he primary goal of youth sports is development. And even though most youth soccer clubs and teams claim development as their primary objective, most kids still define success in terms of winning, because it is the only thing we measure. This is why soccer statistics are so important! Statistics help players re-define how they measure success and allow them to start measuring what matters – their development! We have seen statistics completely change the attitude and confidence of young players and help them enjoy and love the game more. Here are a few of the benefits we see most often.
More Fun: When we surveyed high school players about what they enjoy most about soccer, one of the top answers was “getting better”! This is why kids have so much fun playing video games. They get immediate feedback of how they contributed and how they are progressing and improving. Soccer statistics allow kids to “level up”, make improvement a tangible reality, and make the youth soccer experience more fun.
Increased Confidence: Nothing improves confidence like success. And if kids are measuring success by whether they win a game, then more than 50% fail each week. What a terrible model for improving confidence. Meaningful statistics for each player allow them to see what they did well each game and how to improve upon it. Statistics improve confidence.
Meaningful Insights: After a coach or a parent tells a kid what they need to improve 2 or 3 times, they start to tune it out. But kids trust data and data is not an emotional mess when it communicates to them (like parents often are). Soccer statistics allow players to see where they were above and below their personal average and position averages for every aspect of their game. This makes it easy for them to know where they can focus their training efforts to improve.
More Motivation: Competition is an incredible motivator. And statistics create a competitive environment that is incredibly appealing to kids because it is fair and objective – like video games. Don’t believe me, ask Anson Dorrance who uses a statistically driven competition program for every training session and game and has won 21 NCAA D1 Soccer Championships at UNC. The next closest school has won 3. It works.
Guaranteed Visibility: Kids often feel like coaches have their favorites (they often do), so they don’t get noticed for their performance or how much they’ve improved. Stats make sure this doesn’t happen. If you’re winning the ball back for your team, completing more passes, or producing more goals or assists per minute than any other player on the field, now you can show it!
If you are a player or a parent who is not using statistics as a tool to accelerate your development and improve your youth soccer experience, you’re missing the boat. Tools like Ollie make it easy for one person on the sidelines to capture real-time statistics for every player on the field. Find out why hundreds of teams are signing up for Ollie every week and get started for free today.