Using Match Analysis

Oct 08, 13 Using Match Analysis

Last weekend I started using a Match Analysis sheet for the team. I have used them before, but never really felt right at the time. This current bunch of players i’m working with, are ready. Collecting data in sports originates from the US but is widely used across the world in many sports. Soccer is certainly a late comer to analysis.

The Concept

This concept is widely used in the professional game and it is also part of the UEFA B license course. Personally I don’t think this is something you should use in SSG and really should only be used when coaching 11v11 or ages 13 and above. That would be Phase 3, Training to Train Phase as listed on the FAI player pathway. However there are ways of collecting very basic data in the SSG which will certainly benefit the player and coach.

So to get everyone involved I asked the subs to split the task and share the work. This is a great way to keep them involved in the game. At halftime I allowed them to share the stats with the players, I used the same process at full-time. Even after one game, this was probably the first time ever I have heard the players be so in-tune with each others and themselves.

As well as this I have asked the players to keep a diary of their training and match days. Noting the things they did well; how they felt before, during and after the game. Go as far as writing what they had for breakfast and how they felt before the game.

The Benefits

What are the benefits of Analysing a Game 

  • It’s a great way of keeping everyone involved, even the parents.
  • One thing is for sure, you will definitely see the game differently when using them.
  • It’s widely used to collect data from an opposing team, to highlight areas where they are most effective. Coaches who are aware of opponents strategies and tactics are most likely to be able to counteract the opponents strengths and exploit their weaknesses.
  • We all struggle to recall sequences of events accurately and often fail to recognise where a sequence of positive play originates, or where errors evolve and players’ view of the game can vary greatly.
  • Notational analysis gives the coach a factual record of data – of what does not lie. However, the method of data collection needs to be reliable, objective and relevant to the level of play. Most importantly it must add value to the player and coach.
  • There is no one method to collecting stats, nor is there one method for each level of the game. So use whatever you feel helps, get the best information back to your team.
  • There are two types of Analysis: team and player activity. Most generally focuses on player activity (name, position), what the action was (shot, free-kick), the time it occurred, where the action took place on the pitch (in attack or in defence) and the outcome of the event (was it a success?).
  • I would start with team performance first.
  • If using player, focus on 1-3 players per week, for them it will be more about performance improvement game by game. This could be done by a parent and again it’s another way of keeping them quiet on the line and could allow you do work on team stats also.
  • Capturing data can have a significant effective on leadership, player and team development.
  • It’s important that the data stored and even archived to see how trends and strategies develop over time.
  • Another use is to assess players pre-season over a series of matches.
  • If you can use video to back up your stats, this is best way to show the players exactly what your talking about and highlight the good aspects of a game.
  • If you are thinking of using data at the younger ages, I would suggest recording basic match information like opposition name, venue, date/time but more importantly who played and for how long, maybe even recoding how many times you played out from the back or 1v1s won etc – ensuring that an accurate record of playing time for these youngsters is kept by game, over a season.

There are lots of data recording tools available, one which is widely used is  Stazpack, so whatever level of team you manage the collection and analysis of data aids both coach and player development. See also Performa Sports. I have attached my Match Analysis sheet, use it if you like or even add your own ideas and don’t forget to share them.

Download TCD Match Analysis 2013 which I last updated on 29.11.13. 


Thanks to @lisafallonsport for inspiring me to devise my own. 

I always like to hear your opinions. Please comment below or email me If, you don’t have anything to add then please forward this on to a friend. Thanks for reading.

I’m also on twitter @Coachdiary

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