The importance of Video Analysis for Handball Goalkeepers

The Importance of Video Analysis for Handball Goalkeepers

The role of video analysis for handball goalkeepers, and in handball overall, has become an integral part of training and preparation. In the fast-paced world of a dynamic sport such as handball, the role of the goalkeeper is extremely big and important. I already wrote previously an extensive article about the role and importance of a handball goalkeeper, so if you want – you can check it out here.

Handball goalkeepers must not only rely on their physical skills and instincts but also on strategic insights and tactical preparation. This is where video analysis steps in as a game-changing tool that every goalkeeper and every goalkeeper coach should use. This article is about the importance of video analysis for handball goalkeepers, and about the benefits and important steps when doing a video analysis.

The evolution of the handball game has seen the role of handball goalkeepers become increasingly complex and demanding. This shift calls for more advanced approach to training and match preparation, and one of the best ways to work on that is video analysis.

Video analysis is an indispensable tool for every coach, goalkeeper coach, goalkeeper, and a team, and as such it should be used on a daily basis for preparation for games and competitions, as well as in post-match and post-competition performance analysis. Your goalkeeper can only improve if you (and they) know what needs to be improved and worked on. As I mentioned many times before – it’s not only about working hard, it’s about working smart in working hard!



The Benefits of Video Analysis

Video analysis is more than a trend! It’s an indispensable tool for modern handball goalkeepers, and it’s a necessity in the modern handball game. It offers a multi-dimensional approach to enhancing performance, from technical skill development to tactical understanding and mental readiness. By integrating video analysis into their training and preparation, goalkeepers can elevate their game, anticipate better, react faster, and ultimately, contribute more significantly to their team’s success. For handball goalkeepers aspiring to excel at the highest levels, embracing video analysis is an essential step in their journey to success.

In essence, video analysis in the handball goalkeeper training and match pre and post analysis is about combining the knowledge gained from studying videos of past performances (both goalkeeper’s own and their opponents’ performance) with physical, technical, tactical, and mental training. This integrated approach ensures that goalkeepers are not only physically but also mentally and tactically prepared for the challenges of an upcoming match.

By integrating video analysis into their preparation, goalkeepers can step onto the court with a deeper understanding of their opponents, improved skills, and a stronger strategy, all of which are vital for optimal performance.


Why is Video Analysis Essential for Handball Goalkeepers?

In my opinion, there are too many to count amazing reasons for why video analysis is essential for handball goalkeepers, and for handball teams. Video analysis is one of the key tools for success of every coach, goalkeeper coach, goalkeeper, and a team in modern handball. Video analysis is not only extremely helpful tool in work for every coach, but also it gives a great sense of direction for detailed planning and organizing training sessions in preparation for matches and competitions. Besides that, coaches can get valuable insights and knowledge from video analysis about what to work on with their goalkeepers after matches and after competitions.

To summarize the whole topic, here are some of the main reasons for why I believe match video analysis is essential for handball goalkeepers:


Enhanced Understanding of Opponents

Video analysis allows goalkeepers to study opposing teams’ offensive patterns, preferred shot types, and individual shooter tendencies. By analyzing video footage, goalkeepers can get a sense of which players favor which corner of shooting, from which situation and position, their 7-meters shot preferences, and the types of shots they are likely to face from different attacking systems.

This knowledge is crucial in anticipating and reacting to shots more effectively during games. Knowing whether a player prefers jump shots, hip shots, underarm shots, breakthrough shots, or tends to fake before shooting can significantly enhance a goalkeeper’s preparedness and reaction during a match.


Identifying Key Players

Video analysis helps in identifying the strengths and weaknesses of opponents’ key players, especially their main shooters. Goalkeepers can learn about individual player tendencies, such as favored shooting corner, whether they prefer power or placement in shots, and any other signature moves. Recognizing what are the main movements and shooting habits of opponent’s players helps goalkeepers be prepared and anticipate better for incoming shots.


Technical Improvement

Analyzing video footage of goalkeepers during practice sessions or games allows goalkeepers and coaches to break down and examine carefully specific technical aspects of goalkeeping such as positioning, footwork, save reactions, and ball distribution. Slow-motion playback can help in identifying minor technical errors which might not be visible during regular training or game play, and all other important details. Slow-motion playback helps in analyzing and refining a goalkeeper’s technique, from footwork, positioning, to save reactions and other positioning and saving strategies.


Tactical Awareness – Cooperation With Defense

Handball is not just a game of physical skill, but also a game of complex strategies. Video analysis helps goalkeepers understand their own team’s defensive tactics and how they fit into the overall game plan. It allows them to prepare for specific situations, like how to organize the defensive block for opponent’s 9-meter shots, or the best strategies for dealing with different positional shots that are results of different attacking tactical strategies. Understanding how goalkeepers fit into the team’s defensive system can help in better anticipation, cooperation and coordination with field players.

By reviewing game videos, goalkeepers can gain insights into their positioning, movement, and decision-making. This helps in understanding broader game tactics and how to adapt to different in-game scenarios. Video analysis provides goalkeepers with a deeper understanding of opponents’ attacking patterns, 7-meters shot tendencies, and individual player movements and shooting habits. This information is vital in anticipating and reacting to shots and movements in in-game situations.


Analyzing 7-meters Shot Tendencies

One of the critical aspects for handball goalkeepers is attempting to save 7-meters shots. Through video analysis, they can study the penalty shot patterns of the opponents, such as preferred shooting directions, shot patterns, shot orders, or habits that might give away their intentions. You want to be prepared for your opponents, and you need to use any and all available information to get ready the best you can! Don’t leave anything to chance or luck!


Performance Improvement and Feedback

Reviewing past performances through video analysis enables goalkeepers to critically assess their own game. They can identify strengths to build upon and weaknesses or mistakes to work on, such as positioning, decision-making, reaction times, cooperation with defence, reaction to certain types of shots, effectiveness in one-on-one situations, or success rate in saving 7-meters shots. This self-analysis brings a deeper understanding of their personal goalkeeping style and areas for improvement.

Video analysis provides an objective basis for performance review. It allows coaches and goalkeepers to dissect and focus on specific, important moments in a game, offering concrete feedback for improvement. By reviewing past performances, goalkeepers and coaches can identify potential mistakes and areas of improvement. This objective analysis enables focused training to correct and improve weaknesses, which inevitably results in improved performance.


Mental Preparation and Confidence Building

Watching and analyzing game videos helps goalkeepers to prepare mentally for upcoming matches. It’s a form of mental training where they can visualize and mentally rehearse themselves making saves and dealing with various game situations and scenarios. Watching and analyzing successful saves and game scenarios can also boost a goalkeeper’s confidence. Video analysis allows goalkeepers to mentally rehearse different scenarios, which can enhance their mental preparation and readiness for similar situations in upcoming games.


Enhancing Decision-Making Abilities

Handball goalkeeping requires split-second decisions and reactions on the court. Video analysis helps in improving the speed of decision-making skills by reviewing and understanding different game situations, such as when to come forward towards the shooter, when to stay closer to the line, when to close or open / ”offer” front or back post in the goal, understanding the best positions to cut off angles for attackers and shots, or what are potential best ways to position and react in one-on-one situations. Video analysis is also helpful for goalkeepers to improve their decision-making skills by reviewing and reflecting on their choices in previous games, such as their movements during fast breaks or handling of complex offensive plays, or by studying different game like situations.


Integrating Video Analysis in Goalkeeper Training

You should incorporate routine video analysis sessions regularly in the training schedule. This ensures continuous learning and improvement, both for goalkeepers and also for goalkeeper coaches. It’s very important to start with video analysis of training sessions in work with young goalkeepers, because once they make a habit to review and analyze their own movements and save reactions – this will help them improve their goalkeeping skills much faster.

With insights gained from video analysis, training sessions can be tailored and made to address specific goalkeeper needs. For example, if a goalkeeper struggles with low shots to the corners, targeted drills can be incorporated into their training to improve this.


Pre-Match Analysis

Prior to matches, goalkeepers and goalkeeper coaches need to focus on analyzing the upcoming opponent’s offensive strategies and individual shooting patterns. By analyzing both own and opponents’ video footage, handball goalkeepers and handball goalkeeper coaches can tailor training sessions more effectively. They can focus on specific types of shots, saves, positioning, or ball distribution techniques that are likely to be most relevant in the upcoming match.

Not a single good goalkeeper coach will leave anything to chance when it comes to preparing their goalkeeper for the match! You want to use all available tools for improvement of your goalkeepers, and video analysis is definitely one of the biggest assets when it comes to match preparation!


Post-Match Analysis

After matches, goalkeepers and goalkeeper coaches need to review the video footage to assess performance, highlight strengths, and identify areas for improvement that can be worked on in upcoming training sessions.


Interactive Analysis

Involve your goalkeepers in the video analysis process. This encourages them to understand their own game better and become more self-aware athletes. Don’t only “serve” them ready results of your video analysis work, but teach them how to analyze in detail their own performance and the performance of their opponents.


Adaptation to Handball Game Evolution

Handball is an evolving sport, with changes in styles of play, tactics, and player abilities in movement, jumping and shooting skills. Regular video analysis helps both goalkeepers and goalkeeper coaches stay updated with the latest trends and techniques in handball goalkeeping, allowing them to adapt goalkeeper’s style and strategy accordingly.


Setting Goals for Customized Training

You can use all insights gained from video analysis to set specific, measurable, and achievable training and performance goals tailored to the goalkeeper’s developmental needs. Equipped with the knowledge about an upcoming opponent, goalkeeper coaches can tailor their training sessions and work with their goalkeepers to simulate similar scenarios which they expect to face. This targeted training can be more effective in preparing for specific match conditions.



How to Make a Successful Video Analysis of an Opponent in Preparation for Matches?

Making a thorough, effective, and successful video analysis for handball goalkeepers in preparation for matches involves a systematic approach to gather video materials, analyze them well, and apply valuable insights in training sessions and in match tactical preparation.

Here are some of the most important steps for how I like to work on video analysis:


Collect Relevant Footage

Start by collecting the most recent game videos of the upcoming opponent. Focus on matches where your opponent’s offensive tactics were most evident and effective. Ensure that video footage includes different types of situations like their strongest offensive plays and attacking combinations, power play, even-strength situations, and 7-meters shots.


Initial Viewing

First, watch the videos to get an overall feel for the opponent’s offensive style. Notice all their general attacking patterns and strategies, preferred formations, and how they execute set plays. Track their key players and key shooters.


Identify Key Opponent Players

Identify key attacking players and analyze their habits, strengths, and weaknesses. Understand each player’s preferred shooting style, dominant hand, signature moves, and whether they favor power or precision shots. Study their individual playing styles, look for patterns in their shooting and movements, do they prefer shooting from distance vs. from close range, tendencies in one-on-one situations, any strategies they frequently use, and their approach to 7-meter shots.


Analyze Set-Pieces

Pay special attention to how the opponent executes set-pieces. Look at their approach to set-pieces like free throws and penalties, and any specific routines they use to score goals. Note the positioning, movements, and any recurring strategies of attackers during these plays.


Analyze Offensive Patterns and Techniques

Look at how the opposing team sets up their offense. Identify common patterns and strategies they use, such as specific plays, rotations, or combinations that lead to shots on goal. Understanding these patterns can help predict and anticipate shots. Examine how the opponent scores their goals. Look for common elements in these situations, such as specific setups, passing combinations leading to goals, different attacking actions, and types of shots (e.g. running shots, jumping shots, underarm shots, breakthrough shots, etc.), and the areas of the goal (e.g. top left or right corner, bottom left or right corner) most frequently targeted. Based on the analysis, determine the physical and technical demands that will likely be placed on your goalkeeper. This might include, for example, fast lateral movements, specific save techniques, attempting to save sudden underarm shots that are harder to see and react to, or handling high shots from very big and open angles.


Defensive Strategies of Other Teams

Observe how other teams defended against this opponent. This can provide insights into effective defensive strategies that can be communicated to your team’s defense in front of the goalkeeper. Also, positioning of other teams’ goalkeeper (when playing against your future opponent) can give you some valuable insights.


Study Goalkeeper-Specific Situations

Analyze past situations where goalkeepers faced this team. Observe how different goalkeepers responded to various offensive strategies and shots of this team. Note what worked well for them and what didn’t. Focus on situations that directly involve the goalkeeper, like breakthroughs, one-on-one situations, shots from different angles, rebounds, and in-close scoring attempts. Analyze how various goalkeepers reacted to these situations and what could have been done differently. Identify effective versus ineffective responses, positioning, and save reactions.


Special Teams Analysis

Pay close attention to the opponent’s power play and 7-meters shot strategies. Observe how they set up and execute during these critical moments of the game.


Create a Summary of Key Insights

Compile the most important findings into a brief, clear and detailed report. Include notes about the main players tendencies, their movements, and their scoring techniques.


Develop Training Drills

Use the insights from your analysis to design training drills. Simulate similar scenarios faced in the analysis to prepare the goalkeeper for specific challenges. These drills should mimic the types of movements, shots and offensive patterns the goalkeeper is likely to face in the upcoming match. Your main goal should be to recreate match conditions and potential shots as closely as possible. You also want to make shooting drills which will recreate potential options of cooperation between your goalkeeper and defense and block.


Tactical Strategy Development

Develop a match strategy for your goalkeepers based on your video analysis. This should include positioning guidelines, communication strategies with defenders, communication strategies between your goalkeeper and you, and specific tactics for dealing with the opponent’s key players and their tactical plays.


Goalkeeper Briefing

Make a video meeting with your goalkeeper. Sit down with the goalkeeper to discuss the results of your analysis. Use specific video clips to highlight the key points and strategies. This should be an interactive session, encouraging the goalkeeper to give comments, ask questions and contribute with their thoughts.


Mental Preparation

Incorporate scenarios and results you got from the video analysis into mental training for your goalkeepers. Visualization exercises can help the goalkeeper mentally prepare for the types of situations they will encounter. This is a very important and useful tool that you can use to improve your goalkeeper’s performance.


Continuous Updates

If and as more recent video footage of the opponent becomes available – update the analysis to include any new tactics, shots, or changes in player and team behavior.


Post-Match Review

After the match with the analyzed team, review the video of a match to assess the accuracy and effectiveness of your previous video analysis and preparation. Compare the effectiveness of your preparation with the actual in-game scenarios that have happened. This helps in continuous learning, improvement, and in understanding the accuracy of the analysis and in identifying areas for improvement in future video analysis.


In Conclusion

When preparing a video analysis for your goalkeepers, it’s crucial to strike a balance between detailed information and actionable insights. You don’t want to overwhelm your goalkeepers. Also, you need to know and realize what kind of goalkeeper you are working with. Some goalkeepers will be satisfied with getting just a crucial information and only a short summary of the video analysis, some other goalkeepers will want to get all video clips from all shooters from an opponent’s team, while some other goalkeepers will want to watch full videos of opponent’s matches.

However, video analysis should be comprehensive but very focused, providing clear and useful information that directly informs training and match strategy. The ultimate goal is to empower the goalkeeper with knowledge and confidence, while enhancing their ability to make split-second decisions and effectively counter the opponent’s offensive threats during the match.

Remember, it’s not just about watching the video footage but about actively seeking patterns, understanding tactical nuances, and applying these insights in a practical, understandable manner to the goalkeeper.

The video analysis should be detailed yet digestible, providing actionable insights that can be directly applied in training and match situations. The ultimate goal is to equip the goalkeeper with the knowledge and preparedness to confidently make the best and the fastest decisions during the game.


Webinar About Video Analysis for Handball Goalkeepers

If you are a handball goalkeeper coach, or a handball goalkeeper, and if you would like to be informed about the details for upcoming webinar about video analysis for handball goalkeepers (which is planned for March 2024), please fill out this short form.



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All content (such as text, data, graphics files, images, illustrations, videos, sound files), and all other materials contained in are copyrighted unless otherwise noted and are the property of Vanja Radic Coaching. If you want to cite or use any part of the content from my website, you need to get the permission first, so please contact me for that matter.