Memory is a tricky thing. Inevitably influenced by factors such emotions, expectations, fatigue, or attribution biases, the human brain doesn’t usually remember situations the way they objectively occurred, and elite athletes are no exception to that phenomenon. Because of this, even the most experienced of our football coaches and players welcome the assistance of video analysis to restore – or create – objective recollections of their matches. As they re-watch each match from a different perspective, coaches and athletes use the emotionally unaffected film material to properly assess match situations, and to evaluate their opponents’ strengths and weaknesses.
However, the potential value of video analysis largely depends on the quality of the footage that is available to the analysts, and that is where the experts of Sportec Solutions (STS) excel. On behalf of DFL, STS coordinates and produces an HD-quality Scoutingfeed of each match played in the Bundesliga, Bundesliga 2, relegation, and Supercup; a total of 617 matches annually. Beginning with the 2013-14 Bundesliga season, Scoutingfeeds of about 3,000 matches have been created. Additionally, Scoutingfeeds of German Cup and Europa League matches are being provided upon request. Scoutingfeed footage is also produced for international matches of the German national football team and the Under 21 Men’s national team. All video footage includes time codes.
Positioned next to the main camera, the Scoutingfeed camera captures a wide angle, aiming to show all 20 field players at any given time as a base for conclusive analyses. The wide-angle perspective allows the viewers to pick up tactics and formations as well as individual player movement and enables analysts to break down games accurately. As game action moves towards a penalty box, the shot also captures the respective goalkeeper. During certain tactical situations, however – such as corner or free kicks – a narrower perspective is generally chosen to ensure optimal representation. All camera directions follow precise directions from a coach’s perspective.
While initially captured to benefit the Bundesliga clubs’ analysts, the STS-produced Scoutingfeed has also become available for select television productions. Matthias Sammer, one of only six football greats in Bundesliga history to win the championship both as a player and as a coach, experienced the valuable insights detailed video analysis can provide first-hand. In his current position as an on-air Bundesliga analyst for broadcaster Eurosport 2 HD Extra, Sammer has also come to appreciate the provided footage from a television expert’s perspective.
“The Scoutingfeed has the best camera position to understand, analyse, and explain tactics and a game philosophy of a team,” says Sammer. “It is a perfect additional service of DFL and has been produced centrally for years. This essential component of DFL’s innovative product portfolio offered to clubs is now also used within broadcasting.”
Interestingly, the STS-captured Scoutingfeed can not only help boost the memory of a match and deepen the understanding of strategies, but there is scientific evidence that indicates players may benefit physically as well as tactically. Psychoneuromuscular theory suggests that athletes watching video of themselves or others can create “muscle memory” by activating neural pathways. Based on this hypothesis, a player visualising himself executing certain movements has a similar effect on his neural system as physically going through the motions, albeit to a lesser degree.