Blog Sports Sports

Key-Performance Indicators from Football (Soccer) Player Tracking and How to Use Them

Using soccer player tracking software metrics has become almost mandatory in pro football (soccer). They may not guarantee success. Yet, knowing which key performance indicators to use and how to combine them helps evaluate athletes’ performances, prevent injuries, and lead them to peak performance.

MunichFeb 17, 2023

Author: Rene Prüssner

Key performance indicators lay the groundwork for tracking players’ performance effectively. Yet, attributing the same key metrics to every player in the exact same way will not work. Humans are individuals. Athletes react individually to practice and games. 

Also, coaches have differing focuses. While one may favor an overpowering style of football, another may be looking to dominate opponents through possession and passing.

Hence, a single metric can be the first dot. Only by looking at volume‑, intensity‑, internal-and external data altogether, by contrasting mechanical and metabolic load and connecting all those dots over a range of time, is it possible to paint a player’s performance picture.

Martin Krüger, Union Berlin’s athletics coach, explains why metrics played a crucial role in the club having the least days missed due to injury during the first half of the current Bundesliga season.

Football (Soccer) Player Tracking: Load Management for Players

Taking all that into account is particularly vital in football, where players cover around 10km at an average speed of 7km/​h, about 1.5km at high intensity. Add about 20 sprints per game, and you get a mix of endurance and explosiveness. 

Players need to change directions quickly, sometimes at almost full speed. They must stop or accelerate on the spot while covering lots of ground. That may lead to overload – – and injuries. Especially to the knees, ankles, and muscles.

If you’re interested in learning more about our football (soccer) player training devices, please contact us. One of our experts will get your team set up with a customized load management plan. 


Finding and defining the right metrics is critical to your team’s success. You must use a combination of volume vs. intensity. Our sport scientists will not only help you (coaches) analyze the data, they’ll develop a strategy that is based on your team’s needs.

Rene Prüssner – Head of Sports Science at KINEXON

Benefits of Football (Soccer) Player Tracking and Load Management

Therefore, by tracking specific key performance indicators over a week, month or season, coaching staffs can monitor whether a player differs from their usual performance. Plus, it becomes apparent if an athlete stagnates despite training designed to stimulate a spike.

Compared to practice metrics, match data can indicate whether a player can apply the training efforts during a game. Match metrics also help manage load, as coaches can use them as a reference point to aim at certain intensity levels during the practice week. 

Through live soccer player tracking, that process becomes even more agile. Coaches witness how specific exercises impact their players’ performance in real-time. If the metrics indicate too much or a lack of intensity, coaches can adjust immediately.

Key Player Metrics in Football

When using a soccer player tracking device for in-depth analysis, all metrics need to be applied with a player’s position in mind. For example, during a game’s the requirements for a center-back differ from those for a winger. The following key-performance indicators facilitate that process:

  • Acceleration Load: Adding up different acceleration data like movements, jumps and bumps to one single number, the data indicate what a practice demands from the athlete’s body and possible overload: the higher the acceleration load, the more intense the training session or exercise.
    • Combine With: distance covered in high-intensity ranges.
  • Total distance: basic volume metric that does not tell much if looked at in isolation.
    • Combine with: acceleration load and heart rate metrics or TRIMP.
  • Sprints: high-intensity metric tracking how often and long a player sprints during practice. With repeated sprints being crucial in football, monitoring them over time indicates whether training is effective and how it affects the players’ match performances. 
    • Combine with: internal load metrics to determine how demanding training sessions are and manage the load.
  • Training Impulse (TRIMP): Indicating internal load, TRIMP helps track a training session’s demands from the player. It uses the average minimal and maximum heart rate and the session’s duration. The benefit: coaches can determine whether an athlete needs more aerobic or anaerobic workouts. Plus, they can compare the demands of training and match and see if a specific exercise meets the TRIMP values of a match. Analyzing values over time allows staffs to spot a player’s exhaustion and overload. 
    • Combine with: external metrics to track the demands that training sessions put on players.

Metrics like decelerations, accelerations, and impacts become very meaningful to me, whereas someone focused on optimization might focus on speed zones and maximum achieved statistics.

Skylar Richards - Athletic Trainer | Sports Scientist

KINEXON’s Role in Football Player Tracking

Offering ball-and player tracking, KINEXON Football provides all the metrics coaching staffs need to evaluate their players’ performance. Being incredibly precise and supplying metrics 3‑dimensionally in real-time, KINEXON player tracking solutions help design training sessions more effectively. 

That helps prevent injuries, and players get assistance to peak at the right time. For more insights, explore our recent case study with Union Berlin. As in the previous season, no club has fewer injuries in the first half of the current Bundesliga season than Union Berlin. Martin Krüger, Union’s Athetic Coach, is certain that tracking data has played an important role. 

Download Union Berlin Case Study 

More stories

American football analytics are helping players plan better offseason workouts.
How Analytics Can Help Improve Collegiate Football Workouts

The offseason is a crucial time for college football players to improve their skills, strength, and conditioning. But how do you put together a training program that is as efficient as it is effective? Here’s a surefire way to start.

a recent study looked at the effectiveness of plyometrics workouts for handball players.
Researchers Uncover the Power of Plyometric Workouts for Elite Handball Players

A group of researchers set out to assess the impact Plyometric training might have on improving vertical jumps (and other performance metrics) of handball players at the elite or national level. Here’s what they learned.

In addition to being the Head Strength and Conditioning coach for Heroes Den Bosch, Coach Rik van Waes is also a physiotherapist.
Data-Driven Approach Fuels Coach’s Return-to-Play Protocol!

Injury recovery is a critical aspect of sports, and it’s where data can make a significant impact. As Rik van Waes, the Head Strength and Conditioning for the Heroes Den Bosch professional basketball team, puts it, Returning to play after an injury is one of the major things that data can contribute to.”

REWE Final4 Breaks New Ground with Cutting-Edge Handball

Each year, thousands of handball fans converge at the REWE Final4, while millions tune in from home. Alongside the Handball Bundesliga, it doesn’t get much bigger than this. Except this year. 

A study found Olympic derived strength training is good for women's volleyball players trying to improve their jump height.
Study Reveals: Olympic-Based Strength Training Enhances Handball Skills!

Imagine the power and agility of an Olympic athlete combined with the strength and endurance of a handball player. That’s exactly what a recent study set out to explore. The goal? To unlock new levels of performance for women handball players. 

TSG Hoffenheim women's soccer team is working with KINEXON sports to help develop women-specific player metrics and cycle-syncing workouts.
What's Still Missing on The Journey to Equality for Women Athletes?

Researchers from the Bundesliga club, TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, are conducting a study on the influence of the menstrual cycle on the performance of women athletes. Dr. Sascha Härtel and Dr. Ludwig Ruf shared insights into the research, and talked about what is still needed.

A European basketball coach watches a player take a shot at practice.
Study Reveals the Most Popular Shot EuroLeague Basketball Players Take

Sports analytics and data-driven forecasting play crucial roles in European basketball. Researchers are trying to identify essential performance metrics and effective coaching strategies. What they’re finding is that one type of shot is more popular than the rest.

Why Underloaded EuroLeague Basketball Players Still Need Data

As Head of Performance at Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul, Kostas Chatzichristos knows basketball analytics. He explains why coaches need to collect data on all players — even the ones who aren’t getting minutes.

Players from the University of Louisiana take part in an experiment using KINEXON Sports wearables.
What a UL Experiment Revealed About Merging Live GPS Data and Recovery Tech

In football, recovery is as important as training. Recently, the sports medicine staff from the University of Louisiana conducted an experiment to gauge the impact Firefly Recovery Devices may have on a player’s recovery with the help of live data from KINEXON Sports.

Sports video analysis software is used to track different basketball metrics.
How Basketball Coaches Can Use Sports Video Analysis Software

Basketball coaches and players strive to understand the intricacies of each shot. But using a video analysis software, that doubles as basketball shot tracking app, promises to be the Holy Grail for those seeking comprehensive insights. 

Sports performance software is used in volleyball to track things like jump height and load.
What Are The Volleyball Metrics That Matter Most to Coaches?

Volleyball positions require speed, agility, power, and precision. But how do you know if your team is performing at its best? How do you measure your progress and identify your strengths and weaknesses? This is where player metrics and analytics come in.

Jeremy Portillo is the sports performance coach for Evansville University men’s basketball team.
Why Evansville University’s Sports Performance Coach Dislikes Backpedaling

How can players optimize their performance and avoid wasting steps on the court? That’s the question Jeremy Portillo, the sports performance coach for Evansville University men’s basketball team, was asked on a recent episode of The Extra Edge” podcast. He gave a jaw-dropping answer.

a coach uses resistance to help improve a player's acceleration, which is one of the metrics often targeted in sports analytics data.
Athletic Performance: Why is it Important to Understand and Track Acceleration?

Athletic ability is often associated with an athlete’s explosive speed and acceleration. That’s why acceleration is often called one of the cornerstones of excellence in athletic performance. But did you know that it can be improved with the right tools and training methods?

How UAB's Strength Coach Sold Football Analytics to His Head Coach

Author: Dave Grendzynski

Lyle Henley, the Director of Sport Performance for the University of Alabama Birmingham. football team. He’s a strong advocate for sports data. He shares his story of how he sold his old school head coach, Trent Dilfer, on the idea of using data.

In cooperation with the European League of Football (ELF), KINEXON's LPS system will be used for live player tracking in American Football at the 2022 championship game in Klagenfurt.
What Kind of Live Data Can an LPS System Provide Fans During an American Football Game?

Coaches, players, media, and fans crave real-time insights to enhance performance, strategy, and engagement in American Football. Now, LPS technology is providing just that. Giving everyone in the stands, and watching at home, a view of the game they have never seen before.