Feedback of GPS Training Data within Professional English Soccer: A Comparison of Decision Making and Perceptions between Coaches, Players, and Performance Staff

Nosek, P., Brownlee, T. E., Drust, B., Andrew, M.

Purpose: This study aimed to investigate the perceptions of training data feedback among key stakeholders involved in the coaching process of professional soccer clubs. The research focused on assessing the importance of training data for reflection and decision-making, identifying potential barriers, and understanding player preferences.

Methods: A survey was administered to a total of 176 participants, including coaches, players, and performance staff. The survey assessed various aspects related to training data feedback, such as perceived importance, preferred types of data, barriers to effective feedback, and player preferences.

Results: The training data most commonly identified by coaches as important for reflection were related to “high-intensity” actions and variables associated with “work rate/intensity.” All stakeholders acknowledged the importance of training data in guiding coaching practices to some extent. However, lack of a common goal and the overwhelming volume of information were identified as the main barriers to effective feedback of training data. Players expressed positive attitudes toward receiving feedback to modify their behavior, with metrics such as total distance, high-speed running, and sprint distances being the information they would most like to see. Preferred methods of receiving feedback included messages or displaying data in the changing room.

Conclusion: Training data are viewed as impactful and effective tools for all key stakeholders involved in professional soccer clubs. However, their utilization can be optimized by providing more opportunities for informal reflection, streamlining the amount of information provided, and enhancing communication of data among stakeholders. These findings underscore the importance of effectively leveraging training data to enhance coaching practices and player performance.

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