(pretty catchy title…)
A couple of weeks ago, Andrew Latham, Head Coach for Lower Island Soccer Association (LISA) put a very interesting story on his blog. You can read it here. It was based on his impression that the current format for U8 to U10 was not providing ‘average’ players with enough touches on the ball.
In an effort to confirm if this was true or not, he came up with the idea to count the number of touches per minute (TPM) of individual players. He wasn’t surprised that his instincts were right and the number of TPM’s was low but he was surprised at how low it was in the initial games he watched.
I thought, following on the bit I did on how too many girls teams seem to be coached to treat the ball as the enemy and launch it as far down the field as possible rather than to keep it, that this made a lot of sense so I got in touch with Andrew and we had a good talk about his TPM idea.
The hope now is that we can discuss it more, refine a statistical model to capture the right data and look at ways to increase the likelihood of the average U8 to U10 player getting more touches, and hence more involvement and enjoyment, out of the game.
Stay tuned (and suggestions are welcome) but in the meantime I’ll attach the Cal South (the southern California equivalent to BCSA) study that Andrew’s TPM idea evolved from. It’s a relatively simple study using video software to compare player involvement and enjoyment in 4v4 and 8v8 games. So not only did the software analyze what the players did but they were asked three questions at the end about their impressions of the two game formats. Incorporating player feedback is something I think is very important and I love the idea that Semiahmoo have to do exit surveys for players leaving the club (or soccer in general) to get a sense for why they are leaving and what they can do to reduce attrition.
I’ll attach the summary of the project and a short PowerPoint that goes through what the stats collected for each player looked like.