Whether that is with an online sports analysis platform like Sharimg or with a ‘war room’ of computers running video analysis software like Nacsport. One of the most interactive and impactful ways is of course being in the same room with your team. In this post, I want to provide some recommendations on how to create a video analysis room for your team to enhance your delivery and communication, based on a variety of great examples I have seen from many different sports teams I have worked with over the years.
Variety is the spice of learning
Firstly, I think it’s important to acknowledge that your team will all respond differently to video feedback, as they will all have their preferred learning styles. Team meetings are a great way to get messages across to everyone at the same time, but you can’t guarantee that everyone will take in the messages you share in the same way. Some people also may not feel comfortable with asking a question to check understanding or provide feedback during a whole team meeting, so you should consider implementing a variety of ways to deliver your content outside of the meeting room and to provide follow up opportunities after a meeting, so your players could discuss on a one-to-one basis if needed.
Although that doesn’t give you tips for creating a specific video analysis room, I think you should consider that the team meeting room isn’t the only environment and way you should share video with your team. You could also look at having an online sports analysis platform like Sharimg or a ‘war room’ of computers running video analysis software like Nacsport Viewer, to provide a variety of video review environments and learning opportunities for your team. More on those later.
Of course, the main weapon in your video analysis room will be the big screen, but whether you’re using a projector, TV, or a touchscreen display in your room, the layout of your room around that screen, and other room practicalities need to be decided first.
Windows and Lighting
Ideally, you have plenty of space and windows, so you can avoid the room quickly getting ‘stuffy’. Make sure you’ve got good blinds for the windows, as the worst thing for your big screen is not being able to see it! With that in mind, it’s beneficial to have different lighting zones in your room too. The best rooms I’ve seen have been able to turn off the lights by the screen and then separately dim the lighting where the players are sitting and watching. Your meetings will be more effective with your players writing their notes on what they see, so make that possible for them by letting them see what they’re writing!
Your space will determine this, but if it’s a permanent room for you to use, there are some great wins you can get with seating. The best I’ve seen in video rooms is tiered seating so that everyone can have a clear view of the screen at all times.
We can’t all have a big theatre-style room like ASM Clermont do, but you could look at retractable seating systems for a room. These are especially good when the room has more than one use too. As a cheaper alternative, you could even look at combining stackable chairs and floor mats or bean bags (not great for noise though!) to have different seating and viewing levels for your team.
At the front of the room (or where the screen is), having a small table/desk that a laptop can be put on to control the video presentation and connect to the big screen is important. This should be side on to the screen and the seating so that the operator can see the big screen and how the viewers are interacting with it too. You could also have seating opposite this table (either side of the big screen), where the coaching team could be ready to present their part on the screen but also better engage with the viewers and check their interaction and understanding. From my experience, most of the coaching team will be standing in these meetings so it’s not the most important consideration, as they will likely be wanting to point out things on the screen and ask questions to the group (even when they are not the main one presenting).
The big-screen experience
Not every video room is created equal. You need to consider the size of the team using the area and how best to share the video analysis presentation with them. Although a state of the art 85” 4K TV might look great, sometimes less can be more. It might not be as effective for small rooms and smaller groups.
Having said that, for larger rooms where you need to present to big teams you will want to have a display that is practical and makes an impact. If you have a large wall or screen, perhaps a projector would be an ideal solution. With the right setup, you can be watching your video analysis presentation back in 4K and you’re only limited by the size of the wall or projector screen available. Projectors are usually cheaper alternatives to HD TVs. A 100” TV would potentially cost tens of thousands, but getting the same screen size and equivalent HD picture quality could cost well under a thousand pounds with a projector. Many people also prefer the lower brightness compared to TVs for more comfortable viewing.
You need to bear in mind that one of the downsides of a projector is light. Unless you have the curtains drawn, a projector’s performance will be affected by any light that comes into the room. Even in a darkened room, any ambient light creeping under the bottom of a drawn curtain can affect the contrast and quality of the image. Choosing blackout blinds or curtains can help stop any extra light from getting in. You will also need to take into account the cost of replacing the projector lamp (probably once a year), projector fan noise, and buying some speakers, as projectors usually have a very small built-in speaker that is not ideal for large rooms.
TVs are usually the more convenient option for most video rooms. You don’t have to worry about ambient light as much as you would for projectors, they usually have loud enough speakers and lots of connections to get started too. There are plenty of screen size options for all price ranges. Having the latest 8K OLED TV will look swanky in your video room but will be more than likely be wasted for reviewing your performance analysis footage as 1080 HD or 4K TV will have more than enough pixels to get your message across. A touch screen may sound like a great additional benefit, but I’ve watched lots of animated coaches getting their message across by pointing on the screen, which would likely cause accidental playback disruption with a touch screen!
Breakout rooms and spaces
A good idea that I have seen implemented at some very top-level clubs and some performance analysis university labs is a selection of smaller spaces away from the main video room/screen. These breakout rooms/spaces can be used for smaller groups to focus on specific analysis feedback and promote more conversation. These breakout rooms are often complimented with Nacsport Viewer machines. This is read-only software, so although you can’t live capture or analyse footage with a template, Nacsport Viewer provides you with plenty of powerful tools to review analysis that has been shared from another computer with Nacsport, Nacsport Tag&view, or even software like Hudl Sportcode and Dartfish, thanks to compatibility with importing XML and CSV files.
Take it online
Another important aspect of a video room is empowering the audience to go away and revisit the analysis in their own time, making their own observations and conclusions. This gives an excellent collaborative process for players, coaches, and analysts to work together. The debrief can start in the video room and then the presentation (and full analysis) can be uploaded to the online Sharimg platform for people to review and edit further. Players can watch back presentations and a full matrix of analysis online, coaches can also build and edit these presentations online and everyone can even make their own new clips online too, bringing full empowerment to your whole team to get the most out of video analysis.
The main things to consider when creating a video room for your performance analysis department is the space and seating layout, so it’s a good learning environment with minimal distractions. You need an appropriate display, whether that is a Large TV or a Projector and the deciding factor will likely come down to the size of the room and lighting. If you have a big team and a big enough room, then a projector would be perfect, but for most rooms, a large TV (55-75”) will be plenty big enough.
If space and budget allow, then a really effective element of a successful video room setup are breakout rooms. These allow for smaller groups to dive into specific feedback without the pressure of discussing within the whole team environment. Finally, having some kind of online platform, such as Sharimg, to enable individuals to access the video analysis in their own time to review and add their own feedback is really beneficial. If you take into account all these factors, you will be well on your way to making a great environment for a video room!