Reviewing Your Coaching Sessions And Matches is an integral part of the coaching journey. Evaluating your own performance as a coach, as well as individual and team performance. In one of our previous blogs, we looked at some ideas on how you can plan and structure a coaching session and a review is equally as important as this plan and an important habit for coaches to get into. This is all part of the process of ‘plan, do & review’. In this blog, I am going to explore some ideas on how you can review both your coaching sessions and matches.

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Coaching Sessions:

Reviewing your coaching sessions will allow you to reflect on some of these questions:

  • Did we achieve the intended outcome/objectives?
  • Did I meet the needs of the individual players?

A tool that could be used to review your coaching sessions is: WWW, which provides three questions for coaches to reflect on themselves or can be a vehicle to allow someone else to provide feedback too:

  • What went well?
  • What could we/you improve?
  • What would you do differently next time?

Using these three questions will provide you with some ideas on what went well throughout the session, what could be improved and also what would you do next time. This will give you some ideas of ‘how’ you can improve your coaching sessions but also ‘how’ in your next session you can meet the intended outcomes/objectives for both individuals and your group of players.

Individuals: Reviewing individuals is encouraged as it allows you as a coach to asses what the player has taken from the session. In your planning, coaches should always consider which players they want to focus on or what the intended outcome for that player is. Reviewing individual players can be done through video, player to coach discussions, peer to peer feedback or you reviewing the session back after training. The most effective way of understanding how the player felt the session went for them is to give them a voice and allow them to share their thoughts with you or with their peers. Likewise, watching training back or using other coaches to evaluate how the session went for that individual too can be really beneficial and will require a strong set of observation skills from coaches to be able to do this effectively. Reviewing your players should be done over a period of time, one session will give you a snippet of how a player has done but by continually reviewing them will allow you to build a bigger picture of that player. Coaches are encouraged to use these reviews of players to help them understand how they may support the player in future coaching sessions as well as providing the player with some clear targets and action plans to help them work on the areas highlighted as well.

Reviewing Individuals:

  • Physical
  • Technical/Tactical
  • Psychological
  • Social

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Session Delivery: Reviewing your session delivery can consist of both practice design, constraints/challenges and type/length of interventions. By reviewing the practice design you will be able to review whether that particular practice allowed you to get the intended outcomes/objectives out and if not what outcomes were there from that practice? To review your practice design, a simple way of doing this is looking at the STEP principle which I covered in a previous blog. By reviewing the: space of the session, task/challenges/constraints that were provided for the players, the equipment that was used to support them and finally the people involved in the session i.e. number of players, teams, groups etc. Another important part of the session review is reviewing the length and type of interventions with the group but also with individual players as well. This can be done by having your session filmed and you as a coach being microphoned up and you watching your session back and tallying up the type and length of the interventions. If you do not have the equipment available to be able to do that, you can also ask a peer to record the length of the interventions as well as make any notes on the type of interventions too.

Matches: Reviewing your matches is a brilliant opportunity for you as a coach to evaluate both your team and individual performances. However, be mindful when working with younger players that there will be inconsistencies in performance and that this should be taken into consideration as the variables from the type of pitch, opposition or position that they player may all impact how they perform and any reviews of players performances should be done over a length of time. Match day reviews should be used to review what your team/ individuals did best and how you can help them/individuals next time? Additionally, matches may be used to review individuals against their targets and help you to paint a picture of their progress and ways in which you can help them next. Reviews should also be done around the fixture, a great way of doing this is RAG rating each game:

– Stress Zone Game (Red)
– Level Zone Game (Yellow)
– Comfort Zone Game (Green)

In doing this, you will be able to understand over the course of the season what match day diet you’re providing for your players. Logging these fixtures and the formats that you’ve played will allow you to evaluate how you’ve supported individuals and your team on a match day. For example, it may be that over the course of the season that 90% of your fixtures have been stress games which have really stretched your players and that they’ve also been all 9v9 games. Therefore, it may be that when looking at future fixtures you look for a team and format that will provide your players with more opportunities to get success.

Team: Reviewing your team performance can be simply be based around did they achieve the objectives that you/they had set out for that particular fixture. Reviewing this may take place after the fixture by the coach, or the players leading the review by providing feedback and reflecting on the team and individual performances. Likewise, the use of analysis can be support coaches to review how the team performed as well, with software such as HUDL providing an excellent platform for both coaches and players to be able to review their games. If you do not have access to technology, simply review the match day objectives as well as individuals and get feedback from your players or other coaches as well.

Coaching: A great way of evaluating yourself is working with someone on a match day and having them provide you with feedback on how you’ve coached. Reviewing your coaching on a match day can encompass the following: type/length of interventions, which players your communicated with most/less and coaching behaviours i.e. verbal communication and body language. Having someone observe your match day coaching can help you to understand how you can best support the players during matches but also how you can make the best environment for your players to perform too. Technology can also be a tool that you may use by filming yourself on a match day and watching it back and evaluating how you coached as well. This approach can be powerful, with coaches often finding that results and performance can have an effect on how coaching behaviours.

Examples Ways Of Reviewing:

To conclude, reviewing your training sessions and games both on how the team/individuals have done as well as how you’ve coached can be really beneficial to shaping how you will support them in future sessions and games. Coaches could be encouraged to find a way of reviewing that suits them and be open minded to different ways of reviewing that are outlined below:

  • Peer to peer review:
  • Video Review
  • Stats
  • Players Feedback
  • Self Evaluation: