Most professional football clubs have a player analysis team. This team comprises experts in sports science and performance analysis, who use live assessment and statistics to:
- Develop existing players
- Identify future opponents weaknesses
- Assess new potential signings
These specialist spend most of their time at the clubs training ground as they work to improve the players. However, it is not uncommon for them to attend matches and trials days.
What is Player Analylis
Player analysis involves analysing the performance of a player’s attributes broken down into 3 key areas:
- Physical player attributes
- Mental player attributes
- Technical player attributes
To give yourself the best chance of getting signed, you will need to understand the technical and tactical demands required in professional football so that you can prepare and practise ready to pass live assessment days.
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Physical Player Attributes
Examples of physical player attributes used in the player performance analysis are:
- Jumping reach
- Natural Fitness
- Hidden attributes
- Important matches
- Injury proneness
Mental Player Attributes
- Off the ball
- Work rate
Technical Player Attributes
Examples of technical player attributes used in the player performance analysis are:
- First touch
- Free kick taking
- Long shots
- Long throws
- Penalty taking
Goalkeepers have different assessment criteria than outfield players. Below is a list of attributes that are analysed in the player performance analysis:
- Aerial ability
- Command of area
- One on Ones
- Rushing out
- Tendency to punch
How Does Player Performance Analysis Work
In order to carry out a player performance analysis, the analyst uses performance analysis software to film, capture, code and analyse football matches.
From the capture of information, the analyst will create educational and insightful formats to aid decision making for coaches. They may also aid the player performance progress by summarising the physical, tactical and technical performances of each player.
This is a demanding role since the analyst must work alongside a multidisciplinary team of coaches, fitness trainers and medical staff to provide this insight and translate all the data to help by:
- Supporting coaches in relation to training, pre-match planning, post-match assessments and scouting
- Supporting football players in training, pre-match planning, post-match assessments
- Inform the decision making of coaches and players
- Delivering performance feedback using a range of oral, written, web, and video-based communications
- Showcasing verified analysis of video and data relating to individual player and team performance
- Produce video and data-based educational and learning resources
The Analyst Process
Player Performance Analysts apply rigorous scientific principles to collect and analyse the video and performance data that goes into assessing each player.
Great care is taken in investigating all areas of the player’s ability as getting this wrong could be costly.
A strong performing player with fantastic game stats and results may score low in the player analysis if they do not show consistency in high pressured situations.
Safeguarding Player Performance Video Footage
If you are concerned with the use of video being held at football clubs, you have nothing to worry about.
Safeguarding in modern football is taken very seriously.
All employees have to pass the clubs local safeguarding policy and have completed the governed DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) process for working in a regulatory activity or at a regulatory environment relating to football where minors are concerned.
Football is also regulated by a best practice performance analysis service that must sit in line with the requirements of the EPPP (Elite Player Performance Plan).
The Elite Player Performance Plan is a youth development scheme set up and regulated by the Premier League to improve the quality and quantity of grassroots football players from the UK.
This includes the ethics behind how young players are transferred across clubs within the UK. A historically controversial subject as the costs involved with running a football academy to the EPPP audit standards has lead to a number of smaller clubs closing their youth department.
From a health and safety perspective, all members of the player performance team have :
- Health and safety training
- Awareness and compliance with the football clubs health, safety and environmental policy
In fact, football is now so well regulated you can rest assured you are able to focus on the game at hand…getting signed!