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”My video analysis clearly shows me what I need to work on during training sessions”” – What we can learn from eye4TALENT PLAYER UNIVERSE use at the FC Copenhagen ”School of Excellence”

Anders Hjort Kristoffer Henriksen & Lars Elbæk



“My video analysis clearly shows me what I need to work on during training sessions” – What we can learn from eye4TALENT PLAYER UNIVERSE use at the FC Copenhagen ”School of Excellence”

Authors: Anders Hjort, Kristoffer Henriksen & Lars Elbæk

Learning & Talent in Sport Department of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics University of Southern Denmark (SDU)


“My video analysis clearly shows me what I need to work on during training sessions” – What we can learn from eye4TALENT PLAYER UNIVERSE use at the FC Copenhagen ”School of Excellence”

Authors: Anders Hjort, Kristoffer Henriksen & Lars Elbæk The project is supported by Markedsmodningsfonden Published: 2016 ISBN: 978-87-93496-37-8 Publisher: The Research unit: Learning & Talent in Sport, Department of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, SDU Cover Photo: Scanpix, Foto: Anders Hjort, Jesper Thyme, Polfoto og ColorBox Layout, setup & editing: Lars Elbæk & Anders Hjort Place of print: Print & Sign, SDU, Odense Year of printing: 2016



6 Introducing the design and evaluation of the Player Universe 6 Recommendations from an evaluation study at the FC Copenhagen ”School of Excellence” 6 Features for the use of Player Universe 7 Purpose 7 Research questions 7 7 8 8 8

Design og method Baseline study Introductory workshop for Player Universe Intervention and evaluation study Theoretical foundation

9 Description of Copenhagen Soccer Club (Kjøbenhavns Boldklub [KB]), FCK and SE 9 Training 9 Coaches and players 9 ”School of Excellence” at FCK 10 10 10 11

The scope of Player Universe use at FCK School of Excellence U14 statistics after nine weeks of intervention Statistics of U17 analyses in the intervention Time for analysis and reflection

12 13

Evaluation study Club culture – management, coaches and players

15 We learned this by using Player Universe in the FCK School of Excellence 17

Notes for Player Universe use


Introducing the design and evaluation of the Player Universe Recommendations from an evaluation study at the FC Copenhagen ”School of Excellence” The study was conducted by the research unit Learning & Talent in Sport (LET’S) at the Department of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics at the University of Southern Denmark (SDU) in collaboration with the IT company eye4TALENT (E4T) and soccer clubs FC Northern Zealand (FCN) and FC Copenhagen (FCK) from the top Danish soccer league. Player Universe (PU) is a cloud-based software concept that redirects resources toward involving the players in producing video analyses through tagging games. E4T’s contacts with soccer talent development environments in Denmark have paved the way for this study of testing and adaptations of PU at FCK ”School of Excellence”. The University of Southern Denmark (SDU) conducted design research at FCN during 2015, but the planned evaluation studies were not carried out. Afterward, the FCK ”School of Excellence” (SE) participated in the studies from mid-July to mid-December 2016. This included a new baseline and an evaluation study after intervention with PU. The following is a description of the course of the study. The following publication is a summary of the study results and learning points and recommendations on considerations for commissioning and rollout of E4T technology, including the mindset of self-analysis and self-examination in soccer talent development combined with trainer feedback. Before reporting on FCK SE, the report gives a brief description of PU functions. Goals and research topics are presented, along with a brief outline of the method design. These are followed by the study results, which are summarized in points of attention based on player-generated video analysis in soccer clubs.

Features for the use of Player Universe In the image below, you see the PU interface where the player is performing an analysis. The video player either shows an entire match, or a clip from a match or training session. The prerequisite for making an analysis is that the player or the coach has video material available. A skills profile, adapted as needed, is displayed to the right of the video player, consisting of the actions and skills groups included in the player’s function on the pitch. Using tagging, answer choices (tags) are linked to the video time code and thereby to actions in the game. It is possible to attach comments to each tagged match sequence. This is to 6

save reflections on the player’s own actions, or the actions of other players on the field. These reflections can either be entered by a player or a coach, and the comment feature can expand communication between player and coach. After analyses are completed, the player and coach can view statistics on the player’s actions, and it is possible to revisit selected elements of the match and actions, for example, all plays into the field or all runs into position on the wing. Finally, PU offers the player a personal overview with a profile, ’performance clock’, including player documentation, videolog, development plan, test data and several other items. These functions are displayed in the image to the right.

Purpose The purpose of the study was to demonstrate potentials, needs and effects of talent development environment at FCK SE – before (baseline) and after commissioning (evaluation) of PU. Research questions Answers to such problems will be sought through the study design and methods: 1. What significance does it have for the player learning potential that the resource requirement is redirected and individual clips from training and matches are generated? 2. What significance do the coach’s communication of PU (learning approach) and the virtual trainer feedback have for keeping the players motivated in their videotagging? And can this help strengthen the desire to work on development points individually? 3. What significance do user expectations of the resource requirements being redirected have, and the club wanting players to generate individual clips and tagging? 4. What significance does the time spent have on player well-being when integrating video analysis as an element in the talent environment within the same available time?

Design og method The study is based on a knowledge base for the holistic talent paradigm and a design approach based on a ”user-centered design process.” The study is designed as a case study and provides a baseline and an evaluation after intervention with PU at FCK SE. Baseline study Baseline is a preliminary study in the current environment, where conditions surrounding soccer and daily life are examined. As agreed, FCK SE makes 2 x 4 players available from U14 and U17 respectively, including one coach from each team. Participating players and coaches help generate data for the completion of this study. This means that approximately 20% of the players from each studied year are included in the research. 7

Introductory workshop for Player Universe At the introductory workshop, the players quickly became comfortable with using PU and had more discussions about soccer itself than user challenges, which is a good sign for the current interaction design. The coaches quickly took on roles as a professional soccer mentors, continually providing input for the analyses. Intervention and evaluation study As an introduction to the evaluation studies, a data extract was generated based on monitoring of players and coaches over a period of nine weeks with five and six available games for U14 and U17 respectively for the production of video clips. Due to the relatively brief intervention period, it is only possible to identify trends in the use of PU. In light of the findings at baseline, the evaluation study will additionally focus on players’ motivational orientations and thereby the desire to learn. For the club to facilitate and build a motivational (digital) learning environment this focus leads to a greater understanding.

Theoretical foundation Henriksen (2011) has developed a holistic organic approach to research into talent development, and FCK SE is examined and described according to the model. The primary starting point is the Environmental Success Model based on an organic paradigm, but generally incorporates the existing talent development literature. The Environmental Success Model, which searches for characteristics in the specific talent development environment, formed the basis for observation and interview guide in the project. The studies are also structured upon early development of child talent in sports, based on a desire we had to further incorporate conditions which Côté (2013) investigates with the concepts: • Deliberate play (intentional and targeted play), originating from the playful and enjoyable experience for the person that participates • Deliberate practice (targeted training), which places a growing focus on adult-driven training sessions. To what extent can a soccer academy with a digital tool support these forms of learning? An instructive approach along the lines of deliberate practice for learning and use of the platform is comparable to learning at school, and this instructive approach is also widespread in elite soccer. Conversely, in keeping with deliberate play, PU use can pave the way to developing more creativity in the player. 8

Description of Copenhagen Soccer Club (Kjøbenhavns Boldklub [KB]), FCK and SE The KB soccer facilities are impressive. Today’s victories are depicted on the walls - and FCK invites the players to join the club in the pursuit of ”making men out of boys, and boys out of men.” An interesting one-liner that plays on the study’s theoretical tools of deliberate play and deliberate practice. The one liner is one of the first things you see when you walk into the building. The KB emblem is also inscribed with 3 values: • Enthusiasm • Responsibility and • Engagement Training FCK SE is directed towards selected talents ages 13 to 18, and many of the talents attend Johannes Skolen daily (secondary through upper secondary levels). When instruction took place on the pitch, it was serious. We saw good and clear communication from the coaching staff to the players. There were short breaks during the training exercises. These breaks gave the coach an opportunity to provide input and optimize the learning from what was just done. Coaches and players The interviewed coaches are both employed full time with closely affiliated assistants and individual coaches. The interviewed coaches stated that they were available to parents, players and colleagues at all times of the day. All of the interviewed players train basically every day of the week, but are also under the supervision of several different experts to ensure the proper amount of training and intensity.

”School of Excellence” at FCK After studying a portion of the FCK talent development environment (SE) over five months, the environment represents a multi-faceted and in many ways optimized holistic-organic talent development environment. Talent development is not just a matter of developing talents athletic skills, but developing personal and social skills that benefit the player as well (Henriksen, 2011). Data on talent development environment processes at FCK indicate a diverse as well as competitive environment with many offerings involving players in training camps, social events, versatile and modern training (strength training, individual training, assault training, mental training, technological equipment, etc.). There are weekly video evaluations and joint analysis of these, but the desire is also to document in some manner what is worked on and achieved on a daily basis. 9

The scope of Player Universe use at FCK School of Excellence The descriptive statistics generated from the E4T database show the scope of PU use and also serve as the basis for the qualitative studies. For this purpose, statistics on PU use were generated after intervention during the evaluation studies after nine weeks of use. In extension of the evaluation study, and in the light of an anchoring phase, we have generated data and statistics for the following nine weeks of PU use. An interesting thing about this period is several U17 players used PU voluntarily. U14 statistics after nine weeks of intervention Statistics from U14 during the PU intervention (nine weeks) are displayed to the left. The table is based on PU use for the first 6 matches, which the players have been able to create video clips and thus analyze. The data show a total of 503 clips spread over six analyzed matches for four U14 players. This results in an average of 1.5 analyzed matches per player with 126 exported clips per player. This shows that approximately one-third of the potential available matches were analyzed. Statistics of U17 analyses in the intervention Data above show a total of 621 clips spread over seven analyzed matches for four U17 players. This results in an average of 1.75 analyzed matches per player with 155.3 clips created by each player. This again reflects the fact that approximately one-third of the matches is analyzed. Let us take a closer look at one particular U17 player, a striker, who has generated the most match analyses. We see the player’s total number of clips from the matches is 296. The table below under skill group ”2 Finishing play” shows that the player specifically in ”Finishing play – making a run with an entry pass” only has a few actions (two – both in the back area). Viewed over three matches which form the basis for the analysis, this shows a striker who only has a very modest number of actions, two runs into an area with an entry pass. The player either does not try making a run into an area when situations arise, because he does not feel it is the right positioning for his skills, or the player does not understand his role in that situation. Or the team generally serves 10

the ball in from the edges. As can be seen, the generated statistics can provide more insight for the player and coaches to reflect upon and together plan other tactical strategies in matches to optimize play and developmental focus. To the right are statistics for U17 player work with PU during the anchoring period of 11 October 2016 to 12 December 2016. The statistics display a total of 1,041 clips spread over 20 analyzed matches for six U17 players. Three players was added by the coach along the way and one of the four players involved broke his leg during the national team gathering and therefore considered a passive user of U17. Players at the U17 team have thus showed a growing interest in using PU.

Time for analysis and reflection As an example, U17 statistics for analysis (tagging) and reflections respectively using the comment field with at least one response (answer) are shown in the figure below. U17 players and coaches devote considerably more time than U14. At the same time, there is a clear division where the players enter tagging (green bar) and the coach enters comments (red bar). We presume that the coach is seeking this division to mediate player reflections. This is another clear indication of the redirected resource use, which is highlighted as one of PU’s characteristics.


Evaluation study This study observes an everyday situation, where the dominant training and learning form is deliberate practice (targeted training). However, observations show that deliberate play (targeted play) is more evident in U14, including where Monday morning is dedicated to ”Jam”, a type of training produced and explored by the players themselves. The players mention soccer teammates and good behavior towards each other and referees on several occasions. There are mutually beneficial elements in relationships between coach and players, indicating that the coach invests a great deal of hard work in relational motivation. The coach’s people and professional skills foster these strong relationships. The coaches attempt to get the young U14 players involved in their own goals (which they call practice goals). The coaches work on greater ownership on the part of the players, and that seems to suit the players more and more the closer they get to the transition to the senior level. ”In the old days, you wrote the times down and had to fast-forward to them. (Respondent, player U17 (C).” The quotation shows that the system was relatively slow for the players to use before the intervention with PU. The resource requirements are also redirected, since the players help perform analyses (tagging), thereby gaining insights through analysis of their own game and strengthening the player’s athletic development. An example is presented by a U17 coach, who relates a simple behavior change by an attacker. ”A former, somewhat lazy striker has realized that pressure and keeping pressure on is also important, only after he has begun tagging it”. The coach describes a ’classic striker’ and concludes that he has not been very involved in the game. He is starting to become much more active, both when moving down the pitch and making deeper runs. ”Immediately I suspect that our little program (read PU) here has helped strengthen the process”. If you as a soccer player see yourself on video, and a somewhat lazy attitude becomes apparent to you, you will realize your commitment is not on a level with the rest of the group. The registrations will make it apparent, if your efforts to keep pressure on are statistically below those of your fellow strikers. The role of the coach seems to be important in PU, but how do the players perceive this?: Respondent, player U17 (C): ”The coach has a major role in this. ***** writes things that I might not even have thought about, unless ***** said it. And that gives me precisely the extra percentages that may factor in and mean something.” The coach’s reflection on PU use seems to grow at a pace with player understanding of PU use. This is most apparent in the common language that arises between the coach and player. ”Of course, I must also reflect more on how I give feedback, now that I have a new tool on hand” (respondent, trainer U17). 12

The incentive to use PU video analysis is players for FCK can watch themselves on video and thus provoke deeper individual reflection, and access to the more systematic tool brings more motivation for learning to the task. U14-players state that more feedback is needed in PU, where U17 feels that fairly comprehensive feedback is appropriate, creating a mix of digital PU mediation and analog face-to-face feedback. The premise of using the comment thread has also resulted in players expecting feedback on a given game sequence. This feedback and communication back and forth is perhaps necessary to achieve learning, not least to strengthen the motivation for learning. The players generally find video viewing to be an important element in developing football skills. Players generally take a lot of responsibility for themselves and their development. One coach sees greater awareness of the tactical elements of the game among the players. The U17 coach in particular is working hard to keep pushing and encouraging the players as part of their upbringing at FCK SE, to take as much ownership through PU as possible. This is seen in the work to develop individual insight and courage to confront individual weaknesses. Player descriptions and opinions indicate that the time aspects of PU use may pose a challenge during busy periods with a lot of homework from school. Otherwise, users are saying they are very happy with being able to retrieve and view their tagged game sequences. No one indicates there is an element of pressure or stress in PU use. PU use as a tool is challenging, if the coach does not assume ownership, educates and refines the coach’s personal use, thereby acting as a role model for players in PU use. The coach can thus have a positive influence on player PU use. Specifically, coaches seem to be an important catalyst for setting up the skills profile set and related skill groups, as well as the related skills groups and the interactive feedback function, thereby taking on a mediating role. Club culture – management, coaches and players When the study at FCN began back in 2015, the players were the major concern. However, the premise articulated by one of FCK’s coaches, reads: ”If PU is to be included in the talent development environment, PU must be incorporated where possible among all the other functions I serve as coach”. We therefore feel it is advisable for PU to be incorporated into an educational plan created by managers and coaches, before commissioning PU, thereby creating a tool that optimizes the value chain for talent development. In the studies, we find a number of contextual factors that contribute to a positive working environment – in other words, the prerequisites for talent development in FCK. To this end, the Environmental Success Model provided a theoretical framework which conveys that FCK SE can be described as a holistic organic environment, promoting greater ownership of individual learning. But also an FCK environment, which with great certainty primarily practices deliberate pra13

ctice (targeted training). With the commissioning of PU, the question is how much the environment can and must be changed relative to the way soccer is organized, played and evaluated. At the same time, we believe that there is a potential to find elements in and draw inspiration from deliberate play. Can PU thus also be a widely-used video tool for all soccer players who want to optimize their performance by watching themselves? Could all youth today draw inspiration for their development from visual media? And is PU thus not only for elite youth players, who provide clips and comments according to their development plan? It may be interesting to examine whether PU can help keep more teenagers involved in playing soccer by presenting the sport in a more social and communication-based digital space with reinforced layers of experience. Layers that complement and adapt to current relatively specialized, structured and guided learning forms, as reflected in the current PU version and elite soccer. It has been demonstrated that training, including parts of the deliberate play approach, can create more creative and intuitive players. Is it possible to transfer and should part of this be transferred to PU? We believe that, if working with elements of a self-determined learning approach, the position of the coach in PU could be less dominant. If PU allows this, the players will in practice lean on each other as a community, contribute to discussions and guide each other using clips and dialogue threads. We believe this at the player level could create a more vibrant soccer universe. The study results definitely show that the role of the coach in facilitating learning appears to be essential. 14

We learned this by using Player Universe in the FCK School of Excellence The summary outlines the essential findings of the study. This includes findings of the baseline studies, the intervention period with subsequent evaluation study and statistics from the intervention and based on PU at FCK SE from mid-July to mid-December 2016. The focus points of the environmental success model have indicated of a talent development environment that features a strong culture with a pronounced focus on respect, unity and community, which invests a great deal in making each person feel valued. The FCK talent development environment promotes a contextual motivation in the interaction with the coaches. In other words, this was a solid and inspiring talent development environment with a number of ambitious practices which, from the point of view of environmental success model, offered the players near-optimal talent development. The coaches are distinguished standardbearers and teachers, involving players and giving them responsibilities, thereby gaining greater ownership from the players in return. The coaches attempt to create trusting bonds with the players and greater motivational mastering by organizing challenging and intensive training sessions - not least assigning various kinds of soccer tasks and exercises (mental training, communication, life skills, etc.) This will include video viewing, which in many ways motivates moving, pushing and making players more knowledgeable and reflective – as though that was a part of a student plan from the school. In contrast to the school (which involves an obligation), this grows in this study – based on player soccer lives and use of video analysis – from desire, commitment and motivation. A potential for PU use with additional communicative functions was identified in the FCK SE environment, partly to free up the role of the coach and also create an opportunity for self-determined learning and socially situated learning, possibly through further design of communicative functions in PU. This allows players to be more independent and driven by learning. Our findings clearly show that the E4T system will be relevant and interesting to many elite clubs for strengthening talent development. Player desire to evolve and learn more in their sporting development is obvious, however, there are occasions where schooling appears to influence any video clipping and its quality. When the clips of match sequences are logged, almost all players say the subsequent video viewing is well worth it. As a tool in its education of players and continued use, PU has a minor Achilles heel, because it can be a ”time waster”. It must be said that, in this study, the use of PU did not generate any negative pressure or stress in players for coaches. To become even more effective, a solid ”training plan” is required for PU, where management and the coaches buy into dedicated testing, adaptation and PU use for a period. This will allow 15

for the wholehearted assessment of the learning value of PU, and potentially positive testing to be integrated into other club activities afterward. If the coaches do this, studies indicate that the players in an elite soccer environment such as FCK SE will adopt PU, based on player and coach expectations. Through these studies, we have seen a clear attraction for the players to watch themselves play. A key insight that has been gained from immersion in PU use, is the learning approach itself. The philosophy behind PU is to achieve learning through a deliberate practice (targeted training) approach. A learning approach that in many ways reflects the talent development environment at FCK SE, but also contains elements of deliberate play (play) and a focus on precisely benefitting from the common in training sessions. Further potential has been identified for the players to promote deliberate play through PU. During the study we thus learned about U14 �Jam� training, a kind of free training at your own pace with elements of play. There are indications that additional features could still be included in PU design in to free up and perhaps balance the position of power for the coach and role towards the players. This will allow players to be more independent and driven by learning. It is our clear experience that the E4T system will continue to be relevant and interesting to many elite clubs for accelerating and strengthening talent development. Thus the authors of the report are of the opinion that there is still a potential to implement and improve the aforementioned design proposals, which encourage social and community-oriented functionalities and can give PU a more self-determined and even experience-oriented forum - without dominant coach interference - as in the studies are documented to significantly depend. 16

Notes for Player Universe use If soccer clubs would like to use video analysis in their talent development, and also wish to use a platform like Player Universe that redirects the resource requirements, we find the following awareness points are crucial for a value-added commissioning and continued anchoring of the application: • The coach should become a role model for the use of the digital video analysis tools, including taking the lead to show how the comment feature can be used. • When commissioning Player Universe – as part of a soccer club that functions well according to the Environmental Success Model – it will be essential to consider the use of video analysis platform in the culture for the daily training session routines at the club. • Future development of Player Universe use will be strengthened by relationship awareness with a focus on making players and coaches feel valued and seen. • Use of video analysis tools, where the players themselves actively participate in the analyses, will motivate more individual reflection and likely promote in-depth learning of technical and tactical game play elements. • By keeping the focus on motivational orientations, such as knowledge motivation, performance motivation, mastering motivation, relational motivation and involvement motivation related to the life of youth, Player Universe could potentially reinforce learning of soccer skills and keeping players in talent development. • To develop soccer player ability to take responsibility for their own development and enhance their creativity, it would also be useful to prioritize directed play through targeted play in Player Universe use.




Produced by: The Research Unit: Learning & Talent in Sport (LET’S) Department of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, SDU



ISBN: 978-87-93496-37-8

Study of eye4TALENT's PLAYER UNIVERSE in FC. Copenhagen  

English version of the pamphlet showing results from follow-up research in the design research project in developing eye4TALENT Player Unive...

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