The Power of Video Analysis and Your Training
By Coach Stacee Seay
“I had no idea I was doing that!” Famous last words at almost every video analysis I’ve done or seen over the years.
How do YOU learn? More than 65% of the population are visual learners. For that reason alone it makes sense to use video analysis as a teaching tool to improve performance. Most of us think we know what we are doing because it “feels right.” Or the opposite, we have no idea what we are doing because it “feels hard” or that “we must be doing something wrong” but you don’t know what it is. That is the normal way of thinking for most athletes when they contemplate what to do to get faster or move more efficiently in their sport. This is where video analysis when coupled with an instructor that has an eye for proper technique and movement comes in. It is the BEST tool if we are talking efficiency in proper form corrections.
If a picture paints 1000 words than a good video analysis session must be a …well, a pretty long novel. Sometimes you just have to see it to believe it or change it. The truth is basic physics tells us that all earthly objects must be in balance. A body in motion must be in balance through properly applied force to remain balanced during movement. It is as simple as that.
Try this experiment: Stand on both legs. Without moving your upper body lift one leg. Its impossible until you move your body over your standing leg to create balance. To make this even more difficult once you have balance on one leg swing your other leg in any direction while holding your arms to your side. A body out of balance must have an equal amount of force or muscle activation to compensate for the imbalance. Its not impossible but it can be hard. That is why bad form feels hard. You are using a lot of muscle to compensate and become fatigued.
In the sport of triathlon lets look at these examples of balance through motion and applied force:
An athlete running uphill must lean forward to create balance and pump harder with the arms to create force to run up and not fall backwards on the hill. The steeper the hill the more the forward lean and arm compensation is needed to maintain balance and forward motion.
Cyclists can lean into the corner and not tip over because of the force of motion on the wheels creating a gyroscopic effect holding the cyclist upright on the bike. The counter balance is her weight on the outside pedal and the inside knee pointing towards the ground.
A swimmer with a crossover at the front of the stroke must have a scissor kick to compensate for the imbalance in the water. The legs splayed apart create a parachute effect and slowing this swimmer down every crossover stroke.
These examples are very simply applied physics laws that create balance. But they apply to the much more complicated human being that you are in your sport. Other bad forms you may encounter could be heel striking or body to erect or upright when you run. Swimming with your outstretched hand facing forward or your fingers pointing upward, holding your breath or lifting your head to breathe. Knowing at what point it makes the most sense to counter steer through a turn on your bike. Understanding whether these things are good or bad and how to retrain them are all basic key components to training you to move your body more efficiently once you can see and understand them yourself.
Through video analysis a coach can capture movement during your sport. Then slow that movement down or even stop it to illustrate the things you are doing right as well as an imbalance or improper application of force within that motion. A well-trained, talented coach can spot these form flaws, understand what they mean, then coach you on how to compensate or correct the bad form or balance. Then through specific drills or strength training he/she can build up weak muscles to create and then apply the correct force and motion to compensate for and correct the imbalance seen on the video. It’s perfectly efficient “cause and affect coaching.” No wasted time with faster results.
At BEST Coaching we are experts in our field or have relationships with experts in all forms of video analysis for everything related to endurance sport. Swim analysis, run form analysis, bike fit and pedal stroke analysis just to name a few. Ask your BEST Coach to take a look at your form or discuss with them what might the best advice for you to get you moving more balanced and efficient in your sport. With good form comes free speed and who doesn’t want a little more free speed.
Train with BEST to be your best!
BEST Master Coach Stacee Seay resides in Chicago IL. She is Swim Smooth Certified and expertly trained in Swim Video analysis through the only swim coaching organization for stroke correction recognized by the International Triathlon Union (ITU) for triathlon and open water swimming. She does 1-2-1 Swim Stroke Correction and video analysis in person or via the web. Contact her to see how she can best help you correct your stroke flaws.