goFooty update!

We are about a week away from the launch of the next version of our goFooty app and furthering your team’s competitive advantage. Here is what you are getting:

  • Start recording a new match in seconds!
  • Added the new “Counter Attacks” statistic! And without an additional gesture!
  • Enhanced possession and ball-location charts!
  • Fewer interactions for the same revolutionary statistical results!
  • Subscription option for storing results, presenting trends, giving the coach the capability to select key trends, and sharing everything with other team members!
  • Improved design!

Look for us in the Apple app store very soon and let us know what you think.

Purpose-based soccer passing statistics

From day one, our plan was to provide passing statistics. No surprise, really, as passing happens more than anything else in soccer / football. We were very excited as we had over 40 awesome statistics that help with defending, attacking and controlling the match. Then, when we beta tested in the hands of beginners, our world was at risk of crumbing down. The problem was that beginner Scribes couldn’t keep up with the gestures and wouldn’t last more than 3 minutes. The problem was that passing takes approximately 10 times more gestures than without passing. It was devastating. We had a simple choice. We had to either drop 30 statistics and track mostly passes or drop 6 statistics and track passes indirectly.

We decided to go with the option that provides teams with more statistics. This was a fair trade off as we knew we could reintroduce the passing gestures for experienced Scribes and deliver all our statistics at a later date. Also, we knew we still had passing statistics because we measured passing outcomes.

There are two types of passing statistics…

  1. Precision-based passing statistics
  2. Purpose-based passing statistics

Precision-based passing statistics are the most obvious as they measure obvious aspects of passing. Examples include the following:

  • total passes
  • pass success
  • number of passes in a series
  • time between passes
  • longest number of passes in a series
  • average number of passes in a series

Precision-based passing statistics have a few challenges:

  • They are a target range, not a desired maximum like other statistics (like number of shots in a match). This complicates the management and presentation of the statistics.
  • They are influenced greatly by the environment. Field size influences the target range and the skill level of the opponent influences what is realistic.
  • When the precision-based passing statistics are not well designed and managed, players might become demotivated and players and coaches will have a harder time connecting.

Purpose-based passing statistics are not as obvious as they measure the outcomes or objectives or effectiveness of passing. There are three sequential objectives of passing:

  1. to control the match
  2. to find opportunities to advance the ball up the pitch
  3. to pass for scoring opportunities

Control the match

A team that successfully links passes in a match is able to control a portion of a match. The real question, however, is knowing which team takes greater control of the match. This is where possession statistics are beneficial.

  • The Possession Statistic. Possession is the desired outcome to passing. If your team has possession, it has control.
  • The Possession chart. The possession chart presents possession on a time scale and this gives deeper insights. Maybe the team maintains possession throughout a match, maybe it loses possession toward the end of the match, maybe a strategic change makes a difference in possession.

Find opportunities to advance the ball up the pitch

Once a team has control of the ball, next they want to find opportunities to advance the ball up the pitch. We measured movement of the ball with the following statistics.

  • The Ball Location Statistic. Ball location measures which half of the field the ball has been on more often. Regardless if the team has high or low possession, if the ball is in the offensive half more often, that is a good thing. This is often called pressure. If the team has high possession, but play is more in their own half, then the team needs to work on advancing the ball.
  • The Ball Location Chart. The ball location chart measures the effectiveness of passing over time. When viewed with the possession chart, we can see when the team had higher scoring potential.

Pass for scoring potential

Sometimes an opportunity to advance the ball up the pitch includes an opportunity for scoring. Otherwise, once the ball is in the attacking third, the team then needs to pass for scoring potential.

  • The Counter Attacks Statistic. Counter attacks is a measure of the team’s ability to make successful long ball and through ball passes that takes the team to the attacking third.
  • The Goal Appetite™ Statistic. Goal Appetite tells the team whether they have high quality passing into those tight spaces that have scoring potential.

Purpose-based passing statistics gives your team meaningful measures of performance. Once we have designed precision-based passing statistics that best serve the needs of the team and the player-development initiative, you will see it available in the goFooty app.

Get rapid development with statistics

Wouldn’t we all like to have a budget of $30,000 to have performance measurement available for our team? The reality is that very few teams have that kind of budget. But if we had, then coaches would be able to measure the effectiveness of various coaching initiatives…they would actually know if what the team had practiced turned into growth. More importantly, the coach would begin to recognize what leads to effective skill development and result in player development at higher rates.

What is the team to do?

Start using the goFooty app.

Professional teams are using performance measurement for a reason. The next natural course is for the many grassroots and academy programs to do the same…and the teams that do will have a competitive edge over those that don’t and will be able to sustain it for many years. This is because performance measurement opens the door to the next stages of development:

  • confirming the effectiveness of a focus through statistics helps a team to confidently progress forward
  • players that ‘see’ their development understand their coach and other coaches better
  • players that have access to statistics are continuing to be engaged away from their coach
  • Players that have the above feed off each other and accelerate their development
  • Players that understand statistics integrate quickly with new teams that use statistics
  • A new era begins that separates the leading coaches and clubs from those that lag behind

What is great about performance measurement is that it increases engagement. For example, the goFooty app has more than a dozen metrics that help confirm the effectiveness of development. Compare this to when we only had the “win” to confirm development. With more than a dozen metrics, players feel like winners when the chosen metrics have improved even when the other team wins.

The stumbling block most coaches experience is knowing what to measure. It is a great unknown when you have no data to look at. But those that get started with the goFooty app will soon discover that they have unlocked to door to possibility that will quickly lead to higher levels of development. Take the plunge, get the goFooty app and see what happens.

 

Developing the player’s drive

At the age of around 8, players either need to maintain or develop their drive to develop and perform. The “win” works for the ambitious minority, but for the majority that are quietly ambitious with developing, equal and greater skill levels than the minority, the “win” is ineffective resulting in great players quitting the beautiful game. Both the minority and the majority will develop well with having targets other than the “win” to develop into great soccer players and people.

The best coaches will tell players that it is not about the win…it is about player development. This is because players need to feel supported crossing that bridge to the win. If it is about the “win”, then players need to cross that bridge alone and this is where they feel alone in their growth.

The above truths are what lead to the development of the goFooty app.

The goFooty app was designed to give coaches and players with many ways to see development. For example, If player strategic-play is below the competition, setting goals to improve throw-in success and defending, and other metrics, are ways to give players confidence that they are making a difference.

Use the goFooty metrics to help players confirm their contribution to the team. Encourage players to study the metrics and you will find their drive to perform will grow faster than ever before.

 

Soccer coaching psychology

Psychology plays a big role in soccer because the game is very dynamic. Here is a great video interview of Tom Bates from Austin Villa FC that is worth checking out.

Sports psychology is the foundation to everything we have put into the goFooty app. By minimizing the randomness and luck, the players are able to raise their confidence in their contribution to the team.

Statistics change teams

If you wonder what statistics can do for a team, have a look at this video.

At around 4 minutes into the video, this is said: “Goals are a bad reflection of a team’s quality and therefore a bad predictor of results. Analysts need stats that strip out randomness and luck and predict future performance more accurately.”

Use the goFooty app for a wealth of metrics that tells the team of their strengths and weaknesses and use this information to make a difference. The next generation of players will have statistics and metric as part of their development. Don’t let them fall behind. Give them a competitive edge.

The people have spoken!

Thanks to everyone who shared their excitement for the goFooty app and shared their constructive thoughts. The main comment has had to do with making it easy to begin recording the match and we know exactly what you mean.

We have made one quick update and that was to add Getting Started to the setting menu. Upload the app and you will see it in the menu.

We have also been working hard at perfecting usability and the testing has shown we have nailed it. You will be able to record a match immediately and get the cutting edge statistics you love. You will also see small changes here and there that improve your experience plus the release of our subscription model.

Get ready for the update in a week or two and tell everyone on your team and in your club!

First real test and our soccer stats look great!

This weekend, we recorded two matches for a U11 team and the results look great. Check out the results of two equally matched teams below.

While “My Team” (the Sparks) had less possession, the ball was in the opposition half more often. This is good news for team Sparks as they maintained high pressure.

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For the traditional stats below, the teams are pretty equal. Sarn had a great defending team with their high shot blocks. But the Sparks’ counter attacks offers a great hint to why they won.

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While the charts above speak volumes about possession and ball location, the stats here give the overall numbers that repeat the pressure offered by team Sparks.

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The core metrics start here. Team Sparks were equal to, or out performed, team Sarn in everything but shot blocks and shot quality.

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What can team Sparks learn from the results?

  1. First, the players should know these results help them understand their performance and see them as ways to improve, regardless if they play a stronger or weaker team.
  2. Overall, when team Sparks has the ball, they were better than team Sarn. But when defending, they were equal in ability, and would benefit from understanding shot blocks to develop their back line of defense.
  3. Characteristic of U11 teams, tactics for maintaining possession (or winning possession) from restarts is an area of contemplation for the coach. The team’s drive is high though strategic thinking is an area of growth. Showing the team the statistics and focusing in on one or two metrics to improve will go a long way to develop strategic thinking. Once the team sees how they improve a metric, they will be motivated to improve others.

We have a little fine tuning of our app to complete then it will be ready for your team to use. Subscribe to our mailing list (check out the link at the top right) to know when our app is released.

Soccer player development: Focus and concentration leads to results

Player performance is directly related to the player’s focus and concentration. The easiest focus is to ‘win’ though this single motivator can inspire foul play and lead to burnout. Coaches know this and apply many alternative techniques to maintain player motivation.

‘Seeing’ the results of performance helps players connect with the outcome of their effort. For example, when the team practices set pieces, seeing the analytics for set pieces raises player motivation and develops their interest to work on the next skill that needs development.

This is what the goFooty app provides teams. With more than 30 statistics and analytics, teams understand their strengths and weaknesses, can select skills to improve, and use the measures to see the outcome of their effort. Through the coach’s direction, the whole team will work together to make a difference.

How soccer statistics will give grassroots teams value in the next few years

The top-level teams in the soccer industry have been using video analysis and wearables for years giving teams and players insights into how to improve their performance. This trend will continue as technology advances and because teams recognize they gain a competitive edge.

If you have a Fitbit or other personal tracker, you know that statistics, at its basic level, makes performance more interesting. In simple terms, you raise your motivation to try a little harder and smarter. Statistics simply make fitness fun in new ways.

Fitbit gives us a glimpse into the near future of soccer’s statistics world. Fitbit didn’t start the tracker revolution but it certainly has brought it into the mainstream. Similarly, technology will come to soccer that will popularize statistics and raise the interest and performance of players worldwide.

And this statistics technology will be here this spring. It is called the goFooty app, which will be available on your smartphone.

In the hands of a parent volunteer or coach’s assistant, the goFooty app will give the coach and players with more than 30 statistics and metrics. The coach will use the statistics in real time, for planning future practices, and to assess the effectiveness of practices. Players will use the statistics to understand the coach’s direction better and raise their interest to perform. Parents will gain a stronger connection with their kids and support the coach’s direction.

Enjoy.