ZamFoot Blockbuster: The importance of shot conversion rate
Shot Conversion for goals in football is also known as shot conversion rate. It is a very important part of football for the players, coaches, and team.
What is it?
It is the number of shots at goal that turn into goals in a match or season from a player or team expressed as a percentage. This excludes shots that hit the post or bar, shots that happen after an official has stopped play. Worth mentioning is that penalties and free kicks count as shots on target because as long as the ball was heading into the goal, it is considered as a shot on target.
How it is calculated
It is calculated by dividing the number of goals by the number of shots from a team or player during a single match or season then multiplying the answer by 100. For example, if during a single match a player had three shots on target then one resulted in a goal, the one goal will be divided by three which are the shots then the answer multiplied 100 which is the percentage as it is calculated in percentages e.g 1÷3 then the answer which 0.3333 should be multiplied by 100 answering 33.3%, so 33% will be the conversion rate for that player in that match. This can also apply to a team.
It is an indicator of the effectiveness of shots struck at goal which resulted in goals. These statistics provide a detailed overview of the chances and their translation into goals.
Is it so important?
It is a very important component of a match alluding to a player or team. It indicates how prolific a player or a team is. It also gives a clue to the opposition team on how to line up to avoid been ran riot and whom to mark most.
Average conversion rate
Currently, worldwide, the average conversion rate for the top ten strikers is 25% then for the top five teams is 17.5%. Meaning a striker should not fail to score one goal of the four shots he gets on goal and a team should at least score a goal from the five shots they hit at goal, this means any player from a team, not a striker.
Benefits to a player
For a player especially a striker to be classified as a complete forward which is a term used to describe a prolific or lethal player, the goal conversion rate is a tool used to measure his goal-scoring prowess. It determines and increases his transfer market value, his demand on the market, and most importantly the danger he possesses on the field of play.
Benefits to a team
For a team to be feared,goal-scoring instincts count. A higher goal conversion rate gives higher chances of winning a match. The team with a higher goal conversion rate prevents itself from being attacked most and relieve the pressure from its defenders as the opposition team will not be committing many bodies upfront as they’ll be wary of their opponents’ goal-scoring instincts thereby having many defensive-minded players in their starting berth as opposed to offensive players and this increases the chances of winning to the team with higher goal conversion rate as they will be provided with more opportunities going forward as they will be attacking with many players.
This also increases money into the team’s coffers because many people will be trooping in numbers to watch their team in action. No person would want to spend money on something which won’t guarantee him/her happiness. A win is what football fans want from their team and that’s what they go to stadiums for. What we need to remember is that football is not free, fans pay to watch it in the stadiums unless it’s an amateur team/game.
The more fans troop into the stadium the more money a team gets to make. This increases the team’s players’ salaries, improves the team’s training facilities and the football pitch. A club will get to acquire good players and technical staffs thereby making a team more competitive, the end product will be a big brand a team will make for itself as they will be able to attract sponsors as we may wish to know that sponsors partner with clubs with the hope of marketing themselves so no sponsor can partner with a losing team or a drawing specialists team.
Benefits to a coach
It helps the coach to know how big the problem his team has in front of the goal and how best to tackle it if his team can not find the back of the net more often. It gives the coach the best offensive formation.
Benefits to fans
Such statistics give fans confidence and hope that their team will win even when their team is down because they know that only a few chances are needed from their team to be turned into a goal. It acts as a relief.
Lessons to Zambian teams
If Zambian teams and players especially strikers are to make a mark in Africa, they need to improve on conversion rate. Zambian super league top scorers charts have been dominated by foreign players in the last five seasons and on most occasions, few goals are scores the whole season. What is important to take note of is that if a Zambian player gets the top scorers accolade they don’t reach the 20 marks as the highest was Winstone kalengo in 2015 who scored 18 while foreigners have risen to the occasion as they can achieve this with ease, for example, Walter Bwalya hit 24 in 2016.
This may be the reason why Zambia is not doing well at national level but this should be the issue for another day but the trend and mentality of Zambian players should change.
Zambian teams match most often they don’t produce three goals, mostly it will be one or two goals per match which is worrying. It is not because our defenders are strong, it is because our strikers are not lethal in front of goal. A team can not be scoring an average of one goal per game, this is worrying as it reduces the chances of winning because a one-nil lead is nothing than a draw if not well taken care of. If our defenders were strong as it may be said, why haven’t we won any CAF club competition because they say defense win trophies and goals win matches?
This explains the reason why our Zambian club despite being regular participants in CAF club competitions, they have never won any or reaching the finals since 1991 when Power Dynamos last did. It is a competition where teams with better goals aggregate win and if a team can not go far in this competition meaning they get to receive less money and risk the country losing the four slots it has.
Only a few teams in Zambia boast of the best goal conversion rate this is the reason why certain matches get to have few people in attendance because the prediction of the outcome is thought to be a draw or few goals in a game. Low turnout of fans, low income, and low income, less competitive a team will be.
If Zambian football is to be a big brand in Africa, we need to improve in goal scoring by working on our conversion rate. For Zambian clubs to attract many fans into stadiums, they need to be good at goal because fans expect nothing less than a win. If Zambian teams will work on this area, then our teams will have many funds into their coffers and they will be competitive.
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