Soccer Performance Evaluation and Teaching of Players

Another part of your job as a coach is the soccer evaluation and teaching process of your players. By evaluating overall team capabilities and individual players’ abilities, you will be able to divide the skill of your team into “strengths” and “weaknesses”. These findings will help you structure training sessions according to current and future needs. Evaluation of your team should be done in intervals and at all events. The easiest way to assess the quality of your team is through real match situations, or during training sessions.
Soccer Performance Evaluation and Teaching of Players

“Free Play” is the Most Productive Way of Evaluation

Basically, “Free Play” is when players play without restrictions or with very limited restrictions on time and space. With only a simple direction (from the coach) on what they should accomplish, players will do their part naturally and leave space for the coach to evaluate their potential.

The Free Play allows coaches prompt and easy soccer evaluation of the level of competence, creativity, and commitment of each player. With that being said, free play counts as the most efficient way of evaluating a player’s skillset.

While in Free Play, players should be encouraged to work hard. The time spent on this game-like training session will be fruitful for both players and coach. Another advantage is that less time will be wasted on organizing (defense/mid/offense) lines, keeping the attention of players, and the setting up of tiresome drills. During this time, the coach should keep an eye for particular breakdowns in play. This way, your observational powers will increase with time since you will be forced to isolate individual performances in a group.

Your Coaching Objectives

Never lose the sight of your primary objective, which is solving match problems. In every situation there is a myriad of options that could solve game problems, and it’s up to you to identify them and explain them to your players. You will most likely have to recreate match problems that are close to game conditions in order to teach players how efficiently to solve them.
As a coach, you should start simple and progress to a more complex situation (static to dynamic). Training sessions should be wisely scheduled on your calendar so you can repeatedly perform a specific skill, tactic or combination of both, but still add variety to drills.

Accustom Your System to Your Players’ Need

In your job as a soccer coach you will have to pay attention to many things, but always take into account age and skill level of players when setting up practice sessions. Make your language understandable and avoid using fancy words that aren’t corresponding to the level of education of your players. The aim is to clarify to players what and why drills should be performed. This will then internalize the skill or tactic in their brain and body.

When players face difficulties in training sessions, the coach should step in and correct players by helping them understand what should be done. The goal is to prepare as good as possible for the game. In order to do that, reevaluation of skills and tactics must frequently be done.

In order to become a great coach, take these steps into consideration:

  • Communicate the tactical or technical objective you want to accomplish
  • Demonstrate the skill or drill
  • Include all players and make everyone feel involved
  • Precisely analyze players’ skills
  • Evaluate effort, commitment and development rate.

Please remember that you should use psychological motivation and stimulate your players whenever you can. These are your kids, and cheering them up won’t harm their discipline level. On the contrary, being polite and understanding instead of degrading or embarrassing them will have a much better effect.