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3 Things Coaches Need to Know About Ball Tracking in Professional Football

Bayer 04 Leverkusen is the first Bundesliga club to use KINEXON ball tracking in training. Read here the three most important learnings from our webinar series on player and ball tracking — how tactical analysis will change football coaching.

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MunichMay 15, 2020

Bayer 04 Leverkusen was the first professional football club to integrate ball tracking developed by KINEXON into their daily training routine. After only a few months, a remarkable playful development of the team could be recognised.

Together with Marcel Daum (Assistant Coach Analysis at Bayer 04 Leverkusen), we provided exclusive insights into the technology-based training work of the Bundesliga club in two webinars. Furthermore, the new KINEXON iPitch was presented, which will provide coaches with real-time tactical data and thus enable even more efficient training sessions.

Due to the overwhelming number of webinar participants, we summarized the three most important learnings from these sessions:

1. Ball tracking revolutionizes training

  • Ball tracking is the crucial piece of football tracking that makes valid data-based tactics analysis possible in the first place
  • Information on passing and shooting behaviour was previously only available subsequently via labour-intensive video analyses
  • Ball tracking from KINEXON provides this information in real time, with highest accuracy and reliability and with additional data such as spin of the ball or measurements of how tightly the ball is guided
  • The availability of this data during training enables the coaching staff to immediately adapt exercise units and thus improve their efficiency in a targeted manner

During a pass practice we registered that one player did not have a single ball contact in 90 seconds. We were able to react immediately.

Marcel Daum (Assistant Coach Analysis at Bayer 04 Leverkusen)

2. The entire coaching staff benefits from tracking data

  • Data alone does not offer any added value — for any part of the coaching staff
  • A clearly defined strategy, which is pursued with the ball and player data, is crucial
  • In the case of Bayer 04 Leverkusen, the aim was to improve the passing quality and speed of their own ball-possession game
  • With complete information on the passing behaviour of individual players, team members and the entire team, behaviour patterns, strengths and weaknesses are identified
  • Subsequently, inefficiencies in the game are worked on and the training progress is monitored using the data

See in the following graphic which KPIs (key performance indicators) the KINEXON iPitch offers and thus provides completely new training insights:

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If one day ball tracking should also be used in league games, we will certainly have an advantage. Because it always needs a strategy to work with ball data. We’ve been developing ours for the past few months.”

Marcel Daum (Assistant Coach Analysis at Bayer 04 Leverkusen)

3. The comparability of data is the next big step

  • Clubs have been using performance recording, measurement and analysis technologies for years and also receive detailed match data from the league
  • However, different data sets and sources do not offer comparability and thus do not provide reliable information
  • KINEXON has developed a football-specialized solution for this, which specifically masters this major challenge of the industry. You can find out more about it here

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