Chapter 5: How Playbook happened & the psychological impact of analysis
This chapter is about my time with Poland Rugby.
This was a blank canvas opportunity to mould the analysis the way I envisaged, which was a very direct analysis method with a new coach & limitations on time compared to the academy I was in before.
Given the language barrier & the new attack system, it made sense to use what I now call ‘BFSA Playbook’. This was the most visual & direct way to get our message across to the players.
In Poland, I learned how effective & valuable animated playbooks can be, particularly in a situation with low prep time. This is why BFSA Playbook has become a central part of our services.
“It’s not what you say, it’s what they hear”
After losing our first 2 games of the season we were to play Portugal who were 11 places ahead in the world rankings.
In terms of analysis, we had to target this game psychologically and analytically.
In the early part of the week we addressed Portugal’s strength (kick return) & motivated players to improve our exits. Later in the week, we highlighted Portugal’s relative weakness (contact). Our players improved their confidence having planned for Portugal’s strengths & in the knowledge that Portugal’s weakness was Poland’s strength.
On matchday we built more confidence by showing players a highlight reel of their last 2 games. We set it up by playing it in a dark room, minimising distractions.
Once the motivational video was shown, the captain stood up and stuck his hand in the middle to set up a huddle. It was extremely powerful. The players got directly on the bus from that meeting to the stadium.
We steamed ahead early in the game putting Portugal under pressure & taking a big lead. Unfortunately, this isn’t the happy ending you’re imagining as we got a red for a head butt & lost in the last play of the game.
Nevertheless, it was great to use analysis in such a way to impact players emotionally, positively & negatively in this case (over-performance/over excitement leading to a head butt).
At BFSA, we understand the impact analysis has psychologically on people. We help our clients use analysis to effect that positively.