Take the chance after the game
Everyone likes to leave the pitch as a winner. For the performance to be on point, coaches and players put a lot of energy into the preparation and the game day itself. However, an important part of the work is often overlooked. In our blog the DAZN expert and former FC Chelsea professional, Sebastian Kneissl, explains how to get even more out of your training sessions and game days.
Football has reached an absolute top level. Even on the youth and amateur level players and coaches are working very meticulously nowadays. It is fun to see how many people are fascinated to play and practice this sport or pass on their valuable knowledge as a coach. To keep up with the competition, much of the work is already being invested in the preparatory phase. Be it a six-week training period or the planning of the individual training sessions: Everything is designed to perform well during the season to achieve positive results.
The disregarded performance potential
Often, we hear coaches say: "We have put everything feasible into the preparation - Now it is up to you to deliver!" Such statements are easy to comprehend, after all, you want to make the most of this phase. It is the foundation for players to be in shape, tactically trained and thus able to go into the games with a positive attitude.
During the game, the emotional phase follows. Players and coaches desperately want to win and show they've taken another step in their development. The performance on the pitch is important - no question.
However, with the focus on preparation and game day, the third part of the work is often done sporadically or not at all. This is especially true for players, even though this aspect delivers the most insights. Post-processing is the name of the game and it is one of the most important components for developing and optimizing your own performance, no matter if you are a player or coach.
Still, only a fraction of the players analyze their own performance intensively. And even if coaches are already more advanced in this area, there is still plenty of room for improvement. Often coaches analyze their team, while leaving out their own performance.
There are three simple reasons why very few players and coaches analyze their work meticulously:
The missing time - a clear excuse! Here the lazybones are unmasked. Anyone who uses this argument is irresponsible. Soccer is a team sport. If you do not want to improve, you harm your own team in the long run - this is true for players and coaches!
"A follow-up is pointless" - Many people see no meaningful added value in the follow-up of their own performance. Which is strange, because the performance of others is usually analyzed immediately, right after the final whistle. "The coach selected the wrong starting line-up", "How could the coach choose these tactics", "I didn’t see a reason for any of the substitutions " you hear players say. Coaches often strike the same score - "He was running around today like he didn’t belong on the field", "The goalkeeper's performance cannot be described in words" or "I do not understand what the players were doing. I gave them completely different instructions." Especially people who make such statements, should be dedicated to intensive self-analysis.
Critical confrontation with oneself - In the follow-up you have to ask yourself critical questions and also have an open ear for the respective answers. But it is precisely this confrontation with one's own performance that is a challenge for most people. It is not even that difficult to do a proper post-processing. Just the question "How do I rate my performance today?" Is already worth a lot. In any case, one should also include self-perception and external perception.
Questionnaire for follow-up
Therefore, I recommend making it a habit to first note your own perception after a game and only then proceed to ask three competent people about their opinion. As a player, I would ask the coach, the captain, and possibly a family member about my game performance. As a coach, I would interview my assistant coach, the captain, as well as a family member.
A fixed questionnaire would be ideal.
a) How was my preparation for the game on gameday and during the week?
b) What went well before / during the game?
c) What did not go so well / during the game and why?
How can I prevent / optimize this in the future?
d) What positive development was evident?
e) What positive conclusions do I draw from this achievement?
f) What is my action plan for the next few days / weeks? (The action plan should be provided with clearly-defined action points and a timeframe. "I'm working on my explosiveness on Tuesday and Thursday" instead of "Next week, I'm working on my explosiveness twice")
IMPORTANT: There should not be any general answers such as "I played well today" or "I have to play better next week".
For the post-processing of training sessions, it is important to get feedback from the coach only after the self-analysis. The coach’s feedback can be verbalized in the form of a rating such as school grades. Ideally, you additionally get 2-3 explanations about your performance from the coach.
Self-analysis after a training session is even more important to the coach. How was my impact on the players today? Could I convey all content appropriately? Who had problems with this session and how could I better communicate it to this player? Fittingly, you should involve the assistant coach in this process.
IMPORTANT: All performance assessments should be recorded in writing. That's why I recommend keeping a performance diary! I prefer the handwritten analysis, because by writing the information and impressions brand itself on the memory. For this purpose, a simple notebook can be used, which should be available in every bookstore.
Meanwhile, there are various apps and online tools available that are also quite helpful. If you have little time, you can devote yourself to these online options. Even while on your way to practice, it is feasible to dictate a text by voice recognition. There are no more excuses!
The follow-up of your own performance / mind-set in training sessions and games is an important tool for high-performers.
Only those who take complete responsibility for their performance will continue to evolve accordingly.
Add a performance diary and fill it out regularly.
Your Sebastian Kneissl
This article was written by Sebastian Kneissl. Sebastian is a DAZN expert, former FC Chelsea professional and founder of SK Mentoring. If you are interested in support and quality management in the training and club work through SK Mentoring, you can contact him through his page.