The next person in our blog is professional player, Jens Cools. Cools plays this season for Lierse S.K. and played at KAS Eupen, Westerlo and Waasland-Beveren in the past.
At the beginning of his career at Westerlo, everything was communicated on paper, after that it evolved to collective PowerPoint presentations. He has seen a big evolution over the years now the use of data together with video content is indispensable.
"I am aware that data usage is in an upward direction over the last few years, and I am a big fan of the extra information that data and video give me."
Not every player is equally positive about the use of data. Some players play on intuition and are not always that concentrated during team meetings. These players focus more on their own style of play and actions. Cools gives a possible cause:
"I am a player who already has a lot of experience in Belgian football and I know almost every opponent I have to play against during the weekend. So I look less at the data if I already know the opponent well and already played against them. Other players who are new at the club or in the league do need to know more about the opponent so it is usually these kind of players who look more intensively at the data & video."
Also at Lierse S.K., video material is used to re-examine certain clips and to be able to draw conclusions about the performance of the team. The translation to the players happens more on a collective level in team presentations.
"Most of the time we are informed collectively about our next opponent or about the previous game through a team presentation. It happens only a few times the videos are sent to certain players individually. That could be more."
Cools is convinced that the use of data will continue to increase.
"If you see that clubs are already making certain transfers just by looking at the data, you know that we are already more advanced than a couple of years ago, but this seems to be just the beginning. I think everything in terms of data is good, but I think the combination of data and also the spontaneous should always be kept."