“The skill of the coach is the magic between the projector and the audience”
This quote popped up during an impromptu chat with Darren Lewis. We were discussing the use of video (and video analysis) in player and coach development. Our conversation meandered and went in and out of tension switching positions from:
The ‘value of video is amazing’ because:
It allows you to look at individual and team performances multiple times
It enables you to review past and post-activity in relation to plays
It helps you see what really happened (not the personal perception)
The ‘value of video is negligible’ because:
It can be seen out of context
It may not be relatable to future situations
It may not take into consideration the thinking going on
All of the above can be found to be right and true. If we don’t pay attention to the right stuff then the tool of video is pointless. However, if we are able to make-sense of what we see, then video has great value. I think it’s this that led to Darren sharing the quote: “The skill of the coach is the magic between the projector and the audience”
The question then is, how do we make sure the magic happens?
A Model For Learning Design (ASRI)
When watching back video we may all be looking at/for different things and with it interpreting what we see, based on our own recollection of events. What happened before and after, how we felt or what our thinking was. However, the greater the time between the event and the use of video as an analysis tool, the greater the decay in the accuracy of memory.
This is by no means a solution, however, we may have something to help guide conversations and communication. Myself and Laura Watkin (a pedagogy lead for Frontline) have been working on a ‘Model for Learning Design’, which has the classy acronym of ASRI (pronounced Ass-Ree). In brief, this stands for:
Attention – what is not attended to is not learned
Sense-making – what is not understood is discarded
Retention – what is not recalled can be lost
Internalisation – new learning becomes part of our being
So how can this model guide the magic between the projector and the player?
As a coach (coach developer) it is important to structure your ‘play-back’ sessions. Put as much investment into this as you may do for all other planned activities with players. Really think hard about the purpose of the ‘play-back’. Is this about an individual or team performance (or role-based performance)? Is this about strategy/tactics and a reflection of or planning for the future?
Once you have this nailed it may help to structure your interaction with players around these four principles. For the purposes of this blog and brevity, I’m going to keep this to 3 questions per area.
Attention – if what is not attended to is not learned, how are you:
Identifying what players are paying attention to?
Directing attention to the relevant information?
Reducing the noise (the interference of less valuable information)?
I’d advise finding out what they naturally pay attention to and why before directing their attention to what’s relevant. The main reason being there may be more of them than you and they (players/athletes) may see something of value that you don’t. This is a great opportunity to gather crowd wisdom.
Sense-making – if what is not understood is discarded, how are you:
Affording for individual and collective meaning generation?
Considering not just what happened but why (what thinking was occurring)?
Mitigating for personal bias (perceptions and false memory)?
When looking at plays and specific events in a game, it’s important to consider preceding events (you need to go back many moves to see the route of this path). It’s equally important to consider future focus (what was the perceived future for this move/set of plays). Also, what is the individual perspective on this and how does it relate across the team (the similarities and differences in views).
Retention – if what is not recalled can be lost, how are you:
Anchoring the learning from the video analysis with players?
Supporting accurate retrieval (reducing memory decay)?
Creating opportunities for the test and retest of learning?
We know from evidence that what we don’t spend time recalling and using in some way decays and is lost (or leads to false memories). Therefore it’s advisable to help people find anchors for any new learning. This can be by using names for specific plays, asking people to draw them out, or narrate them in a story of events. What we want is accurate retrieval at the right time and this is where ‘test, re-test opportunities are important.
Internalisation – if we want to make new learning part of our being, how are you:
Shaping future behaviours to reduce memory distortion?
Improving retrieval fluency (the ease at which information comes to mind)?
Mitigating for personal interpretation vs group interpretation?
Our desire at this point is to ensure new learning has become part of who our players are. When this has occurred, retrieval fluency is high. We are able to confidently and accurately recall information, experiences, and skills automatically (like a reflex). This frees up brain capacity to attend to other environmental cue’s/stimuli.
Video as a tool is only as good as the person helping you make sense of it. Otherwise, it’s just moving images without context. Fun (or not so fun) to watch, but no more/less valuable than watching any game in the pub with mates with a beer and a packet of crisps.
To really get the value out of video, you need to help people see beyond the moves on screen. They need to be able to go back to that moment, retrace their steps and understand their role in relation to others. Consider the move and future moves (the desired outcome of the accumulative action).
This is where the ‘magic’ occurs. Where a skilled coach (practitioner) is able to help people draw upon what is there (and not there). Someone to help people consider the thinking that was going on in the moment, how each decision was made, and under what conditions (raised heart rate, pressure moment etc).
Hope this helps.
Kurt Ewald Lindley – Be More Learning and Development