Soccer

Become a Data Driven Soccer Coach

Setting and tracking goals is paramount to a team's success. Our in-depth reports make this process easier than ever before.

Data provides invaluable insights and helps coaches across all sports make adjustments. Our soccer tools give you everything you need to do exactly that. 

Track statistical metrics using our live tag feature or let Hudl Assist do the work for you. Then use the following key stats to start crafting goals for your team with our goals report

Possession-Based Metrics

Possession Percentage

This is the amount of time during a match that your team has possession of the ball. Based on your team’s style of play and the way your opponents line up, the amount of possession you want to have during the match will vary.

Goal to set: Possession above 50% game over game

Generally speaking, the team with a longer time of possession scores more goals and wins more games. That might not always be the case (see Atletico Madrid beating Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final last year), but it's a good principle to strive for if you play a possession-style game.

Attacking Transition

This stat looks at how many times your team regained possession of the ball when it was lost. It can give you insights into how your team counters when they win the ball and when paired with video from your matches, a closer look at how you won back possession.

Goal to set: Attacking transition less than 15.0

You’re going to lose the ball. It’s a part of the game, but you should aim to limit the amount of times it happens. The number is arbitrary, so set what you think suits your team best and track it. If you notice you’re losing possession fewer times than the number you set but you're still losing games, adjust that number and find out where you need to improve based on your video.

An example of a possession percentage goal you could set for your team.

Shot-Based Metrics

Possessions per Shot

Not every possession results in a shot on goal, but the more you’re shooting at the target, the more likely you are to score. So why not examine why?

Goal to set: Possessions per shot < 8

Ideally, you want this number to be one—meaning every possession results in a shot. It’s unrealistic to think that every possession will end with that, but try and keep this number low. Think about how many possessions you want to have per game, and then what percentage you want to result in a shot on goal. That’s your team’s number for the season.

Time of Possession per Shot

This is a favorite because it relates directly to your team’s style of play. If you play a counter-attacking style, your inherent goal is to break up the pitch and score quickly. This number will allow you to see how soon in a given possession you take a shot on goal.

Goal to set: Possession time per shot < 1:30

For teams that like to play more direct, you will want to keep this number relatively low. So find an attainable base number (in seconds) and set that as a goal for each game. The opposite would apply for teams that like to control the possession and tempo of a match. You should aim for a higher base number than teams who play more direct.

An example of the shot chart you get with Hudl.
Shot Chart Data

Analyzing shot locations can help you better understand what your team needs to focus on. Analyzing missed shots specifically can lead to players improving on details within the final third. 

Goal to set: Percentage of shots in the box > Shots outside of the box

The closer you are to goal, the more likely you are to score. It's a fundamental of expected goals, and you can implement some basic modeling into your own goal setting with shot chart data that we generate. You could even go a step further and say that you want a certain number of shots within the box per match. 

Goal Based Metrics

Shots to Goal

How many shots does it take you to score a goal? Shooting the ball just to shoot it usually doesn’t work. This stat will tell you how efficient your team is in shot attempts so you can help your players improve. It's automatically calculated by looking at your shots per game and the amount of goals you score.

Goal to set: Shot to goal < 5

Say you have 10 shots per game. If you’re scoring a goal every five shots, that results in two goals for your team each game. If you’re averaging two goals per game and limiting your opponents to less, that means more wins for your team. Find a reasonable expectation and pair that with your team’s goals per game to better gauge your success.

Goals per game

Every coach wants their team to score more goals—it's how you win. If you expect your high octane offensive attack to score more than three goals a game, hold your team to that expectation.

Goal to set: Goals per game > 2.3

This number is fairly arbitrary and should reflect your team’s goal output game over game. Some of Europe’s most prominent leagues see teams average less than 2.3 per game, but still finish at the top of the league (see Leicester City in 2015-16). In general, if you average around 2.5 goals per game, you’ll see more W's on your schedule.

The data links back to video on Hudl.

When you track stats and set a few simple goals for your team, you'll be able to effectively gauge success and find key areas to improve. But you can use whatever numbers make the most sense for your team—these are just guidelines to help you get started.

Check out this tutorial for instructions on creating your goals report.