Player Profiling is a key part of creating an individual development plan

Do you know your players’ individual development needs?

How much do you really know about your players?

What are their individual strengths and weaknesses? What do they personally need to improve on? Do they know where they can grow as players?

Knowing how to help players develop from an individual perspective and take ownership of their personal growth is an important area for all coaches. It will also go a long way to helping the team’s overall learning and development.

A useful tool to support you and your players with this is what’s known as an individual development plan, or IDP.

Used at the elite levels of the game, an IDP can enable you as a coach to help your players recognise their own strengths and weaknesses, identify the things they would like to improve on and understand how they can do it.

Players keen to learn and develop – those with a Growth Mindset – will be fully engaged in creating an effective learning plan.

As a coach, you can facilitate their self-reflection, encourage them to take ownership of their own journey in the game, and, most importantly, help them to develop as both players and people.

Unfortunately, there is no magic wand that can be waved when it comes to player development and there is no 'one size fits all'.

One key part in the process of an IDP is learning more about your players through profiling.

The main benefit of this is to assess where they are at, in a moment in time, against a set of criteria appropriate to their age/ability/position.

The younger the age, the more generic the criteria will be as we start to give them a solid foundation of the basic skills required within football.

Benefits for profiling your players include:

  • Plan specific sessions based on the needs and requirements of the players.
  • Monitor and measure improvement and progress in players and help motivate them.
  • Check against your own performance as a coach.
  • Keep players and parents well informed.
  • Understand where the player is currently.
  • Give you a better understanding of what the player is thinking.

In our Individual Player Development CPD course for coaches at all levels of the game, one area of focus is Player Profiling, and we provide coaches with a Player Profiling Template, based on the work and experiences of our coaching Mentors at professional clubs.

The course also helps you to teach your players how they can review their own progress, engaging them fully in the process.

Our coach development mentor, Jamie Godbold – a former FA Tutor – also takes your through how you can set goals for your players, as well as planning and designing practices with a purpose to support the IDPs.

Jamie also guides you through the important process of reviewing the plans, so players can recognise their improvement as a result of the time and effort they have put into their own self-development.

How well do you know your players?
How much do you really know about your players? What are their individual strengths and weaknesses? What do they personally need to improve on? Do they know where they can grow as players? Do they even want to develop?
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