Performance and Analysis

Sports leaders & The importance of observation and analysis

Sports leaders & The importance of observation and analysis

Sports leaders

A sports leader is someone directly in charge of a team. Their main goals are to keep the team motivated, provide guidance on strategies and point out an individual’s strengths and weaknesses so that they can improve their game.

Two main types of sports leaders are:

      • Captains: they’re part of the team and play matches with the other members. Their main goals are to keep the team motivated and set by example. During a game they can also suggest new tactics or strategies.
      • Coaches: they analyse both the performance of the whole team and individual team members. In order to help with technique and fitness they create training programmes. They’re also in charge of deciding what the tactics to be used during a game.

A coach should have at least one of the following qualities:

      • a high ability within their sport
      • an enthusiastic attitude
      • the ability to be able to motivate others
      • the knowledge to understand different sporting situations

In order for a coach to be able to prepare their team effectively and teach the game properly they themselves must also know all the rules and be aware of any changes


The importance of observation and analysis

By analysing players, many coaches are able to spot individuals who have real potential. The reason why they’re more aware of this than others is because they have a mental image of the Perfect Model.

The Perfect Model

The Perfect Model is basically a mental image which embodies all the correct techniques.

One way of figuring out if an individual player has potential is to use photographic images. These can then be used in conjunction with a live performance.

However, an experienced coach doesn’t require this: they can simply observe someone play and then provide feedback, referring to the Perfect Model.

A good analyse looks at both a player’s strengths and weaknesses. Feedback shouldn’t be an attack on a player’s performance: it’s important to discuss what was good and then move on to what could be improved. Feedback should be a motivating tool.

An individual should also be allowed time to consider how they feel they performed: if they feel they’re being told how they should feel then this could cause them to become demotivated.


Performance analysis

In order to be able to observe and analyse well you need to practise.

The method below is one approach you could use to improve your skills:

  1. Observe a single technique only, like a gymnastic move on a bench. You need to consider the best place to stand in order to observe it properly. Then, compare it to the Perfect Model.
  2. Watch a technique in action, for example a tennis ball being hit. Although the player will need to move in response to the ball you still have control in the fact that you can dictate when the ball is played. In this situation there is more to observe and analyse.
  3. Next, you can try watching an individual competitive performance, for instance a badminton match. There’s much more action involved and shots will be different once you’ve chosen your spot from which to observe. However, you should try and focus on only a few points of the game.
  4. Lastly, you should observe a competitive team performance, like a football match. Decide beforehand what you’d like to focus on as opposed to trying to concentrate on everything that’s going on.