The nature of football makes it impossible for a coach to keep track of all the key events that occurred in the game. In fact, coaches are only able to recall only 30-50% of the key performance indicators in the game. Yet implementing some form of performance analysis process can lead to accurate recall of key events and thus lead to the potential of for improving future performance.

Essentially, performance analysis is about creating a valid and reliable record of performance through the use of data and video that can be analysed with the design to correct or consolidate certain performance aspects.

Here’s part one of two posts looking at why this has become an essential component for every top club over the last five seasons;

1) Helps understanding

Through the use of data and video we can begin to really understand why certain things seemingly keep happening or how a particular surprising event occurred. We can spot trends or outliers in the data and as a result can take the required action to put something right. It is not just coaches that gain the benefit of understanding, it is importantly the players too but coaches must bear in mind how best to relay the messages to the players.

2) Model on ideal performance

Modelling is a tool that gives a team or its players something to strive towards. Performances are geared towards meeting the ideal model’s criteria and by careful measuring we can get closer to our chosen model. By firstly examining a model whether an individual or a collective entity, and then comparing our current team or players to it we can actually see where we are and begin to plot a road map that can lead to reaching a quality destination.

3) High quality training environment

It is not just games that can benefit from the use of performance analysis. The very same processes can be used in training. Capture. Code. Analyse. Feedback is the typical four step process that is followed when providing analytical insights. When fully optimized the ability to deliver targeted video feedback and data reporting  in real time can provide teams with an immediate performance advantage.

4) Getting the right context to adjust approach

By taking the opposition into account, we can gain pre match competitive advantages by putting their performances under analysis. Dissecting opponents strengths and weaknesses and looking at how these can be countered and exploited respectively will of course vary game to game as the opponents change. However if this scouting approach is able to be implemented into the team’s performance analysis process, then each match will have it’s own contextual game plan devised specifically for every unique opponent.

5) Learn for next time

Lessons are always available when looking at the video and data. Both provide an objective story of the match and closer inspection of events may point in the direction as to where the focus should be in training for a team particularly if playing in an environment where the need for wins is the main measure of success. Again, it is an important task for the analyst and coach to get make sure that the ‘lessons’ from the performance are implemented into following sessions and most important of all understood by the players.


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