Shot Location: Part 1

In the two previous blog posts we have explained how we, in TSA, use principles from behavioral science in order to optimize our ability to communicate useable information to professional football players. Furthermore, we have explained in the previous posts that we use a specific model of a football pitch (se the post Behavioral science) to facilitate player’s intuitive understanding of data.

One example of this is our work with shot location data. We wanted to know where goals in general are scored from. We used “The Pitch” as a framework for collecting data from more than 10.000 games from the European Top Five Leagues. We simply investigated: Where are goals scored from in open play? The result is illustrated below. The numbers indicate the percentage of goals scored in open play from any specific cell.

Of course, goals can be scored from anywhere on the pitch, but less than 1 % of the goals are scored from cells not numbered in this statistic.

In our next blog post, Shot Location: Part 2, we will give an example of how it is possible to use this framework to make players score more goals.

Before that it is relevant to know that “The Pitch” is build up as coordinate system. The vertical (y-axis) zones are numbered 1-16 (starting with zone 1 nearest the opponent’s goal). The horizontal zones (x-axis) are numbered 1-5 on each side of the goal. Cells on the right side of the pitch end with “+”, while cells on the left side on the pitch end with “-“.

This can be seen in the picture above. This makes it easier for the players to understand which cells that are relevant to him, since the cells have names. For example, it is easy to understand that 2 % of goals are scored from (3.3+).

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