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Activity analysis series overview

At 205 Academy, part of our mission is to provide coaches of all levels and age groups with educational content to help them develop the next generation of players. Since 2019, we have created and published dozens of articles on various topics, which are available on our open-access website.

In mid-2019, we began using TacticalPad to translate static practice diagrams into dynamic activity videos using a frame-by-frame technique with simple avatars (numbered bubbles). The TacticalPad content has been very popular with coaches, driving our Twitter/X account from about 1500 followers to nearly 10,000 in 3 years. Our open-access website handles about 2000 visitors each month.

One of the challenges to the animated video content creator is to decide what information to transfer and how to accomplish it within the constraints of the format. Many animated videos that we have seen present just the movement of the avatar/players without explanations of the how, when, or why.

Here is our recipe when creating TacticalPad videos:

  • Start with an activity that can be clearly described with well-defined outcomes – typically an activity that we use in training with our Academy or college players
  • Identify several coaching points and key moments that relate to how a coach might train their team
  • Where appropriate, include one or two common progressions
  • Develop a frame-by-frame sequence that presents a story of the development of the activity
  • Use captions, arrows, shading, highlights, and other annotation tools to present the coaching points and progressions
  • Package into a short format – typically 40-60 seconds

The key phrase here is “story” – each video has an introduction, a middle with several chapters (highlighted moments), and a conclusion. The goal is to be able to provide one of our videos as-is to a coach and have them be able to understand and apply the ideas to their team. A secondary goal is to inspire the coach to customize the activity with their own ideas – modifications, progressions, etc.

As of early 2024, we have produced nearly 300 TacticalPad videos with various themes and topics. One of our long-time goals has been to produce content with deeper dives on our favorite videos – fleshing out the ideas, providing more detail on the coaching points and progressions, and relating the activity to moments in the full-sized game.

We are launching our Activity Analysis series, inspired by our friends at United Soccer Coaches, especially their Director of Education Programs, Dave Simeone. Each article includes the TacticalPad video, background content, diagrams illustrating in detail the various moments of the activity, and suggestions on how to customize the activity based on the number of players and their ages and abilities.

We hope these resources will provide coaches with additional tools and knowledge to help them in their coaching journey and their players’ individual and team development.