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The advantage of data in analysis & individual player development through the eyes of Gert Verheyen

"Getting the data to the players is the first step to make them aware about their own performance"

The evolution of data in football already has proven a lot in supporting coaches & players to confirm or disprove their gut feeling about own performances or the performance of the opponent. The most important thing to notice is that event & tracking data still has a supporting role and most coaches and analysts start their analysis with video, or something interesting that caught their eye during the game they want to confirm in the data.

"When I am analyzing a game or a team I start with the video footage, when I pick up something interesting I can confirm this event using the data and easily see what the frequency is over the season."

It's difficult to filter out the relevant parts out of a huge data set when you don't have a data science team backing you up. Recent models that try to assign an objective value to each event, like the VAEP-model, help selecting the right subset to analyze the patterns that matter in a game.

Individual Player Development

Getting players data-driven is one of the pillars of the vision of MyGamePlan. Automating this communication and giving the players the ability to keep track of their own targets is the future of football.

"As a coach I triggered my players to get the best out of themselves with leaderboards about their own performance. This way you can easily spot the players who want to improve their tactical and physical performance and create an environment for them to do so."

Not all players tend to spend a lot of time on their own development, but it is still the majority of the squad. The main problem remains time & availability of the staff. You simply cannot discuss the individual targets with every player of the squad and highlight their performance of the last game, because there is not enough time in one week. Automating this communication to all 25 players in a squad, gives each player the ownership of their targets.

MyGamePlan automates the communication of KPIs to the players to stimulate their development.

"Getting the data to the players is the first step to make them aware about their own performance, then you can start working on how to improve this. The added value that you can give as a coach when you can objectively show to a player that his performance is 50% less than 3 weeks ago is extremely powerful for his awareness & development."

The future of tracking & event data

"Although there is no turning back from the data evolution up until this day, I don't believe it will ever in a moment in the future take the upper hand. The context of video next to data is irreplaceable and will always be necessary during analysis and presentation."

This extra information you get out of video is getting countered by emerging models, like the VAEP-model. This way you can really get the essence out of data and analyze the game looking at the most relevant passes, plays and players by assigning them an objective value. With the rise of tracking data and their growing availability in professional football, a more accurate analysis can be made because you can start assigning objective values to positioning and running actions to map a holistic image of the game.

The moment the same data will also be tracked autonomously during training as it is now during the game, it will have an immense impact on the individual player development in professional football.


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