Don’t burden players with too much information, Spanish coach says
Madrid, Jun 23 (EFE).- Tactical data is important in soccer, but coaches must be careful not to overload players with information, Spain’s Aitor Karanka said Wednesday during a Soccerex online roundtable.
“You need to have the right data and as a coach you need to give the players the right data, because if you give them too much it can have the opposite effect,” said Karanka, who was an assistant to Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid and directed Middlesbrough the year they won promotion to the Premier League.
With the greater availability of tactical data, a manager needs a good analyst who can identify “the right details,” he said during the discussion on “The power of match data for LaLiga clubs, broadcasters and fans.”
Karanka said that while he found English clubs were ahead of Spanish ones in the use of tactical data technology when he joined Middlesbrough in 2013, all of the teams in Spain are now “learning and using data.”
He said that his experience has been that video is the best tool to convey tactical data to players.
“With the videos the players have no excuses, because you can tell them where they have to be, where they have to run. But we have to be more clinical with the players, because they can’t spend too much time watching videos,” Karanka said.
The discussion focused on Mediacoach, a project launched a decade ago by LaLiga Spain to create “an analysis tool that would cover the needs of all clubs” and at the same time “democratize access to tactical information,” product manager Silvestre Jos said.
“We wanted to offer information not only to clubs but also to fans, and the best way to do that was on television. We orientated the information to include it in new graphics during broadcast, allowing fans to see what is happening in the game,” he said.
The fan-view initiative is part of LaLiga Tech, a vehicle for offering the service to other competitions.
Mediacoach tactical analyst Fabio Nevado said the product team is working on “new metrics to reduce injury risk,” available to coaches in real time via a tablet app, as well as way to measure the value of possession and each individual pass.
For LaLiga side Granada, one of Spain’s most-improved clubs in recent years, having the same type of tool as the big teams makes it possible to “increase the chance of winning games, despite the opponent’s strength,” technical analyst Alvaro Garcia said.
“We won a game against Barcelona two months ago partly because we had the same opportunities to access the data. The last step is how you use the data during training,” he said.
“You need to have a coach who believes in the process, like Aitor or our coach, Diego Martinez, who empowers his coaching staff to give him all the data possible to draw conclusions and be ready for the match,” Garcia said. EFE