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Developing Junior Football, Part 3: How to utilize football tracking data in coaching?

How to utilize football tracking data in coaching

To complement the Xampion player application, Xampion has developed the ultimate analytics tool for the coach. The Xampion Coach platform collects all the movement and ball contact data from the whole team for the coach to analyse.

While players get all their data to their mobile app, the coach application is accessible through a web browser and is best used on the larger screen of an iPad or a laptop computer. The coach application compiles all the same metrics as the players get to their apps in a very informative way and also, provides a bunch of other useful features.

Enough information to make your head spin

Xampion Coach Platform
Xampion Coach Platform

The coach application squeezes all the essentials of the latest training or game session to the front page for a quick overview. With one glimpse you get a good idea about all the core points: ball contacts, movement analysis and a comparison to previous sessions.

One of the great things about the app is that you can directly give feedback and tips as a direct message to any of your players or the whole team. Sharing your thoughts about the latest training or game has been made very fast, easy and effective.

Evaluating training effectiveness

With the Xampion Coach platform you can analyse and compare either a whole session or a specific event inside a session – a specific training drill for example. You can split a session into short periods and view the data from that specific section. The user interface allows you to paint the desired event from the graph representing the whole session and narrow the view without limitations. These clips can be named and saved accordingly for later use and comparison. This increases your understanding about the effectiveness of different types of drills and improves your coaching knowledge.

The possibility to divide the data from a training session into data from different drills is a very useful feature. Using this feature the coach can access information about a player’s activity in for example short training matches on a small field. Comparing the amount of ball contacts and high intensity sprints of different players for example tells you a lot about the activity of every individual.

Example data from Xampion COACH
Example data from Xampion COACH: A 15 minute section from training.

You may find out that player X travelled 1750 meters and spent 25 seconds in the highest tempo area while player Y travelled 1250 meters and spent 10 seconds in high tempo in a small field training match. This tells you the drill had a very different effect on these two players.

When evaluating the development of different skills with your players, you can compare the data from a specific drill on different occasions. When the amount of a player’s high intensity sprints in a 6vs6 game has consistently gone up over a couple of months of training, it is fair to assume that the player has made progress in this area of the game.

To evaluate the effectiveness of a training session or a specific drill the coach can use the data from the whole team, a desired group of players or an individual player. Figuring out if the players have truly made progress is no more based only on gut feeling but also facts.

What actually happened in a small field game?

With Xampion Coach, the coach can compare the effectiveness of training from several different perspectives. By setting up the same training match using a different amount of players – for example 6v6 and 4v4 – you can compare the effect this has on the intensity and the amount of ball contacts and movement for example. You can also repeat the drill on different play area sizes (15 x 20 m, 20 x 30 m and 25 x 40 m for example) and you will surely find differences in the velocity of passes and the duration and number of sprints. The differences can be surprisingly big. This information helps you figure out what kind of setups are best for training the desired skills in each occasion.

The size of the playing area, for example, has a remarkable effect on the velocity of passes and high tempo movement. In football, the amount of high intensity performances above 80% of the player’s maximum level are especially important. The Xampion system is able to indicate when these performances occur, which drills produce higher amounts of these and how much time each player spends in the highest intensity area. Once again, facts instead of gut feeling.

From data to action

All the data is now available to the coach and the players but how do we turn the data into more effective training? We already talked about how we can expand the know-how of the coach but helping the players to

Xampion App reveals the balance of how much the player uses both feet.
Xampion App reveals the balance of how much the player uses both feet.

develop is obviously the ultimate goal. Here’s an example of a routine for using the data in analysing a player and what actions to take to improve a weak spot.

A player in your squad needs a tip for free time training. The data shows that 85% of his ball contacts are done with his strong foot and he uses his weaker side mainly to control the ball when receiving a pass. The coach gives the player an assignment to complete 300 passes with his weak foot and to repeat this a couple of times a week. The message can be easily sent form the Coach application.

How can you confirm the player actually completes this task on his free time? Xampion records free time practice sessions just as it records all other sessions. As the coach you can actually see if the player was motivated to complete the assignment and how many weak foot passes he completed. If he did, you might want to give him a thumbs up and further tips directly from the app. If the player keeps on doing his homework three times a week, in nine weeks he’s completed over 8000 weak foot passes. This will inevitably improve his skills and confidence to use his weaker foot more in trainings and games which, of course, will also be confirmed by the data. This is one example of how football tracking data can be turned into knowledge, action and development.

Jukka Talja, UEFA A licenced coach

 

PS. Want to try the Xampion system with your team? Contact us with contact form or email and ask for special team prices!

 

Developing Junior Football is a blog series that aims to help junior football coaches learn new ways to help their young players improve their skills and maximise their potential. The authors in this blog series are experienced and qualified coaches who want to share their knowledge about how you can become a better coach and how your coachees can become better football players.

Read more about the Xampion system for players and coaches >