How much should players be involved in performance analysis?

Estimated read time 3 min read

The focus of many elite level coaching – and the concept that filters to other levels of coaching – is to encourage athletes to become much more involved in their own learning process.

The idea behind this concept is that an athlete who is more involved is the reason behind team performance – whether it is good or bad – the more understanding he has about the reasons for success or failure. In time, this will lead to better decision making and, in the end, it will be better for the team.

One significant question that becomes evident from a coach at this point is: How do you train a player to be more effective in analysing their own performance?

Just like other areas of skill acquisition, the ability to watch shows and then highlight important points and make valuable analysis from personal observation is the same as the skill of controlling the ball. It is something that must be learned, and some players will be better than others.

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As a trainer, you have to ask yourself how much time you can spend to ensure that the feedback and analysis of your players gives value to your training sessions and, more importantly, improves their own performance? Consider this alongside introducing new drills for their training sessions. For Rugby Drills and other sports, visit

It is now a common view that athletes must be actively involved in their own learning. The days of traditional knowledge handed down from coaches to athletes quickly became an outdated form of training.

There is compelling evidence that being significantly involved in a learning process increases the intrinsic motivation of players. From a social point of view, involving the player often helps to forge a positive team atmosphere and fosters peer-to-peer collaboration on a number of levels.

However, on the other hand, involving too many players in performance analysis can present difficulties.

Here are a few examples:

There may be times when a player’s point of view conflicts with the views of his coach, making difficult conversations and potential conflicts.

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Examples can arise when the coach does not value player feedback and this could potentially endanger the player / coach relationship and potentially jeopardize the player’s confidence to speak.

Some players will not be able to see the broader context but will only see analysis from their own narrow perspective.

When coaches and players were interviewed during research, the fascinating feedback concluded that players desired far greater involvement in analysing performance and the coach saw great worth in involving players in analysing that performance – individually, in small groups and as a team.

Trainers have indicated that they have helped players to effectively analyse performance by providing a limited number of areas in the game to become the focus of the athletes. The trainer concerned acknowledges that watching full matches recorded is a difficult question, but if the match is broken down into prominent fields, the learning process is enhanced.

From the video clip, the trainer can make the player focus on certain aspects of the game. When it comes to training, if the players have seen it in the clip, they will understand why they spend so much time working on the ball from that area.


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