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1 The role of psychological factors in the delivery of performance analysis – perceptions of youth football coaches and players
  1. SG Middlemas1,2,
  2. CG Harwood1
  1. 1School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, Loughborough University, UK
  2. 2Institute of Sport and Adventure, Otago Polytechnic, New Zealand

Abstract

Video is increasingly recognised and utilised within elite sport settings as an appropriate medium for capturing and analysing information about performance. However, research to date has focused more attention on the technology and techniques associated with analysis, and limited research exists which has explored the day-to-day realities of using video as a learning tool within sport. Specifically, the aim of this research project was to gain an in-depth understanding of the psychological factors influencing this process within elite youth football. Interviews were conducted with eleven coaches (age, M = 38y, range = 29–52) and twelve players (age, M = 17y, range = 16–18) based with elite youth football environments. A thematic content analysis was conducted separately for the coach and player datasets, yielded 911 distinct raw-data quotes, which were abstracted into 209 lower-order themes and 33 higher-order themes. Common themes were identified in both the coach and player results, and three general dimensions were subsequently abstracted: Psychological processes, Delivery Strategies, and Delivery climate. The results highlighted differences in the way coaches and players perceived the video feedback delivery process, particularly with regards coaches’ desire to see players critically evaluating their team-mates performance and the use of video as punishment tool by coaches. The coaches and players both highlighted the importance of creating a positive, supportive psychological climate surrounding delivery in order to develop players who were capable of independent learning. However, the players felt that the coaches were reluctant to share control with them, often leading to them feeling demotivated and lacking in confidence. To maximise the impact of delivery, coaches needed to place greater emphasis on strategies focused on individual players rather than traditional team-focused delivery, thus tapping into players’ specific psychological and performance needs. Barriers to learning, including coaches’ lacking the understanding of how players were responding mentally to the self-review process and players’ lacking key mental skills to work independently from the coach. The expertise of the psychology practitioner was identified as someone who could add value to the delivery process.

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