Using Analysis as a Coaching Tool - Brian Carson, Clare Footballers
How do you use Analysis for Coaching?
Immediately I get my iPad after the game with all of the tagged analysis on there, so what it allows me to do is filter through different events from the game so I can look at key moments - key coachable moments, things that I can feedback to both the rest of the coaching team and obviously back to the players. I can do that immediately after the game which is really helpful and really timely so we’re getting set up for the next training session, next coaching session. That allows me to look at things very early to get a good picture of maybe what went right in the game, what went wrong, what different scenarios we were presented with - one’s we handled well and one’s that we didn’t. This helps me formulate a plan for the week ahead in terms of what we need to work on in training. I use that performance analysis to inform my session plans for the week ahead and we start doing that on Monday night and sharing that with the rest of the coaches. So that means I’m using performance analysis to be prepared and that gives me plenty of comfort that I know when I’m going to training on a Wednesday and Friday that I’ve the preparation done -
"I’ve my homework done, the players have their feedback - they know what they need to work on, they know what we’re working on that night so that’s where performance analysis gives me a big boost and really aids my coaching."
How does evidence help - when using performance data with players?
It’s not just my opinion, that opinion is informed and supported by the data - so the numbers back up what I’m saying. I also then have the clips around those events which is really important because I can say what I saw from my perspective or my area on the pitch or something that I might have noticed but again it’s no longer just Brian Carson’s opinion.
"The data is there and we have the evidence of the actual play so I can show players the pictures of what happens in different scenarios - what we did and what we might do different the next time if we encounter that or things that we did really well that we want to reinforce so showing the players those pictures you can really see them - it's a much more convincing argument than me just telling them that this is what we should be doing."
How do you involve players - encourage and support them to be part of the process?
"We share all the stats and video clips prior to training and prior to our video sessions so the players have had a chance to absorb that information before they actually come to a face to face meeting."
They should come with their own feedback and their own ideas around that and we offer them space to do that and we ask them questions - sometimes we don't want to give players the answers and sometimes, look - I don’t have all the answers and neither do the rest of the coaching staff. Players are intelligent people, they’re intelligent players, they've a lot of experience so we should be gaining from them as well. So they come back with some answers to those questions themselves so that’s how we allow them to do it. They also have the opportunity to interact online, make comments and pull their own clips.
Data vs Opinion - can data confirm or change how you feel about a game?
It definitely often supports what we have seen with our own eyes and we can look for that evidence, now there might be a bit of bias to that - in that we’re digging into the data looking for something. There have been days when I thought we did something wrong, maybe not across the game in terms of patten but perhaps a particular scenario - I was thinking we didn’t do this right and that’s why we conceded that goal or that point and actually then the data and video says there’s a reason that player made that decision - because he was tracking another runner or whatever it might be and actually the fault was here and it was a system error or it was an individual error and sometimes we can see that its a system error and if its a system error that’s something that we can adapt at training that following week and something that we can address. So there have been times when I thought it was an individual error but it was a system error or vice versa but that’s going to happen too.
"But you can get the right impression of the game from the data."
What gives you the most satisfaction as a coach?
For me, most satisfaction as a coach is if we plan something, if we have an idea - we put a structure in place - we’re dealing with very intelligent players and very talented players and there’s a real sense of satisfaction we you put something together with them -
"you outline a vision to the players (it’s in your own head) maybe using a tactics screen or some clips to do that but then when you see those players enact that after you’ve done it in training and bring it into a game - there’s a huge sense of satisfaction in that."
So something that maybe you had an idea about 3 weeks previous and then you see it come to fruition that’s highly satisfying and very motivating.