Are you a statistics lover?
As a netball coach, do you worship your stats so much that you’d quite happily generate 3D charts and diagrams for every player on your 13/U team? Or do you rarely even carry a pen and paper, let alone use them to make notes during your game?
Chances are you reside somewhere in between.
Some coaches love statistics. Others don’t. And crunching numbers can admittedly be a slippery slope for a netball coach and their team if you spend so long evaluating the stats that you forget to actually look at the way the team is playing.
We’ve seen coaches with their head buried so far into their iPad stats program that it’s a wonder they see any of the game at all, let alone process what’s happening.
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Likewise, some players live for stats, while others would prefer to remain blissfully unaware of the data behind their performance.
But a few simple statistics can be handy when working out where your team is excelling, and the areas it’s falling down.
If you want to take a few simple stats during your games without getting bogged down, try these ones as a starting point:
If we could take only one stat, converted turnovers would probably be it. More often than not you’ll find it will tell the tale of your game, and gives you a pretty accurate picture of what’s happened.
Try marking each positive turnover throughout each quarter with an “I” in your coaching book, and then circle it if you score from it, and put a line through it if you don’t. You’ll quickly get an idea of how efficient your team is, and whether you need to do more work on transitioning the ball from defence into attack, as well as finishing off.
TICKS AND CROSSES
You don’t necessarily need extreme detail about exactly what positive/negative turnovers your players are making (i.e. intercept, bad pass etc). Chances are you’ll remember how a lot of them played out, anyway.
But putting your players’ names down on paper each quarter and using little ticks and crosses to mark their positive and negative turnovers can be handy for not only keeping track of how each player is playing, but also for helping with providing constructive feedback to individual players and the team as a whole after the game.
Unfortunately for goalers, they tend to live and die by their stats. Even if you’re not jotting down every single goal and miss, everyone always seems to remember when a goaler’s had a great game or been a little wayward.
But don’t just write down the goals and misses – make a note or two about WHY they’re scoring/missing. Are they shooting at 80%+ because they’re making the extra effort to re-feed the ball closer to the post. Are they missing because they’re struggling to shoot over hands? Is it a fitness issue – do they always miss at the end of a quarter? Is it a technique issue that needs correcting?
The feedback you provide about why things are happening is more important than the statistic itself.