Improving Player Performance -
Analytical Approach Case Study


Quality Analysis plays a big part when it comes to player development at any level of football and we at SportsKPI pride ourselves in providing high quality solutions to teams, to bring out the best in each individual. Over our many years in this field, countless challenges have been put forth at our desks which have been dealt with efficiently and here is a look at one of them.


The Left Back in an U-16 team had undergone a drastic dip in form where he was losing possession on a regular basis and his decision making went awry as well.


Our Analyst made an initial inference right away that this had something to do with the player drifting infield more often than in times past. This in turn meant he was spending lesser time out wide where there is more space and time on the ball. This eventually would have resulted in poor decision making as well.


To properly analyse and display what exactly had changed for said player, our analyst decided to look into a comparison of the latest performance with that of a couple of months back, when he was performing at a high level.

Every pass the player received was checked and plotted to a field. A zone-wise comparison was then made with an eye on the outcome of the receives as well. The data showed that as was initially surmised, in the more recent matches the player was receiving more balls in the half-space than on the touchline.

To help the player further, the pressure he was under from the defense in each case was looked at as well. The data revealed that whenever he received nearer to the touchline, he faced lesser pressure and made more successful decisions. A couple of pointers that came out from our analysis revealed:

  • There existed a stark contrast when it came to how often the player received the ball in the half-space, as just 24.24% (8/33) of his receptions were in the area in the earlier game, while a significantly higher 41.17% (14/34) of his receptions in the latest game came there.

  • As the half-space receptions went up in the latest game, so did the pressure on him when he received the ball. Of his 14 receptions in the area, 9 of them saw him being pressured by an individual defender and 3 of his 4 mispasses came in this situation.

  • In the earlier match, with a majority of his receptions being out wide, even when pressured by 1 or 2 defenders, the player navigated out the situation with a positive outcome on 76.4% of the occasions while this number dropped in the most recent match to just 44.4%. With more space available out wide, the player is better equipped to deal with pressure situations than he is in the half-space.

The Outcome

With the analysis backed by data in tow, the findings were presented to the coaching staff who in turn passed it on to said player. Tactics were put into play to avoid putting the player in such situations on a regular basis and the player performance started to pick up as a result.


Pic Credit: Unsplash

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