How to Video Sprints Part 1 – Equipment and Software

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Ironically most of the best video practices are deceptive. One can’t see how shallow the squat is as the focus is on the bent bar and weights. An inappropriate view of the torso to hide bad posture. Staged videos of the cream of the athletes in action instead of just showing the entire team working out. So what about best practices with videoing training and competition for sprinting and other activities? Without good video one is just making a montage, cool for recruiting but not very helpful for the athletes you have now. Here are some basics.

Camera- Price ranges from 100 dollars to 15,000, so it’s better to get a middle range camera. I find that coaches need to sample key milestones rather than be some documentary style collection of endless video. Also doing analysis is very time consuming, so when people are talking about shin angles and radial swing of the femur I start asking how does everyone have time for this? I barely have enough time to fire out the video clips in dropbox to athletes on the team. High speed video is great for presentation but 50% and 25% speed is sufficient. Taking 2 minutes for a stride is watching a mushroom decompose and is overkill unless you are working with someone who is trying to medal at the games.

Tripod- Having a full size tripod is a must for competition and panning during practice. Get a large one as hunching over with the middle size tripods kills the back. If you are using an iPod or iPhone, a lot of good accessories are available such as the gorilla pod and other stabilizers. iMovie allows for image stabilization and other video program can filter the shaky Blair Witch Project effect of hand recording. I use smart phones, tablets, and real cameras. Use what fits your coaching style.

Software- Dartfish is the gold standard and fight for your school to get a copy. Kinesiocapture is ok, but their angle viewer is absolute garbage and Kiniovea and Objectus Video are better options. I contacted Kinesiocapture about this and got no response. Save your money and using tablets and smart phones for analysis is not effective and a pain. Capture and replay in slow motion with devices is good for on the field, but do analysis in the office as coaching is very hands on and technology shouldn’t interfere. Other cloud and knock off programs stink and don’t waste your time. iMovie is great for coaches to clean up the clips with some of the filters and narration abilities and is a joy to work with.When video becomes more than 10 athletes, it adds up time wise. I no longer use chronometers or do touch downs on video because I use freelap timing and the work flow is rapid. I only get a few angles to see benchmarks and development, not to get metrics that don’t change.

Carl Valle

Carl Valle

Track & Field Coach
Carl is an expert coach who has produced champions in swimming, track and numerous other sports. He is one of the foremost experts in the fields of nutrition and restoration.
Carl Valle

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