Analysing performance

I was asked recently by a fellow soccer coach whether it is worthwhile getting your young soccer players to go away after a match and analyse their performance in the match. The idea is that they would then deliver their analysis at the following training session. It’s common practice for academy players to write a short critique of the way they played in matches.

Their coaches also make notes and together they decide what to do about any areas of their game that need working on. It’s also a good opportunity for coaches to congratulate players for what they do well.

If you have the time to do it properly (it takes about 10 minutes per player at the training session following the match), it’s good practice to ask your players to do this two or three times a season. If you do it any more, it can become repetitive and a bit of a chore, and rushing the process makes it meaningless.

If you decide to give it a go, just make sure you keep the focus on what players do well rather than what they don’t do so well. Feedback should be given as a sandwich – criticism should be a thin filling, surrounded by plenty of praise.

Be honest (don’t give too much praise) and if there’s something that the player can do better, make sure you tell them exactly what they need to do to improve.