The best football players have great awareness of their surroundings, even before receiving the ball. I started studying SCANNING in 1997. Since then, we have filmed & analyzed more than 250 professional players and 200 elite youth players. What have we learned? Thread 1/15.
We have produced 10 scientific publications on scanning in football, another 25 unpublished student theses/dissertations, and have discussed results with hundreds of players and coaches. Overall conclusion: The best players look at the game, others look (more) at the ball. 2/15
A player scans when temporarily directing face/eyes away from the ball, to prepare actions with the ball. High scan frequency (scans per second) is linked with higher pass completion and more progressive passes. Result holds across match situations.… 3/15
Players in all positions and field locations will likely benefit from scanning, but some positions naturally scan more than others. At both Premier League and top U17/U19 level: Midfielders scan the most, forwards the least.…… 4/15
Many of the top players in the game are/were extraordinary scanners. Of all players we have filmed these past 20+ years, Xavi Hernández is the one with the highest average frequency in a full game (measured last 10 seconds before receiving the ball): 0.83 scans per second. 5/15
When interviewed and made aware of these numbers, Xavi: “(...) it's like an obsession. When I entered this room, I analyzed how the chairs, the tables were placed. I always want to sit where I can see the whole room. It's a reflex, I always do that.”… 6/15
Scanning is as important for defending. In a student project, we found that premier league defenders guarding the box against crosses adopted a more open body orientation and scanned more frequently than reserve league/academy defenders.… @NylandN 7/15
Timing is key. Elite players scan between teammates’ touches of the ball. When the ball is touched, it changes direction/pace, so they look at the ball. Between touches (or when the ball moves between players), nothing new happens with the ball, so they look at other events. 8/15
The football match is so dynamic, fast-paced, and complex it challenges the limits of the eyes. Our eye tracking studies show elite players’ scans are quick (90% lasts less than 0.7 sec) and rarely involves fixation of the eye (less than 3% of scans).… 9/15
Scanning is never sufficient. To benefit from it, players need to actually pick up the information and convert it into action. Many complex cognitive operations are involved, but scanning provides an observable and manageable (i.e., “scoutable” and “coachable”) portal. 10/15
Scanning can be trained. This is documented with adult professional players and academy players. It is easy and quick to increase scanning frequency. Takes more time to improve perception and subsequent actions with the ball.…… 11/15
Make scanning a habit by starting training early! Just like we tell our kids to look to both sides before crossing a busy road, kids can be taught to look left and right before receiving the ball on a busy football pitch. Many elite players did this at a very young age. 12/15
Game-based activities where players are required to pick up game-specific information are essential to develop scanning. To get many relevant repetitions, supplement with exercises where scanning is necessary for successful task solution. Video: SC Heerenveen first team. 13/15
Technology can accelerate the development of scanning. The best tools make you scan with optimal frequency and timing, perceive realistic and game-specific information, and act out your decisions. Here, Brighton/Stoke City’s Leo Østigård. @leoskirio 14/15
Scanning does not reveal everything about a player’s match awareness, but it is ONE concrete indicator that can be measured, scouted, and coached. Greater knowledge and integration of scanning will make the game richer and better for players, coaches, analysts, and fans. 15/15
The rule is: Position yourself at the opposite side of where the player behind your back moves. If he moves to the right, you position to the left, etc.

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Geir Jordet

Geir Jordet Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @GeirJordet

27 Sep
Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez is currently football’s number 1 penalty shooter disruptor. How? Here’s a brief historical & scientific analysis of 5 goalkeeper disruption techniques for penalty kicks, ending with Martinez’ “master class” last Saturday. Thread (1/10).
(1) Visual distraction technique. Goalkeepers sometimes engage in erratic movements to disturb the visual field of the shooter, command attention, and create disorder. Study shows players are 10% less likely to score when faced with distraction… (2/10)
Historically, visual distraction has been creatively and successfully used on many big occasions: Grobbelar’s wobbly knees (A), Dudek on the line (B), Krul warming up in the 18-yard box (C), & Everson taking a reverse knee (D). Key is being asymmetrical or unpredictable. (3/10)
Read 10 tweets
16 Jul
11 seconds. Marcus Rashford. Nobody has EVER stood that long prior to a kick in a big tournament penalty shootout (for 45 years)! What does time spent standing still after the referee’s whistle say about performing under pressure? Thread about time, penalties, and Rashford (1/9)
Historically, quick is linked to misses; players sometimes seek relief from pressure and rush to the detriment of shot quality (…). The 3 shootouts BEFORE the final support this; those who scored took considerably more time than those who missed (2/9)
This was reversed in the extraordinary penalty shootout in the final. ENG and ITA players who missed their penalties took unusually long time to start moving after the referee’s signal (on average), and noticeably longer than players who scored. Why the changed pattern? (3/9)
Read 10 tweets
9 Jul
How do you control yourself under extreme pressure? Our research shows: football players who start their penalty kick run-up quickly have less probability of scoring than those who wait a few seconds. Thread with evidence from Copa America/Euros (1/4)…
Players who scored their kicks in the 2021 Copa America penalty shootouts took on average 2.5 seconds to start after the referee’s whistle, while those who missed took 1.4 seconds. Paraguay’s Angel Romero (goal) with the longest wait: 6.3 seconds (2/4)
Players who scored in the Euros took on average 2.5 seconds to react to the whistle, those who missed took 0.9 seconds. Pogba & Belotti (goals) both waited 6.5 seconds. Notable players in a rush, who missed: Mbappé, Sergio Busquets, Rodri, and Morata – all below 0.5 seconds (3/4)
Read 4 tweets
6 Jul
The penalty shootout in football is the essence of performing under pressure. I spent 5 years of my life studying the Psychology of this event. Here's what I learned, which can also help understanding it in the current Euros/Copa America. Thread based on 10 of our studies. (1/13) Image
We analyzed videos of EVERY SINGLE SHOOTOUT in the World Cup, Euro, and Champions League from 1976 to today, interviewed 25 players who were there, and personally tested predictions in practice with 15 elite teams. The unsurprising conclusion: This is a psychological game! (2/13) Image
Players in the World Cup, Euros, and Copa America miss more shots when pressure is high (late in the shootout), have lower shooting skill (defenders), are older than 23 yrs (younger players score more), and are fatigued (played 120 min). (3/13) Article: Image
Read 13 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!