Working as a rugby coach for Cardiff Met RFC (formerly UWIC) we have the opportunity to use SportsCode as well as other analysis systems to develop video feedback for teams and individuals. We have been trying to engage with players and analysts to improve our workflow processes to offer them the most comprehensive level of feedback available within the time constraints of a elite level university rugby team. To give this context, Cardiff Met are one of the top British rugby universities who also play in the Championship (as of next year the 2nd tier of club competition within the WRU national league structures). We are producing players year on year who go on to professional club environments and in conjunction with our Performance Analysis department, make use of students to deliver our analysis programme. An area we are continually looking to develop is our ability to effectively feedback to players to improve performance. A recent intervention study within the club came up with the following:-
Literature suggests that feedback appears to have received substantial research attention as a process that can help athletes to learn and progress in both training and competition. However, the effectiveness and structure of feedback have not been extensively researched to date particularly in the form of post-performance feedback tools.
The research undertaken for this study outlined clearly that the feedback structure could be improved and that individual analysis and feedback needed to be introduced on a more regular basis. The findings from the intervention can be seen in the table below:
|1||For effective feedback to take place there needs to be a clear structure and programme outlining where players and coaches can access it;|
|2||The development of a post performance analysis feedback tool is an effective way of allowing players to view their own footage;|
|3||Players who engaged in the tool felt they had an enhanced level of feedback generated by themselves which was then discussed with the coach;|
|4||For these tools to become more effective interactive workshops where players, coaches and analysts can develop their self-reflection and analysis skills need to be implemented.|
Additionally, this study touched on the need for a positive working climate within where players feel that coaches are approachable and consistent in order to create a player driven empowered environment. The level of engagement and the relationship between player/coach, player/analyst and coach/analyst is vital to creating a successful work flow.
As a result of this research a number of recommendations were considered for future research. First, the structure of feedback within a rugby setting should be developed to make it specific to its context. Second, the development of post performance analysis feedback tools in rugby and sport generally would enhance the quality of the tool used. The use of the feedback form needs to be looked at in detail, how best to gain the quality of information from players would be of huge benefit to improving performance. Finally how best to create a successful workflow between coaches, analysts and players.
In the last season we trialled the Team Performance Exchange website to develop some of the areas of improvement highlighted in the study above. This is a fantastic tool which if engaged with properly can significantly improve the workflow between players, coaches and analysts. If I am honest this season the level of engagement from coaches meant that TPE as a tool was not maximised. I leave you with this thought – Who drives the analysis – the players, the coaches or the analysts!!!!
I will look to chart our progress over the next season in monthly reviews and would welcome any feedback or ideas which can enhance the process.
Cardiff Metropolitan University (Formerly UWIC)