PERSONAL STRENGTHS / WEAKNESSES
Definition
Personal Strengths and Weaknesses are the mental, emotional, social and physical attributes of an individual that may be deemed as an area of strength or weakness within their performance.
Impact on Performance
It is important to devise a tactic or plan which maximises your own strengths and minimises your weaknesses. For example in tennis, a player who is tall and strong will often try to “serve and volley” whilst a quicker player with good ground strokes will try and play longer rallies from the baseline. Equally, it is important to consider your opponents strengths and weaknesses in order to minimise their strengths and exploit any weaknesses. For example, if you are a powerful badminton player and have an effective overhead clear / smash and your opponent does not then you would try to force your opponent to the back of their court using your overhead clear so that when they play a weak return you could respond with a smash.


ROLE DEMANDS

Definition
Your role is the part you play in an activity e.g. performer or playing role (e.g. attacker, defender, wing attack, scrum half) or a non-playing role (referee, time-keeper, coach). Demands are the qualities required to fulfil the role effectively.
Impact on Performance
Role Demands relate to your own personal strengths and weaknesses and whether these are suited to a certain playing or non-playing role. For example, in Hockey, both umpires and midfield players need speed endurance to continually keep up with the pace of the game. The team captain must also show personal qualities such as leadership. As a captain you are expected to encourage, motivate and communicate with your team mates. A captain can also pass on tactical information from the coach/manager to those on the pitch. If the captain fails to do this then the team may be confused about their own role/ position which could create gaps in the midfield or defence providing the other team with opportunities to attack.


TEAM STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES
Definition
Team Strengths and Weaknesses should be considered before choosing a tactic within an activity. It is important to consider your opponent’s strengths and weaknesses as well as your own strengths and weaknesses.
Impact on Performance
It is important to select a strategy that maximises your team strengths, minimises your team weaknesses, minimises your opponent’s strengths and exploits your opponent’s weaknesses. For example, the fast break is an attacking strategy that your team could your team had quick players who could cope with performing skills at a fast pace and were poor at breaking down defences. This would also be a good strategy against a team who had a strong zone defence but were slow to get back in their own half.

OPPOSITION

Definition
The Opposition / Opponent are any team or individual that you come up against when performing. They can be direct opposition (Football, Rugby) or indirect opposition (Swimming, Trampolining).
Impact on Performance
Being able to exploit / take advantage of your opponents weaknesses may have a positive impact on your performance. For example, if you know that your opponent in Badminton has a poor Overhead Clear then you would select to play Overhead Clears in order to keep your opponent at the back of the court. This should allow you to play an effective attacking Drop Shot or Smash in response to your opponents shot. Equally, it is important to minimise your opponent’s strengths. For example, if your opponent was effective at playing forehand shots in table tennis you would aim to the play the ball to their backhand side.

PREVIOUS HISTORY

Definition
Previous History relates to reflecting and using information gathered from past performances.

Impact on Performance
It is important to take past performances or results, positive or negative, into consideration. This could be data you have gathered on a specific skill or information on a specific team or individual. This may also relate to movements or skills that you have just performed. For example, reflecting on the last overhead clear you performed during a badminton match before performing the same shot again. If the clear was successful in reaching the back tramlines then you may try to repeat the action and weight of the shot. If it was unsuccessful then you may try to apply more or less power so that it reaches your intended target or opt to play a different shot due to a lack of confidence in executing another overhead clear.


ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS
Definition
Environmental conditions are the natural effects of weather, climate and ground conditions on performance. Conditions range from wind, rain, hills and temperature. Any variable in these conditions would result in the performer possibly having to change tactic to either compensate or take advantage of the condition.
Impact on Performance
It takes a lot of time to build up experience of different conditions. Pre-competition planning can therefore be an important factor in limiting the effect of changing environmental conditions. It is not just particular to outdoor sports either. Something as simple as a swimmer having to cope with a pool that has the sides the same level as the water versus a pool with a raised edge/lip makes a big difference to choppy water, especially in the outer lanes. In Golf, you may need to adapt your play when playing on a links course due to the wind. You may need to keep the ball low in windy conditions using longer irons and learn to play certain shots into the wind accepting that you would not reach the green positioning yourself for a good approach. Weather conditions may also affect your performance in cycling. For example, heavy rain could cause you to take up a position nearer the sides of the group as the spray might makes it difficult to react to changes in speed and riders moving in front of you.



WIDTH
Definition
This is having a spread of players across the playing area and relates to the space between players across the pitch or court.
Impact on performance
When players create width in attack: they have more space and time in which to work and execute skills; it puts pressure on the defence by stretching them and creates holes in the defence called space; space provides more time and possibly more one v one situations and gaps for players to run through. This means that defenders will have to work much harder, as they have to cover more space. Width in defence is important to ensure that there is a spread across the playing area to cover attacks through the middle or the wide areas.



DEPTH
Definition
Depth involves having a player further back than the others and can be utilised in either defence or attack.
Impact on Performance
Depth in defence, often referred to as lines of defence, has a player covering behind the defender so that if the 1st defender is beaten there is still another to get by before being through on goal/basket. For example, some football teams operate with a sweeper behind the back 3 or 4 to provide a second line of defence. A scrum half in rugby may also sweep behind the defensive line after a line out to make a tackle on any opposing player who breaks through. Depth in attack is usually when a player drops further back from the goal/basket often to provide a passing option to retain possession. For example, having a player at the top of the 3 point line in basketball is useful if there is no space to penetrate and drive into the basket. This enables the team to keep possession of the ball and reorganise the attack from a different direction. In rugby, a player may also come from deep to receive the ball, giving them time to pick a running line and making it difficult for the defence to organise who is going to make the tackle.


MOBILITY
Definition
This is to do with the movement of a performer/player a group/unit within a team or the team as a whole.
Impact on Performance
In basketball, good mobility is required when moving on and off the ball in attack. It is the ability to change direction at pace and move into space. An attack that is static is easy to defend, therefore players on and off the ball need to constantly be moving and changing direction to get free from the defenders, create space, offer support options and penetrate spaces in the defence. In dance, mobility of the individual or group is how they move and interact in relation to the area and/or each other. This is dictated by the choreography, rhythm, tempo and style of dance.

DELAY
Definition
Delay involves slowing down the opposition when defending or holding up an attack.
Impact on Performance
Delay in defence: The first priority when losing possession is usually to slow down or delay the attack so that the rest of the defence can get organised and sort back into position. This can be achieved by hustling and jockeying your opponent without over committing yourself. You can also reduce the time and space an opponent has by channelling them away from the danger area and into an area that is well defended or is difficult to attack from. Delay in attack:This is where the attacking player/ team deliberately slow down the pace of the attack to vary the tempo of the game or to hold up the ball. For example, slowing an attack down to maintain possession could be advantageous in order run down the clock when holding a lead. Delay in attack could also be used if your lone striker is outnumbered by the opposing defence. Holding up the ball will allow for supporting players to move up field and provide passing options.


PENETRATION
Definition
This is the ability to move into space, break through and/or get in behind a defence.
Impact on Performance
This can be achieved by players moving into space or driving at defenders in 1v1 or overload situations.
In football, the penetration pass is one of the first methods learned. Whether it be the simple "kick and chase" of the youth leagues, or the exquisite through-balls by today's world class stars. Penetration by pass is the quickest method of getting the ball towards the opposition’s goal. When done well, it can yield a large amount of success. Penetration in attack also requires other players in attack to make appropriate runs into space to receive the ball, while staying onside.
Forwards in Rugby can use penetration through employing a pick and drive tactic. This involves the forwards repeatedly driving the ball from a series of rucks. This leads to the forwards repeatedly breaking the gain line and penetrating through the defensive line resulting in the defence being on the back foot. This could also lead to the defence becoming more concentrated round the rucks and so when the ball is released along the backline we had much more space to break through and penetrate the defensive line. This would provide better attacking opportunities and allow our team to gain significant territory on the pitch. In hockey, attacking midfielders and strikers often use penetration when making a run in behind the defence to receive through passes from team-mates.
In all sports a team who lacks penetration in attack is unlikely to be successful as they will not be able to get past a well organised defence are and unlikely to create any scoring opportunities. Many teams have had a large share of possession but lack the ‘cutting edge’ to have good penetration in attack.


SUPPORT
Definition
Support can be similar to depth as it is mainly about providing options to teammates in attack and providing cover in defence. Support can also come from team-mates in front or in wide positions.
Impact on Performance
Support is an important principle of play in team activities. For example, support play in Rugby involves helping the ball carrier advance the position of the ball. Options and support are vital to keeping the opponents guessing about what you will do and to help your team break through the opposition defence. Good support reduces the need to kick the ball and ultimately give up possession of the ball. Support in football is also extremely important. When the ball is played into the strikers it is vital that wide players and midfielders get up the pitch as quickly as possible in order to support the attacker and perhaps create an overload. If there is little support or it does not arrive quickly enough then striker(s) can become isolated leading to poor ball retention.


COMMUNICATION
Definition
Communication is the ability to convey information to team mates/coach through the exchange of verbal speech, signals or actions.
Impact on Performance
Communication is vital for successful performance in many different physical activities both in practice and in competitive situations. Communication is used when receiving feedback or advice by a coach or team mate during practice and it must be clear, concise and accurate. Communication is also used before a competitive match to discuss tactics/strategies and to finalise roles and decisions for the team. During a match, players must be able to convey instructions, call set plays, offer advice and support other members of the team. For example, in a netball match, the Centre may call a code name or give a hand signal before a centre pass, this will allow the other players to know the set play. A Prop in a line out at rugby will give instructions to his team, unknown to the opposition, on who is receiving the ball. This will inform his team on what is happening and give his team a better chance of winning the lineout.


TEMPO
Definition
Tempo is the speed or pace at which a team or individual plays/performs.
Impact on Performance
In all activities the tempo at which the participants play/perform is important. Too fast and a performance can break down because nobody has time to react and make adjustments. Too slow and opponents can easily read what is going to happen and deny you the space/time to execute effective actions. In a volleyball match you could use different tempos of attack to try and create space/time to attack effectively against your opponents. For example, attacks can be quick to deny the opposition time to establish a block or slower to allow time to recover from bad passing or to feed out to the best hitter in the team.