People, Participation, Progression, Performance in Hockey

Match Analysis

Match/team analysis involves observing and assessing a number of a teams game aspects:

To include

  1. Formation
  2. Style of Play
  3. System of Play – movement patterns
  4. Stand out Players
  5. Strengths
  6. Spaces to exploit
  7. Set Pieces

Here are some steps:

  1. Pre-match research: Gather information about both teams, their recent performances, playing styles, key players, and tactical approaches
  2. Team formations: Identify the formations employed by each team. A teams formation  can significantly influence your team’s tactics and gameplay
  3. Player roles and positions: Pay attention to the roles assigned to individual players and their positions on the field. Analyze their movements, responsibilities, and contributions.
  4. Team shape and structure: Observe how the team sets up defensively and offensively. Assess their compactness, width, and depth. Note how they transition between defense and attack, as well as their pressing and counter-pressing strategies
  5. Offensive tactics: Analyze the attacking strategies of each team. Look for patterns such as overlapping full-backs, diagonal runs, through balls, or target man play. Identify key players involved in the build-up and the final third
  6. Defensive tactics: Evaluate the defensive organization of each team. Assess their pressing intensity, defensive lines, marking strategies, and how they deal with counter-attacks. Look for weaknesses in their defensive structure and potential areas to exploit
  7. Set-piece analysis: Assess how teams approach set-piece situations, such as PCA/PCD, 16’s, long corners, sideline hits
  8. Individual performances: Pay attention to standout individual performances. Analyse the strengths and weaknesses of key players
  9. Substitutions / tactical changes: Any substitutions made and how they impact the game. Analyse the reasons behind these changes and any subsequent shifts in tactics or team dynamics.
  10. Post-match analysis: Reflect on the outcome of the game and how the tactical analysis contributed to the final result. Identify key factors that influenced the match, such as effective tactics, individual performances, or critical moments.

    Specific questions

    1. Is there potential space to exploit that may be on the other flank
    2. Press – Recognise the shape your opponent’s adopt “W”? “Deny”? “Split”?
    3. Recognise the nature of the press “zone” or “man to man” (this may be different in the opponent’s midfield and defence)
    4. Ensure players run positively off the ball to receive behind opponents and “in the seams” countering behind the press
    5. Ensure there are passing options between 10m and 15m and there are a series of staging posts (3rd men) to stretch and move the game over 45m -60m
    6. Ensure immediate positive 3rd man support for a player receiving back to goal, the nearest support player must not hesitate
    7. Ensure ONE player is in the guard position (10m directly behind the ball) to offer an outlet pass and give confidence to the player in possession
    8. Players on the ball to threaten forward and look to play positively and immediately offer support the next ball carrier
    9. Player on the ball makes the decision to play forward or backwards (to the guard or deeper defender) rarely if ever square
    10. Every player reacts to the POTENTIAL new ball position, anticipating rather than reacting to a successful pass or interception
    11. Simulate this situation in practice, during intra club competition

    Remember – Reward the process rather than the result – be patient!

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