The Importance of Individual Analysis for Improving Team Performance

By Duncan Ritchie

13-October-2022 on Tips

7 minute read

Training in team sports has traditionally been focused on team exercises. Recently, however, more emphasis has been put on individual training, the objective being to identify and remove weaknesses, resulting in an improvement in the entire team’s performance.


This trend has also been gaining ground in the field of video analysis and in professional sport in general.


So, let’s take a look…

Although it may seem obvious, a team is nothing more than a collection of individuals who complement each other and work together for the common good.


As we have already said, in general coaches tend to focus on the collective performance of a team, in which all members participate in the same way. Training often concentrates on the interactions between players so that they function as a homogeneous whole.


But in football, there’s an old cliché which states that a good squad is not the same as a good team. In other words, the team can contain a multitude of excellent players, but that doesn’t necessarily translate into a fully functioning team that wins regularly. There are countless examples in the annals of history of teams that have underachieved, not because of the individual prowess of the players, but precisely because they couldn’t work together as a team.


But, at the same time, the individual shouldn’t always be discounted in favour of the collective. In fact, the trend we’re talking about today indicates that individuals must improve in order for the collective to get better.


Before going on, if you'd like to read more about the analysis of training sessions, check out this article.


individual analysis



The Principle of Individualisation in Team Sports


The principle of individualisation in sport states that everyone is unique and that training must be adapted to cater for their individual characteristics.


Even if two players play in the same position, it doesn’t mean that their characteristics are identical, nor their skills. Moreover, they don’t even have to be similar. Two players in the same position can have conflicting characteristics which, at the end of the day, can provide greater depth and resources to a squad.


individual analysis to improve team performance


Most of the larger clubs have been aware of this for a long time and have adopted individualisation in terms of nutrition and physical preparation.


Just as a diet may not be suitable for two different people or that physical conditioning regimes might differ vastly between players, it’s logical to think that professional coaches need to work more on training that focuses on individual improvement.  

Individual Analysis: From Scouting to Individual Performance


When it comes to video analysis, concentrating on the individual has increasingly become an essential part of the discipline. However, the process has undergone a certain amount of evolution.


Traditionally, the analysis of individual players was an important part of an opposition analysis, providing information on an opponent’s main characteristics and virtues. This provided technical bodies essential knowledge on specific player profiles and an understanding of tactical variations depending on the opposition’s line up.


team performance vs individual performance


In other words, attention wasn’t only paid to the opposition as a whole, but rather analysis focused on individual players that could be a decisive factor in the game.


With the advent of video analysis and the ability to get insights quickly and easily, individual analysis is no longer dedicated to just the opposing team. The analysis of your own team can influence the collective performance.


Here’s a simple example:


From the analysis of our own team, we’ve discovered that our right back sometimes struggles in aerial situations on the wing. This means that there is a weakness in the defensive structure of the team.


This being the case, it makes sense that coaches focus on this area in training. Not only will this help the player improve as an individual, but it will also benefit the entire team by shoring up the defensive line.


In other words, the individual analysis should not just focus on the player’s profile, but also on the aspects which need to be improved in order to make the team better.


If you'd like to know more about creating analysis reports for individual players, check out this article.



A New Role for Coaching Staff


This is already being done. Many professional coaching teams now have a specialist whose role is to detect weaknesses and create training programs designed to improve a player’s performance in these areas.


These programs usually have two distinct phases:


•    Individual exercises to improve the player’s performance in these areas.
•    Collective exercises when there is more than one player that needs to improve their performance.


This is not an entirely new phenomenon. The analysis and individual goalkeepers has been carried out for a long time due to the great deal of specialisation involved with this position. You can read more about goalkeeper analysis in this article. To get a Nacsport analysis template and dashboard created specifically for goalkeepers, click on the image below.


nacsport analysis template for goalkeeper analysis


But it’s no less true that outfield players also require specific skills to fulfill their role. And, as we’ve tried to highlight throughout this article, training exercises such as this are not necessarily linked to the position the player plays in, but also to the individual characteristics of each player.


If you have any questions about the topic covered in this article, or would like to know more about how Nacsport can be used for individual analysis, get in contact with us through our website.


And remember, at Nacsport, we offer a free 30-day trial. Click here to get started.


Thanks for reading.

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