How do I use video analysis to help my coaching?

I was thinking of writing a series about how I use video analysis to help my coaching.
First, let me tell you a short story about me.

I became a figure skating coach by a happy accident, 20 years ago now.

First, as a volunteer, I wanted to give back what my sport and my coaches gave me during my skating career. So, I started to teach recreational and beginner level. In France, the French federation didn’t develop any learning program for the volunteer coach.
So, I did my best to ask questions and information to my former coaches. Then I decided to pass my coaching education to become a full-time coach. I learned a lot. This education helped me to develop my teaching vision.

Anyway, as a young coach, I wanted to learn as much as possible. I wanted to feel more confident with the technical problem I was facing. My main idea was ( and still is) to offer the best experience to my skaters. How do you teach this with more efficiency? This kind of question.

My school background is in technology. I’m passionate about all different technology. Internet wasn’t this vast source of knowledge as it is today. So, I ordered a book named “Learn how to observe.” written by Jacques Piasenta. Jacques is considered one of the best sprints and hurdles French coaches out there. He used a lot of videos. That was my first contact with video.

Video=better observation= better understanding.

Then, I discovered Dartfish solution during a regional camp organized by the French figure skating federation. I knew I would find a way to get this system. And a few months later, I acquired this video system.

My first goal was to educate my coach eye.

What do you really see? Then I wanted to understand more the movement. When you are a young coach, I noticed that you use a lot of your technical and experience background. I would say it is normal. Getting expertise takes time. Especially if you are coaching in a small club where you are the only professional full-time coach. The video helps me a lot, but it’s a tool. And as a tool, you must know what is possible and the limit. For example, I watch a lot of videos from elite skaters. They are models. But you see only the final product. And not the learning process to get this.

I quote Albert Einstein “Any fool can know. The point is to understand.”

To create this process, you must understand what move you are looking for. To relax, I like to watch on YouTube people who restore old pieces of furniture or tools. It’s pretty satisfying. In general, first, they strip down all parts. When I analyze the performance of a skater, I see myself like these Youtubers. Is this a helpful movement? Does it influence the success of the jump? Because I’m a full-time video analysis coach, I created different tools to quickly sort out all these details.


detail of quad salchow executd by Yuzuru Hanyu , Japan