Blog Sports Sports

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.

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:

Kinexon App Metrics Overview

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

More stories

Coaches who use a data-driven hockey software get better insights to make decisions.
What Data-Driven Hockey Software and Puck Data Can Do for Coaches and Players

The power of data in ice hockey is eye-opening. Analytics are enhancing player performance, strategic decision-making, and training development. But those aren’t the only ways data-driven hockey software is reshaping the game.

IMU data is collected during indoor sports lake handball, basketball, and volleyball to manage player workloads.
What Does an IMU Sensor Track in Elite Handball?

Handball players move fast and put lots of stress on their bodies. But more coaches are discovering that using the most-used load management system in sports helps to keep them on the court and playing their best for longer periods.

an athlete gps tracker is used by coaches to monitor how well a player is performing in many outdoor sports.
What Kind of Data Does a GPS Tracker for Football Players Provide?

Technology has become an integral part of enhancing player performance and reducing injuries. One such example is the GPS tracker for football players. But what kind of data does it provide? And what does this information tell coaches and players?

Paul Koier is with the UNC Charlotte 49ers Sport Performance Staff working with the women's basketball and women's tennis teams.
The Connection Between Basketball Data, Point Spreads, and Sports Performance

When it comes to women’s college basketball, every edge counts, both mentally and physically. This ensures the best possible outcome on game day. Even if it means using the daily line as motivation.

Ice hockey advanced statistics provide a level of detail about a player that you can't get from a box score.
Are On-Ice Skating Tests Essential for Coaches Who Evaluate Hockey Players?

On-ice skating tests are often used to evaluate essential performance attributes in competitive-level hockey players, including agility and speed. A recent study provides insights for coaches, that may help them pick the best tests and exercises to assess hockey players.

Eric Donoval is the director of sports performance for the football team at the University of Wyoming.
How Coaches Balance Football Analytics and Coach’s Intuition When Making Player Decisions

The interplay between hard data and human intuition in football is a delicate dance. Eric Donoval, the Director of Sports Performance for the University of Wyoming football team, provided insightful commentary on this intricate balance on a recent episode of The Xtra Edge” podcast.

Why Integrating Match and Training Data is Critical for Football Coaches

More and more coaches are taking advantage of the powerful combination of match data and GPS-based training data. This fusion of information is providing unprecedented insights into player performance, team dynamics, and game strategy.

GPS football tracking sensors are worn by players as a coach watches a dashboard that displays performance metrics.
How Coaches Are Unlocking Football Players’ Potential with GPS Tracking Insights

Technology’s influence on football is undeniable, particularly with the expanded use of GPS tracking. It plays a major role in painting a more comprehensive picture of individual players and overall team performance, leading to improved outcomes. And now it’s easier than ever for coaches to use. 

Dalton Knecht attended the NBA Combine after finishing his playing career for the Tennessee Volunteers of the NCAA Division I Southeastern Conference.
What's the One Thing 2024 NBA Draft Combine Leaders Have in Common?

The NBA Draft Combine underscores the pivotal role of data-driven performance metrics in preparing athletes for high-stakes competitions. But there’s a commonality among the players who performed best during the strength and agility drills this year.

Dimitris Itoudis, one of the winningest coaches in EuroLeague history and uses basketball analytics to aid his decision-making.
Dimitris Itoudis is Mastering EuroLeague Basketball with Data-Driven Coaching

Dimitris Itoudis is one of the winningest coaches in EuroLeague basketball history and renowned for his strategic prowess. But he also exemplifies the marriage between traditional coaching wisdom and modern data analytics.

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.