Servette Hockey Club

Creating active decision makers on the pitch and improving self-learning

Xavier Santolaria is Head Coach and leads Performance Analysis at Servette Hockey Club, one of Europe’s elite clubs.

He is one of the most innovative and forward-thinking coaches we’ve spoken with in our entire time at Coach Logic.  A man who keeps us on our toes development wise, it was great to chat with him and find our more on what is going on at Servette HC.

CL: How important is video as a learning tool?

XS: I strongly believe in these four dimensions when it comes to define what it takes to be successful: Physical – Technical – Tactical – Mental. Video analysis is very important in that process, especially for the Tactical dimension.

CL: How important is it getting players involved in the analysis process?

XS: It’s VERY important because ultimately they are the decision makers on the pitch. They need to understand how they did in specific situations, give and get feedback in order to improve. In the learning process, you have to be active, not passive.

CL: What problems have you overcome since using Coach Logic?

XS: By using Coach Logic, and especially the video analysis tool, we definitely made a big step forward at the tactical level. It helped bring the entire team, and especially the less tactical savvy guys at about the same level as the more senior players. The most important aspect of the Coach Logic tool is that it’s not longer the coaching staff that does the entire video analysis, players HAVE and CAN to take OWNERSHIP as well. This is the biggest gain by using the tool.

CL: What features of Coach Logic do you use the most?

XS: We obviously use the Feed feature a lot, as Coach Logic is not only our Video Analysis Platform but also our communication tool for the team. It helps us centralise the majority of what we do in there. The players enjoy the mobile app too. Very convenient for communication and video analysis when they are on the go. It helps us save time and take the habit of giving feedback whenever it’s the most appropriate. You don’t have to wait for the next session or next week for that.

The feature I use a lot is sync’ing my Hudl SportCode timeline with the video, on Coach Logic. It also allows players and other staff members to go directly to some of the events we previously tagged. Very nice feature if you ask me!

CL: How has Coach Logic helped in improving the learning environment at the club?

XS: As mentioned above, Coach Logic has helped bringing the self-learning concept to the club. All stakeholders (staff, players) are part of the successes and failures and communications should go both ways. With Coach Logic, players now take ownership of their own game but not only. They also interact more with their teammates. Discussions, thoughts, feedbacks flow much more easily now that we can fix and correct weaknesses or misknowledge almost instantly (read the next training session or game). Learning is part of the process. It’s part of being successful.

CL: What does developing smarter players mean to you?

XS: I’ve always been saying that by developing better human beings, you get smarter players. Decision making on the pitch is no different than in real life. You need to understand where you are, what situations you can control and the ones you cannot, so you can mitigate risks. Video analysis definitely helps in that, from a tactical point of view, but it’s also a channel to get the feedback process started more easily. I think by asking and getting feedback helps clearing a lot of misunderstanding and get all players talk the same language on the pitch. At the end of the day, we want to get the 11 players on the pitch play and move as one, just as in a ballet. And that’s what you get with smarter players.