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The Use Of Performance Analysis In Youth Sports

We examine the effect of performance analysis on the sport industry's youth

26Nov

I first began using performance analysis with my youth soccer team in 2009. I decided that I would analyze a player’s performance in training as well as match day. I believe it is important to evaluate performance because first and foremost it enables me to measure performance both individually and collectively. I like to use stats to motivate my players into achieving a higher level of play. Evaluating performance also goes a long way towards a player’s personal development. Evaluating performance goes some way into evaluating my performance also, for example, has my communication been effective? did my players understand what I wanted from them? These things are huge in determining my own performance both on the training pitch and in games.

I use a number of methods for performance analysis. The first is Video/DVD. All games and practices are recorded. This allows me to paint a picture for the players to help get my message across. The recording of the practice sessions is mainly used as a guide for myself and the coaching staff. The match is usually edited to highlight the Key Performance Indicators (KPI) that were set for the team both defensively and offensively.

On match day I have my assistants track the set Key Performance Indicators using an app on the iPad. There are a number of apps available ranging from very basic to more in-depth, depending on what each coach is looking for. We like to use the Performa sports app that can actually be used for a number of sports. It’s a free app that allows us to input already set Key Performance Indicators and track at a touch of the pad. We are also able to analyze individual performance set out by individual player profiles/job descriptions.

By evaluating performance this also gives me an idea as to what I need to work on with my teams in practice as it is always good to have evidence of what needs improving i.e. fitness, shooting etc. By evaluating performance this gives me the physical evidence I need and also can at times open my eyes to underlying problems. As a coach I am always striving to improve my team and by evaluating performance I am able to do that, by having the stats to hand I am able to be objective rather than subjective. This really helps at half time during a game when there is not a lot of time. The app allows me to put across objective feedback rather than subjective and keeps points clear and concise.

By evaluating performance, I can prepare my team for the next game, this makes training the week before a game a lot more pro active and can lead to more success as the opposition have been evaluated/ assessed for weaknesses and strengths. Training is then planned accordingly and then recorded, allowing myself and the coaching staff to analyze player performance in practice as well as ourselves.

By using the stats from evaluating performances this helps me to paint a picture for my players, making things a lot clearer for them. I am very careful and aware to use all information in a positive or constructive manner and by doing this my players buy into its use and ultimately allows all involved to achieve success.

Before pre-season I sit down with my coaching staff and we set out our “Key Performance Indicators” KPI for the season. By setting out clear KPI's that all of the coaches sign off on, we can deliver valuable feedback to individual players. All of the KPI's are then put into the app ready for match day. By recording games and practice sessions I can assure effective delivery and make sure my analysis is correct. I will also be able to confirm that the players understand this as it paints the picture. All this adds up to player development as well as valuable information on where we need to work on to improve the team collectively.

I also use the KPI’s as an evaluation of my own professional development, Are the KPI’s suitable to the objectives I want to achieve with the team i.e. style of play? are they conducive to the team?

Player profiles and job descriptions are also developed and given to the players at the beginning of the season. This allows me to evaluate players against the profiles and set KPI's that have been established. The players sign off on these and this actually gives them some ownership of their own development.

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