By now, we all know that people learn differently: some people learn best by doing, others listening and others are visual learners. There’s no denying that seeing something you’re learning in action can help you gain a better understanding of the task at hand.
The same can be said in martial arts — video analysis of your fights or competitions can help you improve your game in several ways.
It empowers athletes to see what they’re doing well
When you’re an athlete performing an activity, it’s hard to see how you’re applying what your coaches have taught you. Because of this, it’s hard to see what you’re doing wrong, and also what you’re doing well.
Having athletes watch videos of their competition can show them some of the highlights from their match. It’s a great way to reinforce the parts of the game they’re mastering and doing well. It helps build confidence in themselves and their martial arts practice.
It shows them where they can improve
At the same time, video analysis during competitions can help athletes see all the details that make up their game, and what needs work. They can take the time to slow things down, rewind, replay and see exactly where they need to improve upon.
Did they miss an opportunity for a takedown or a submission? By watching the video back, coaches can help athletes pinpoint exactly where and why they missed an offensive or defensive opportunity, and allows them the space to then talk through ways that can be avoided next time.
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It improve communication between athlete and coach
Have you ever given an athlete a cue during a match and they had no idea what you meant? You’re not alone.
Watching matches back with your athletes is a great way to improve communication between the two of you. As a coach, you can learn what cues are landing with that particular athlete; perhaps you’ll find ways to improve or change the cues you give so they makes more sense. For the athlete, watching the video back and listening to the cue you gave can help them see and reinforce what you meant in that moment.
It highlights athlete’s progression in their sport
One of the most powerful aspects of video analysis is that it provides athletes with a history, or timeline, of their martial arts journey.
Athletes can look back at videos from their first competition and compare it to their most recent to see how they’ve improved and progressed over time. Seeing results built over time encourages and empowers athletes to keep showing up and putting in the work.
Regularly incorporating video analysis to your martial arts practice can provide multiple benefits for coaching staff and athletes, most importantly after competition or fights. Go easy on the video analysis during class, it can be distracting to your coach or other students if you’re always taking breaks to set up your camera or phone to record. We recommend asking a teammate to record during your next fight or competition and sitting down later, after the competition with your coach to review it.