Performance analysis (PA) is a new branch of sport science which continues to evolve and determine the extent of itself (Wright et al. 2014). An early definition of PA by Bishop (2003) highlights the importance of creating a valid record of performance (collecting data) by systematic observations that can be analysed to promote a change. According to Carling et al. (2005), PA tends to focus on the use of data to provide evaluations on performance.
Furthermore, PA focusses on the importance of providing an objective systematic quantitative evaluation of sporting performance. O’Donoghue (2010) states that more recently PA has become an integral part of the feedback preparation process. Therefore, PA can be defined as an observational analysis task that goes from data collection all the way to the delivery of feedback, and aims to improve sports performance by involving all coaches, players and analysts themselves.
Research in the field has also emerged as its own specialised field. The International Journal of Performance Analysis in Sport now regularly publishes studies on key sports analysis research areas.
We will now try to tell you how we use these technological and data science tools to evaluate the performance of SIA Academy players in an objective way.
How is performance analysis used?
PA is currently used from both an academic and practitioner perspective. In the practical environments, evidence suggest PA is implemented within coaches’ decision making and planning processes (Wright et al., 2013). Laird and Waters (2008) results showed that coaches recall ability and observational accuracy is relatively low (42%), hence the importance of having access to accurate data to take optimal decisions.
Another use of PA is to contribute into gaining a competitive advantage (Kuper 2012) or directly contribute to increasing the likelihood of winning games (Wooster, 2013). It is also important to highlight the effects that PA has on players. PA allows players to reflect on their practice (Wright et al. 2016).
Reflective practice has become a central concept within coaching literature and coach education lately. Reflective practice facilitates player self-analysis, self-reflection and therefore develops players’ own decision-making capabilities. Moreover, PA can be used by the coach to transmit its message and reinforce it. Which is why it has become an important part of the coaching cycle.
Why is performance analysis important?
Although professional teams use video analysis a lot, amateur teams may also profit much from it.
These consist of:
- Improves communication
- Provides different types of feedback
- Provides objectivity
- Provides an advantage over the opponent
- Improves individual performance
- Better planning, development and optimization of the team
- Prevent the risk of injury
Enhances Communication: When it comes to sport acquisition in sport visual stimulus and learning tend to be the most common preferences from the athletes (Hodges and Williams 2012). Although the coach can correct players’ mistakes during a game, some players might not be able to understand it. On the other side, the use of video can enhance reflection and learning while increasing the communication flow between the coach and the player and finally improving performance.
Provides different types of feedback
– Provides different types of feedback: Extrinsic feedback provided by a coach has the potential to greatly affect performance by the athlete. Coaches should carefully consider how and when they will provide feedback to maximize learning (Hughes and Franks 2008). PA can provide feedback can be given during and after the game. Live analysis can assists coaches in spotting errors that players make throughout a game allowing to immediately correct those errors. Post-game feedback can be really useful too as it allows to meditate on the visual aids to obtain rich information from performance and provide the right information to the player.
– Provides objectivity: Extrinsic feedback provided by a coach has the potential to greatly affect performance by the athlete. Coaches should carefully consider how and when they will provide feedback to maximize learning. Historically, coaching intervention has been based on subjective observations, which have been shown to be problematic. Thus, successful coaching hinges on the collection and analysis of unbiased, objective data (Hughes and Franks 2008).
Provides an advantage over your opponent
– Provides an advantage over your opponent: It’s possible to analyse more than simply your team. You may spy on the enemy and learn how they play their game by watching replays. You can develop powerful ways to counter their tactics by learning how they play the game (Hughes and Franks 2008). You can determine their strengths and develop a strategy to counter them. In addition, by identifying the opposite teams weaknesses you can plan a way to exploit them.
Improves individual performances
– Improves individual performances: Individual analysis provides data about a specific player which can be used to review their performance, compare it and plan a session (Wright et al., 2016). The player and the coach/analyst can go over the players performance, identify areas to improve and determine a plan to correct mistakes, learn new skills or keep improving skills.
Better team planning, development and optimisation
– Better team planning, development and optimisation. Each member of a team have specific abilities. Coaches may use video evaluations to build player profiles for their squads (Wright et al., 2013). Additionally, it assists you in considering how each player may benefit the group and help you win games. Your team will work together better, developing a winning attitude.
Prevent injury risk
– Prevent injury risk: Poor posture and poor technique are often the cause of sports injuries. These injuries can ruin your career. Analysing sports videos can help identify techniques that cause pain and injury (Alderson 2015). This way, you can learn proper techniques to avoid these habits and avoid injury. In addition, video assessments help you track your progress and recovery from injury.
Alderson, J. (2015). A markerless motion capture technique for sport performance analysis and injury prevention: Toward a ‘big data’, machine learning future. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 19, p.e79. doi:10.1016/j.jsams.2015.12.192.
Bishop, D. (2003). What is performance analysis and how can it be integrated within the coaching process to benefit performance. Peak Performance, April, 4-7. (n.d.).
Carling, C., Williams, A.M. and Reilly, T. (2005). Handbook of soccer match analysis. New York: Routledge.
Hughes, M. and Franks, I.M. (2008). The essentials of performance analysis : an introduction. London ; New York: Routledge.
Kuper, S. (2012). Football Analytics: The Money Ball of Football, an outsiders perspective. Sports Analytic Conference: The Sports Office November 2012. Manchester University Business Schoo\. Accessed on 10/09/2022. Available online at: htto://www.voutube.com/watch?v=YaTALIiKvAQ. (n.d.).
Laird, P. and Waters, L. (2008). Eyewitness Recollection of Sport Coaches. International Journal of Performance Analysis in Sport, 8(1), pp.76–84. doi:10.1080/24748668.2008.11868424.
O’donoghue, P. (2010). Research methods for sports performance analysis. Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon ; New York: Routledge.
Williams, A. M. and Hodges, N. J. (eds) Skill Acquisition in Sport: Research, Theory and Practice, London: Routledge, pp. 121–44. (n.d.).
Wooster, B. (2013). Football Analytics.The MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. Boston, March 2013. Available on line at:http://www.youtube.com/watch ?v=2 Ye-mvV9ELI. (n.d.).
Wright, C., Atkins, S., Jones, B. and Todd, J. (2013). The role of performance analysts within the coaching process: Performance Analysts Survey ‘The role of performance analysts in elite football club settings.’ International Journal of Performance Analysis in Sport, 13(1), pp.240–261. doi:10.1080/24748668.2013.11868645.
Wright, C., Carling, C. and Collins, D. (2014). The wider context of performance analysis and it application in the football coaching process. International Journal of Performance Analysis in Sport, 14(3), pp.709–733. doi:10.1080/24748668.2014.11868753.
Wright, C., Carling, C., Lawlor, C. and Collins, D. (2016). Elite football player engagement with performance analysis. International Journal of Performance Analysis in Sport, 16(3), pp.1007–1032. doi:10.1080/24748668.2016.11868945