The advent of digital video has meant that it is easy to capture sports action during
training, and feed back to the athletes. How this is done depends very much on the
type of sport (see BrianMac's website for a good description of the differences):
Open Sports Skills
Much of the action in sports such as football or tennis depends on rapidly changing
situations, where you must learn how to position yourself, and perhaps your team-mates.
For these situations the coach can video a practice session or sequence, and then
use one of the many free or commercial video analysis tools to draw lines, move to
key movements, etc. You will often seen this on Match of the Day in the UK, or your
local sports program.
Normal speed video taken from a single 'overview' angle works well for this, and
feedback can be made during the training session, allowing for practice and repeat.
Closed Sports Skills (Continuous)
In sports such as running or swimming, an action is repeated many times, against
challenges which come from speed, fatigue and the limits of the muscles' strength.
By its nature, the action is rapid and hard to understand, and it can be difficult
for the sportsman to consciously change his action without throwing the whole pattern
This is where we can help: In these situations, slow motion video, preferably taken
from different angles, really helps. Even for the beginner, it may not be possible
(or even advisable) to modify the action directly, but the physio or coach can study
the video to identify treatment or devise specific exercises, conditioning, drills
Closed Sports Skills (Discrete)
Sprints starts, tennis serves and football penalties are all fast actions, which
must be practiced repeatedly. For the beginner, normal speed video from a single
angle is usually sufficient to give live feedback. For the advanced performer, slow
motion multi-view video may be needed for the coach to understand the nuances of
movement, and devise an appropriate training programme.