Updated: Feb 13, 2021
Playing the game of football is crucial for performance, but watching the game of football is just as important. Watching matches of your own team or other teams allows you to gain a zoomed out perspective. Sometimes in games or practice, we tend to narrow our vision. Watching the game allows us to expand our vision and see different options that we might not have seen before. Here are some tips to optimize your match analysis.
Watch your position- Weather you do this for 20 minutes or the full 90, solely watching the player playing your position allows you to see what you should be doing both on and off of the ball. Sometimes what we do off of the ball is more important than what we do on it. If you are just watching the ball for the entire game, you miss that off of the ball movement.
Take Notes- If you are going to take it a step further, jot down some quick notes on the movement and skills that you could see yourself incorporating and at half-time as well as at full-time write these down next to a sketch. This way, before your next practice you can reflect on what you are actively trying to add to your game to take you to that next level!
Predict- While watching a match, play a little prediction game with yourself. When a player receives the ball, think about what their next move should be. What pass should they play? Should they take their space? This will act as a decision making exercise that can directly translate into your game play.
Evaluate Team Shape- Evaluating team shape from front to back is a difficult thing to do while playing a match. This is why it is important to take note of team shape while watching a match. Defensively, is the team cutting off the proper passing lanes? Offensively, are the attacking players creating proper spaces? This should help you identify where you should be when your team is defending and attacking.
Get Inspired- As players, we constantly want to be adding tools to our tool belt. Use game footage of other players to expand your range of skills. If you see a player playing a pass using the outside of their foot, go out and try it in your next practice! Match footage is an excellent way to learn new skills.