In the early days video analysis was expensive because the computer hardware itself cost a lot of money, as a result it was only elite athletes who could benefit from it. As time has gone on, and the equipment became more affordable, video analysis has become more accessible for coaches at youth and development levels.

At Performance Innovation we recognised this some time ago and have been working hard to establish relationships with national associations and bodies across a range of sports to make sure their member coaches could access our video analysis software. We passionately believe that those at the grassroots levels are the ones who can benefit most from this improved feedback and can make greatest strides in their own development as a result.

We now believe that the time is right to start to look at the next level. Are we ready as coaches to pass over some of this ownership? Are we confident enough to allow this development to take place more organically? Do we trust our employers or the parents to believe in us enough to have the patience, and it will take some initially, to see this bear fruit?

Too often over the years I have watched youngsters be what I would term ‘over-coached’. They don’t think for themselves and are like robots, tied to this rigid system they must adhere to. If we want to develop creativity we have to break away from this and encourage those we are working with to think for themselves, adapt and problem solve. The only way to do this is to give them much more involvement in the coaching process.

I know there are coaches out there who believe in this. I speak to you on Twitter, I read your blogs, I listen and comment as you debate and share these ideas. There will always be those who don’t like these ideas, and that is fine. We need debate and discussion as coaching is ever evolving and I really believe we want and need it to be that way.

My own background in developing and using our analysis software is from a coaching / teaching perspective and so getting the most out of our software in terms of development and utilising it creatively and effectively is very much my area of expertise.

So what is this ground breaking way forward? What is this change that will take us all to the next level. There is no doubt in my mind that the next development as far as video analysis is concerned is self-analysis. Taking video of yourself performing, viewing that and tagging the performance to identify areas of strength and development needs is an incredibly powerful way to encourage self-improvement.

If you as a young, or developing, performer are serious about improvement, we believe that increasing your understanding of where you are in terms of your performance has to speed that process. It is about the coaching process becoming something that performers contribute to and are a part of rather than being something that is done to them.

The coach needs to steer this and by choosing the areas to be analysed they give this, excuse the pun, focus. It can’t be open ended. There needs to be some guidance and this is the coaches’ role within this process. Set the parameters and guide on this journey of discovery.

This leads me on to why we created our Access app. The concept behind the Access app was to take the essential tools of the Pro app and make that both affordable and accessible on a large scale. Where we really wanted to go with our access app was to develop this model of self-analysis. Now as a coach if I can get my players to take more responsibility for their own development, that makes development and progress quicker and more easily sustained. I actually believe it makes my players hungrier to improve and it ensures we are all moving in the same direction. It also makes that coaching process much more inclusive. We no longer coach at them we coach with them.

Coaching becomes something that the players contribute to and it is a journey we can go on together. As we set sail on this journey we abandon our big cumbersome ship and we each get our own boat! The coach leads this flotilla of small boats which are all heading in the same direction and each of the small boats is going at a pace it is comfortable with and making minor adjustments to its own route along the way.

To come back to reality and look at what that means for the coaching process the model that we are looking to develop is to have the coach utilising Focus X2i our pro app and having his players using Focus X2i Access app to take ownership of their own performance. It is like the coach being at the hub of the analysis wheel with the players as the spokes feeding in to the coach.

We all pull in the same direction but that bit of ownership for your own development is what really makes a difference and for those hungry and keen to grow and develop we really believe it is the little bit extra that will really make the difference.

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