Fundamental Soccer Blog

Simple Match Analysis

Being alone on the sidelines, I use my #2 Keeper, Assistant Coach or a Parent to take notes. This is the best player to view the game and give me help. If I use a field player there is difficulty of who gets the notes next when players run on and off the field.

So here is my match analysis.

# 1. Keep track of who wins the one-on-one duels. This is a simple column of (+) for one side and ( )- for the other. Who wins the most?

# 2. Ball possession for us. There are three major components to this:

A: Does the keeper pass or throw the ball as opposed to kicking it into a crowd? My #2 keeper keeps track of this.

B: What happens with throw-ins? Is the throw a safe one square or behind square or a throw-away into a crowd or simply down the line?

C: On dead ball situations not near the goal do we maintain possession with a square pass or even a back pass? We keep track of that.

# 3. I want a record of shots. I give the #2 keeper a diagram of the field. He marks from where the shots were taken. This tells me whether or not we are taking good shots on goal. Mature shots.

I do not count corner kicks or fouls. I do not keep track of a lot of things, because I cannot address and correct all issues.

The items listed above are ones that I feel that I can change through coaching if they are not done to my satisfaction. There is no sense keeping a record of things that I cannot change. Other things are obvious. When a player is caught offside, he knows it. The best that I can do is to suggest running on a curve rather than straight running down the field. This is a player problem, not a team problem.

Dear reader, do not use my list; make up your own. As an example, I have watched my grandson play for many years. Some observations would include:

* The back line of defenders fails to run up in support of the rest of the team when they possess the ball. How frequently?

* The players have a tendency to one-touch the ball causing a high pace to the game with many turnovers. What percent of the time?

* Wild shots are taken from outside the box. From where and how often?

* Substitutions are made too frequently to prevent team unity on the field. Track substitutions.

Match analysis is like a test in the classroom. It does not cover what has been learned, but what is to be learned. A good classroom teacher can do this and a good coach must learn to do this. Match analysis can change from week to week; it is not a fixed formula for the whole season. Do not try to print a form for the season; that will not work. Change it as needs change.

I have pads and pads of match analysis forms. Nobody wants them. I wonder why.