| Written By Lloyd Webb Features, Latest News

What Managers Are Looking For In Your Performance Data

With so much data available, what are the key metrics that Coaches and Managers are looking for in the modern footballer?

In the last decade, technology has changed the way Coaches and Managers evaluate and select players. It’s no surprise that players at all levels of the game are tracking and analysing their performance. We spoke to our SmartCoach, Tony Strudwick, to find out what metrics his former bosses, including the likes of Sir Alex Ferguson, Louis Van Gaal and Jose Mourinho often paid attention to.

“I think that’s dependant on the club’s philosophy and playing philosophy,” says Strudwick. “If you work for a coach that’s about high intensity pressure, then you will be looking at certain metrics in a game such as how quickly you can win the ball back and the intensity you train and play at – that becomes important. If you’ve got a coach who has a different philosophy, it might just be about efficiency and circling the ball.”

With PLAYR you can look into these metrics Tony mentions, including high intensity sprints, also known as ‘Power Plays’. In the example above, see how the Defender was able to perform 13 power plays in the first half, and 13 in the second half. You can also see the player was fairly consistent across the game, with 20′-25′ mins being the most intense period.

One of the biggest differentiators between the amateur and the elite game is the ability to sustain the number of high intensity sprints (Power Plays). Players can use this information to work on aerobic capacity, sprint distance and number of power plays, all information provided by the PLAYR app.

Intensity over time

“It depends on the club, but invariably the four or five key things people will look at is the distance covered, the speed, the maximum velocity you’ve reached, acceleration and declaration and power – all the parameters that are really embedded into PLAYR. I always like to look at the intensity over time, whether or not it’s in five-minute blocks, but looking at these really intense bursts and how you can sustain that.

(Images taken from a PLAYR Academy Defender at the Gothia Cup).

From 2 games, you can see the player had different peaks of intensity per game (10′-15′ & 40′-45′ mins). Players can analyse their performance and look for ways of improvement. The fitter you are, the more you can maximise these moments of intensity.

The PLAYR app gives tailored recovery advice for each performance including; nutrition and strength & conditioning exercises.

Educating Players

“What you’ve got now, with multiple sources of information and the integration of sports science knowledge, I think invariably we’ve become self serving because we’ve educated players,” he continues. “The more educated players become the more educated players will be in five or 10 years time, and there’s a whole cycle of up skilling and updating your knowledge base about performances and how best to play and train. It’s critical information, but what we’ve found is certainly at the elite end, more players are engaged in this sort of information.”

“We had to have a culture of acceptance, we had to sell it to the players and we had to demonstrate the benefits of this sports science approach,” Strudwick says. “Sir Alex Ferguson obviously went, David Moyes came in, and although it was a small tenure, he maintained that. When Louis Van Gaal came in, he maximised the benefits of that and particularly the wellness factor. It was something that was created and sustained over a 10-year period – we’re really proud of that.”