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Coaching Strategies > Player Analysis

Analysis can take various forms including video, notation statistics, fitness testing and performance profiling. Video analysis of training sessions and matches provides an opportunity to analyse the folllowing aspects of performance:

  • Player work rate i.e. identify players who strive to work hard in attack and defence
  • Tackle count
  • Foul play
  • Coach communication style
  • Player communication
  • Lazy players!

From a team or player performance perspective, all issues can be measured or gauged. For example, coaches and players can gauge levels of commitment and confidence while team cohesion, for example, may be gauged upon levels of discipline, motivation and punctuality.

Performance profiling offers a way of rating qualities necessary to achieve top
performance in football

Players and coaches can use this method with great effect, and assess their own performance in relation to the qualities selected. These qualities may include fitness, tactical, technical and psychological skills. The profile provides the player and coach with a picture of training priorities.

A third rating column may be added for players to list their ideal rating for comparison against current ratings. The ratings in the table across, clearly illustrates any discrepancies that exist between the players perception of his or her qualities and that of the coach. If the discrepancy is 2 or more, the player and coach must discuss why they disagree

For example, the player rates his body-fat as 4 while the coach rates it as 6 out 10. The coach may justify his rating by referring to body-fat measurements that have been recorded over a period of time. Conversely, if the player has rated confidence as 5 while the coach rates it as 7, the player can admit that he is not as confident as he appears.

The benefits of profiling include:

  • Training progress can be measured with periodic profiles
  • Profiles illustrate any differences between player and coach ratings
  • Ratings help highlight areas of strength and weakness
  • Priorities (lowest ratings) are established for training
  • Profiles create a visual display
  • Profile acts a relatively reliable fitness test

Fitness Testing
Every training session should be viewed as a fitness test as a coach surveys the performance of individuals within the group, particularly with the help of video analysis. The work rate of a player during a game should be included in a truly specific and comprehensive fitness testing battery.

Your testing plan should be yearly and involve 2-3 full battery measurements plus regular monitoring of recovery status, bodyweight, body-fat and perceived levels of fitness. Your analysis should also take account a player's performance profile.

More information is provided in the Fitness Testing section

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A 'T Test' is an excellent method for tesing a players speed and agility. Try repeating the test while dribbling a ball!
List the fitness qualities that a player in your position has to produce a perfect performance and rate yourself out of 10 for those qualities. The discrepancies act as a perceived fitness test and provide you with a platform upon which to build your football fitness programme
List of qualities for consideration during your Performance Profiling drill
Individual skills
Will to win
Left foot pass
Heading the ball
Managing off side line
Right foot pass
Chase defence
Muscle mass
Team builder
long passing
Decision making
Pain threshold
Adherence to tactics
Core strength
Pressure defence

Sample of a Performance Profile
(in reality you should have at least 8 qualities in each category)

Physical Fitness

P C Individual skills P C Mental skills P C
Core stability 7 7 Passing off both feet 7 7 Concen-tration 8 8
Speed off the mark 8 6 Long passing 8 6 Set goals 6 4
Power during contact 7 6 Heading the ball 9 9 Confidence 5 7
Body-fat control 4 6 tackling 5 6 Cope with pressure 6 6
Score rated out of 10 (10 =perfect performance) P = player's rating C = coaches rating of player