Data provides invaluable insights to help coaches across all sports make adjustments in every game. With our new soccer tools, we’re giving you everything you need to do just that.
We heard directly from coaches that setting and tracking goals is paramount to success. With our Reports and Goals pages, we’re aiming to help coaches solve tactical problems with data.
The world of soccer statistics is still in its relative infancy, but there are a few statistical metrics for every aspect of a match that you can get by using our live tag feature. You can then utilize those stats to start making goals for your team.
Let’s run through some key statistics that you can use to set some goals for your team this season.
Possession Based Metrics
Simply defined, it’s 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 is a good principle to strive for if you play a possession style game.
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 you lose the ball. The number is arbitrary, so set a number that you think suits your team best and track it. If you notice that you’re losing possession less than the number you’ve set and are still losing games, adjust that number and find out where you need to improve based on your video.
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 a goal. 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 those teams that play more direct.
Shot Chart Data
Analyzing data generated by shot location tagged on Hudl can help you to better understand what your team needs to focus on. Specifically, analyzing missed shots can lead to findings that can help coaches work with players on details within the final third.
Goal to set: Percentage of Shots in the box > Shots outside of the box
Simply put, 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 will help you see how efficient you are in attempts on goal so you can help your players improve.This stat is 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. That’s how you win games. 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
Like some other statistics, 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 that per game and still finish top of the league table - see Leicester City in 2015-16, but in general if you average around 2.5 goals per game, you’ll see your win total reflect that output.
For you the soccer coach, tracking stats and setting a few simple goals for your team to strive for during the season will help you effectively gauge success while finding key areas to improve.
You can set goals based on whatever you think your team should be achieving to win games. These are just to help you get started. Check out this tutorial for instructions on creating your Goals Reports.
Leave a comment and let us know what success you’ve found with your teams. We would love to hear from you.