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Knowledge Management meets soccer

1 February 2023

Igal Berman

Soccer is a sport that has existed in various forms for hundreds of years. This game has evolved over the years and has become one of the most popular sports in the world. Soccer originated in 19th-century England, where the first official rules were created in 1863 by the local soccer association.

The game spread quickly throughout Europe and was soon played around the world.

At the end of the 19th Century, the professionalization of football began, and the sport grew increasingly popular. Today, soccer is played in countries all over the world and continues to be one of the most popular sports in the world.

Besides this, soccer's development as a branch, which includes a lot of strategy and teamwork, also led to the introduction of various technological tools, including Knowledge Management tools. Knowledge management is especially important for professional teams to maintain their competitive edge.

By using Knowledge Management, teams can evaluate the best tactics, analyze past performance and find ways to learn and continuously improve.


Knowledge Management for professional aspects

As in any field, sharing knowledge within a group or team during the training sessions and between them, as well as sharing knowledge through the coach, represent knowledge management processes that have been occurring naturally for years.

However, in recent years we have seen progress, and it is apparent that Knowledge Management can be helpful in several professional aspects based on monitoring and reviewing relevant information regarding players, teams, opponents, and strategies.

Systematic and orderly monitoring and review of information can help coaches and managers gain insights and develop better game strategies to achieve their goals. For example, coaches can analyze an individual player's performance to see which areas require improvement and make adjustments accordingly. It can be an athletic quality that must be improved or a technical aspect of the game the player is required to improve.

Knowledge Management can also help coaches and managers develop and evaluate training exercises that can be adapted to individual players.

In short, Knowledge Management serves to improve the professionalism of both the team and the individuals.


Knowledge management for administrative aspects

Knowledge Management in football clubs also pertains to administration. This issue is reflected in the marketing/ticket sales departments. These departments use computerized systems that store data on fans that enable clubs to personalize certain services based on the fan's preferences. This is open knowledge, which greatly promotes football clubs.

For example, where and how does the fan come to the team's home games? Is he a subscriber? This data can help the club to answer several questions, such as "where are most of my customers from?" because fans are, after all, customers. Do most of the fans arrive by public transport or by private car? If most come by public transportation, are trains/buses to their place of residence adequately accessible?

As in any organization, professional football clubs also feature projects and process development learned and built over the years. An example of an organizational process is arranging and flying the team abroad, either for a game in a competitive framework or for a training camp.

Travel arrangements require a procedure that reflects an orderly process of coordination, logistics, storage, and more.

In professional clubs, these work processes are thorough and systematic, not unlike the processes we are familiar with in the world of Knowledge Management, even if this term is not formally used.

Knowledge Management is relevant to lessons learned during crises and specific events (professional or managerial), such as interactions between football clubs and dealings with courts.

In many cases, professional teams conduct a lesson-learning process to improve in the future. It is indeed apparent how much better those clubs handle similar challenges after failures and crises.


Tools for football knowledge management

Hereby are several examples of tools commonly used today that support Knowledge Management in the world of football:


Performance analysis software

Performance analysis software such as Opta Sports and ProZone help coaches and managers analyze player performance and formulate optimal game tactics.


Video analysis

Tools such as Hudl and Telestration allow coaches and managers to examine games and practices and identify trends, individual player performance, team moves, and areas that require improvement.


scouting

Scouting is a very interesting field that applies Knowledge Management using digital tools/software.

Soccer scouting software are tools used to analyze data and create reports on soccer players and teams. Also, they help coaches/managers identify potential procurement players, analyze opponents, and make informed decisions.

Popular software include ScoutMe Player, Player and Team Scout, Scouty, XOS Digital Scouting, and more. These programs help provide a comprehensive view of players and help coaches and the scouting team evaluate players correctly. The software provides a comprehensive suite of features, which enables analyzing details such as players' athleticism and technical skills of a specific player and creating personalized reports about that player.


In conclusion

Knowledge Management consultants and the field of Knowledge Management can be useful to soccer teams/clubs in helping them improve their team's overall performance. Knowledge management consultants can help with organizational strategies, human resources, analytics, and data management. Furthermore, they can help the professional team make data-based decisions and understand how their players operate within the system. They can also make suggestions to improve team performance through advanced data analysis, ensure efficient processes and assist in coordinating the players' and coaches' goals.


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