How to observe and evaluate the footballer

2 min
How to observe and evaluate the footballer

Observation and evaluation are here intended as processes trying to provide logic and order to the many components that contribute and form the qualities of a player. Experience tells us that every club, every coach and every observer has its own way and its own form to observe and evaluate, but thanks to the comparison with many technicians and through a work of synthesis it has been possible to create a pivot table, available in GridAPP for use by scouters and coaches.

Considering that the soccer player is an inseparable complex of characteristics that overlap and integrate with each other, it becomes easier to understand his/her qualities when proceeding analytically. For this reason we distinguish four major areas of observation of the player: physical-athletic, technical, tactical and psychological.

Physical-athletic area
Since this observation grid is suitable for live filling during “field” observation, the elements observed in this area are of a visual nature and do not refer to the athletic tests generally used by trainers: strength, endurance, speed, sprint, agility, coordination, elevation, stopping.

Technical area
Here we evaluate all the qualities in relation to the ball and therefore to the technical gestures. Since the observation is live we have selected the categories with most immediate observability: sensitivity, kicking, conducting the ball, receiving, head shooting.

Tactical area
In this area the individual tactical qualities are examined, which for convenience are divided into two groups:

  • Offensive qualities: unmarking, defense and coverage of the ball, vision and game choices, refinement, sense of goal, creativity, positive transitions;
  • Defensive qualities: positioning in relation to the line of the ball, marking, tackling, anticipation, interception, defense of the goal, negative transitions.

Psychological area
Without claiming to be a psychologist, evaluating the most visible behaviors of a player on the pitch is almost more important than evaluating the technical qualities. These behaviors are: leadership, competitive spirit, fair play, team spirit, spirit of sacrifice, continuity, work culture, discipline and resourcefulness.

A great difficulty for the observer is distinguishing the difference between performance and characteristics. In fact, it can happen to see a player play badly but you have to go beyond the performance and grasp the qualities. The observation grid shown here should serve to limit this error.

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