By Jenn Ireland. For more content from Jenn, check out ExpandYourGame.com
As soccer players in the year 2022, we should be grateful for all of the amazing soccer tech and gear that we have access to to help us get better at our game - things that athletes from even just ten years ago could probably only dream of. But despite all the new apps, training programs and fancy equipment, one of the best tools we have access to, and one of the most powerful, is actually one of the simplest pieces of technology: video.
Filming ourselves training is nothing new. Posting your individual training video clips on social media is really fun, and at Techne we LOVE seeing your videos (keep them coming!). But did you know that there are actually a TON of additional developmental benefits that you can get from your training videos? The trick is you can't just film something and keep only the good parts; you actually WANT those bad bits as well. Even the cringe worthy stuff. Why? Because watching and analyzing THAT part is how you get better at soccer.
The Importance of Self-Reflection and Analysis Using Video
As soccer players looking to improve and develop our skills, the importance of self-reflection and self-analysis should NEVER be underestimated. Video is a great tool to help us do this. If you truly want to master footwork patterns and ball skills, you should be recording yourself and then using that video to self-discover what you can do better or differently to help you master the skills. You have to record things and watch them back in order to correct them and improve.
Video is a necessity for reflecting and analyzing because you need to be able to view your actions from a different angle. Video allows you to take a step back and more objectively see what you are doing–both what you are doing well, and where you could tweak things for improvement. Oftentimes, when you are performing the action, it's difficult to see where the struggle might be, but once you look at it from another perspective, it can become very clear.
How Do You Analyze Your Training Videos?
When going through your videos, answer the following questions. For even greater impact, write these questions down and answer them as a self-reflection journaling exercise:
- Was my movement realistic?
- Was I too close to the ball, or too far away?
- How was my technique? Was my foot in the right position?
- How was my speed? Should I slow down, or go faster?
- Was I balanced? Was I on my toes?
- Did I use change-of-pace?
When using Techne, you can also compare your video to the instruction video in the app, and ask yourself what the differences are between the two. Get detailed when doing this because on the surface, the videos will most likely look similar (you are doing the same drill after all). Look for the things above, as well as differences in body positioning, stance, touch and turns.
If you need to slow the video down and zoom in, DO IT. You want very specific answers to these questions so that you can go out and try the drill again with adjustments.
The biggest thing to consider when going into any self-reflection or video analysis exercises is to go in with a healthy striving mentality and plenty of growth mindedness. Having the right mindset in soccer is very important because self-criticism and negative self-talk can quickly overtake you in any sort of self-reflection exercise like this if you don't get ahead of it. Remember - you are analyzing your video as an objective viewer with the goal of self-improvement. You are NOT doing it to beat yourself up.
Challenge Yourself; Add This to Your Training Routine This Week
Here are four reasons you should challenge yourself to add video analysis to your individual training routine this week:
- It's easy! There's a feature built directly into the Techne app just for this.
- It will help you improve more quickly.
- It's a relatively simple way to take your individual training up a notch.
- As a bonus, you now have documentation of your improvement progress.
You are in charge of how good you get, and video analysis is a GREAT way to level up your game and take your individual training to the next level.
This blog post is from Jenn Ireland, youth soccer coach in Chattanooga, TN and content creator at Expand Your Game. Expand Your Game was created to help guide youth soccer players toward harnessing their power and elevating their game by expanding mental performance skills, reframing limiting beliefs and uncovering authentic passion and drive.
Want more? Check out this article by Jenn about the power of self-reflection in individual player development and get a free, guided individual training analysis worksheet to use when analyzing your training videos.