Interviewing Carlos Viver and Jose Luis Villanueva, coaches of the Granollers Handball Club
“With LongoMatch PRO we detect more in-game situations in less time”
Carlos Viver and José Luis Villanueva train the first male and female team of Club Balonmano Granollers, one of the most admired and successful in Spain. The Fraikin BMG and the KH7 BMG have the ambitions of a great Club and present an unusual ‘cocktail’ of features: their full support of young players, a well-defined gaming style and two coaches who live and breathe the Club’s philosophy and values who, in addition, are completely aware of the benefits of video analysis when preparing training sessions and matches.
We have talked to them in light of the recent use of the video analysis software LongoMatch PRO in their entity’s technical team.
– Why did you decide to be handball coaches?
CARLOS VIVER: At the age of 35, when my contract with Granollers ended, the possibility of staying in the club’s structure came up. That same season, I attendeda national coaching workshopin Madrid. I decided to maintain a connection to the Handball GranollersClub and work in the field I have always wanted. I truly believe it was the right decision.
JOSÉ LUIS VILLANUEVA: I used to play handball and I have always been interested in training the school I studied in. It was a hobby, but I was already passionate about preparing meticulously every training session and every match. The influence of outstanding coaches at that moment, like Juan de Dios Román or Emilio Alonso, was very important to become the coach I am today.
– How would you define the club’s style and personality?
CV: The club bets on young players, who coming from inferior categories, have a continuous presence. The squad always tries to carry out a quick back line and execute counterattack plays; that is how the club feels more comfortable.
JLV: The goal is to combine tactic and strategic aspects with the physical potential of the players. Our game is determined by a tendency to defend really strongly to be able to serve the ball quickly and, if it’s possible, score a goal at a counterattack. Regarding to the positional attack, we combine systems which allows all players to actively participate, taking advantage of their individual skills and developing game behaviors to those who feel specially prepared.
– Which are your team’s main goals this season?
JLV: On one hand, to stabilize the high performance of the Spanish female handball team. On the other hand, to provide the players with rewarding experiences for them to keep growing and improving individually.
CV: Both male and female teams of the club have been performing at a high level for many seasons. This current season, the Fraikin Balonmano Granollers has been finalist in the ASOBAL Cup, where we dispute the final against the FCBarcelona, and the classification for the Teams Phase for the EHF. The remaining goals to close another successful season are to accomplish a good group phase and a good Copa del Rey, in addition to classify one more time to the European competition.
– Why do you use video analysis to analyze your teams?
JLV: I feel passionate about tools that make my job easier and that help me optimize time. It is a different way to prepare training sessions and matches. It provides fundamental information to describe in detail the work we have to develop. I have been following other sports trends when it comes to game analysis, sports which have a head-start on this field and from which I have extracted almost all the information that I have used for the teams I have worked with.
– Why did you choose LongoMatch PRO as a video analysis tool?
CV: LongoMatch PRO is an intuitive and visual program which gives the coaches the tools to analyze the opponent and the team. We previously worked with a video editor, but it didn’t have any data base, among other features. With LongoMatch PRO you are able to detect situations investing less time.
– How do you use LongoMatch PRO?
JLV: Among the technical staff of the JH7Granollers there is people dedicated to analyze the team’s game to correct them in an individual and collective way, and others that carry out the scouting of our opponents. During the week, we spread the information to the players in small doses, in order for them to get a tacit knowledge of what we require from them both in training sessions and matches.
– What should include a good video analysis?
JLV: It should be synthetic and pull out all fundamental aspects, dismissing all of the ones that are not transcendent or don’t add value.
– How is the collaboration with video analysts?
CV: In the specific case of the FraikinGranollers squad, video analysis tasks are carried out by my assistant Antonio Rama and me. Despite I invest hours of work which I cannot dedicate to other aspects, it helps me to have firsthand knowledge of the pieces of video that are provided to players.
– Which are the aspects you analyze?
CV: Mainly our opponent’s attack, which will help us design ourdefense strategy.
– Is it more important to analyze the opponent or analyze yourself?
JLV: Both aspects are really important. Knowing strong and weak points of your own team allows you to influence your daily work. To me that is where big changes happen. At the same time, knowing weak points of your opponents allows us to anticipate situations we are going to face in the game. If we are capable of acting beforehand with decision and effectiveness, we will be able to beat rival teams.
– Can you video analysis help you to define a game style?
JLV: It has to do with other facts too but, in my opinion, analysis of game performance is key in three phases: observation, analysis and interpretation, to later make an in-depth analysis and make decisions in every level.
– Is video analysis crucial to obtain results in matches?
JLV: It is a really strong tool that allows us to optimize group sports performance and it produces useful information for coaches to make decisions, but it is not the only way; there are numerous elements that have influence in the final result. We shouldn’t leave behind that handball, as well as other sports, is a game of probabilities.
– In what measure does sports technology improvea player’s performance?
JLV: I strongly believe in all the available mediums that help maximize a player’s efficiency. It is known that the evolution of technology in the sports field have offered huge possibilities to perform an in-depth analysis in many aspects of the game.
– Do you think that a video analyst is a job that has future among professionals in Spain?
CV: According to these last year’s growth, I would agree on that.