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Performance Analysis: A National Perspective

Keith Lyons
February 12, 2018

Performance Analysis: A National Perspective

A talk given by Hamish Jeacocke on Day 1 of #ACUGCPA18 on 12 February.

Keith Lyons

February 12, 2018

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  1. A National View of Performance Analysis
    Hamish Jeacocke AIS

    View Slide

  2. The brief for this session
    • Australian-wide view considering the past and our present

    • The System

    • The Profession

    • Futures

    • Informed through 2016/17 visits and ongoing discussions
    across the country

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  3. The Australian Sports
    • Culturally significant and as such, politically significant

    • Dichotomise into professional and non-professional
    sports but many options to categorise

    • History of professional sport is varied and fascinating (see
    Gideon Haigh’s The Cricket Wars, Peter Fitzsimmons
    Rugby War)

    • Over the last decade seen tremendous changes in the
    way we watch, attend and play sport - BBL, women’s
    football leagues, The Australian Open

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  4. Non-Professional / Major
    Games sports
    • Usual reference point is 1976 and the zero-point for
    Australian gold-medals

    • Perhaps the largest factor contributing to the construction
    of the Australian Institute of Sport in 1981

    • The vision was to provide Australian sport with the
    facilities and support required to compete on the
    International stage

    • Even the professional sports weren't really so in 1981

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  5. The AIS
    • Success was an iterative process with peak medal
    performances achieved during the Sydney 2000 and Athens
    2004 Summer Olympic Games

    • During this time the number of sports supported increased
    as did funding

    • Although a golden period still mired in discussions about
    how to fund the system, HECs-style-repayment approaches
    and questions about balance between elite and grass-roots

    • See ausport.gov.au for comprehensive history and timelines

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  6. The NIN
    • Over this period the need for DTE support and state-
    funded institutes were established

    • Largely responsible for development athletes but
    scholarships funded elite athletes

    • Focus upon state-representation

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  7. System Status 2018
    • A system evolving

    • Focus upon support within DTE, sport-ownership of
    business and performance

    • AIS nearing 40 and the system looks very different - from
    a societal perspective and the international sporting
    landscape (expectations ever higher)

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  8. System Status 2018
    • The NIN network supporting sports across Olympic,
    Paralympic and Commonwealth Games programs

    • AIS role has been in supporting national programs

    • Across both categories, the access and application of
    services to augment performance can be viewed as on a

    View Slide

  9. The Profession
    • Leverage Professor Lyons’ early discussions and move to
    current status

    • AIS Performance Analysis established in 2002 under Prof
    Keith Lyons

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  10. How many Performance Analysts are there in

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  11. View Slide

  12. View Slide

  13. The Profession
    • Despite the significant history and changes to sport, the
    growth of support services the professional structure
    hasn't kept pace - regulation, PD, advocacy, connection

    • In the UK, there is the BASES system and additional to
    this the International Journal of Performance Analysis in
    Sport (IJPAS) accreditation and the English Institute of

    • We are still in a growth phase with a mix of FT, PT and
    casual roles

    View Slide

  14. How do we define the role?
    • Questions that largely pertain to behaviour on the field of
    play, the actions and interactions

    • We seek to examine strategy (plans) and tactics (the

    • Not all roles demarcated so clearly with general sport
    science duties required

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  15. The institute performance
    • Sport mix

    • Match-day roles and DTE roles

    • Typical working with a highly specialised support crew of
    sport scientists / sports medicine providers
    (Biomechanist, Skill Acquisition specialist, Physiologist,
    S&C, Sports Physician, Physio, Psychologist, etc)

    • Research influence to project work

    • Domestic and international travel

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  16. The football performance
    • Match-day and training roles

    • Work with many coaches but one sport

    • Project-based work during a season

    • Technology enablers

    • Heavy domestic travel

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  17. Is there a difference
    • Each system varies according to factors discussed earlier -
    funding, cultural significance, professional leagues,
    performance drivers

    • Premier League - typical PA with match day/training
    responsibilities, development squad PAs, recruitment-
    focussed roles (not always separate)

    • EIS - 30 odd PAs embedded with sports, similar to our
    institute PA roles, travel with sports

    • All successful nations have well-developed sports systems,
    individual to their people, their culture and their view of sport

    View Slide

  18. Learning
    • 2008 - minimal units, no post-grad, research pathway only

    • Emergence of pathways for post-graduate qualifications over
    past 3 years ACU, UC, LaTrobe

    • Online courses proliferating in PA, coding languages, data
    science, data visualisation, data management, design-
    thinking, +++++

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  19. Futures - what is on the
    • AIS role continues to shape towards national leadership in
    structure more so than action-led approach of the past

    • In conjunction with 2016/17 discussions, Olympic and
    Commonwealth Games preparations, merging trends
    seen across industries these are for consideration

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  20. 1. Accreditation
    • Born out of the Essendon scandal and the “darkest day of
    Australian sport”

    • Focusses on professionalism and scientific process

    • Offers pathways for ongoing development, regulation of
    practice and a degree of quality assurance

    • Early days, AEP took 15-20 years to become what it is

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  21. 2. Community of practice
    • Theme, mixed research and technical workshops or

    • Small communities - MS NIN Network, NRL, Cricket

    • Connect and engage within and across

    • Connection, sharing, common goals, advocacy

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  22. Project GC

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  23. View Slide

  24. Link
    A performance question marketplace

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  25. Thinking about what you’ve seen and
    heard about AI, what role do you think it
    has in our area?

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  26. 3. The computers are
    • Machine learning, deep learning and artificial intelligence (Primer:
    Whats the difference? )

    • Using advanced methods to “teach” programs to learn patterns in data

    • Already well applied think Siri, Google, etc

    • Will impact our work in two ways

    • Automation

    • Augmented decision support

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  28. What if tomorrow, Company X releases a new product
    allowing automated capture, code, database and upload.
    The product is priced at under $30,000 per year (well
    under the cost of a FT analyst) and has been designed for
    coaches as the users

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  29. What does an All-Star Performance Analyst look
    like to you? Write down 5 - 10 points to describe
    this person.

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  30. An All Star?
    • Data literacy

    • Critical thinker

    • Problem solver

    • Communicator

    • Influencer

    • Wide perspective

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  31. Which races should we enter?
    What’s the optimal approach to the relay?
    Is our goal of unpredictable performance the
    advantage we think it is?
    Momentum is a problem for us, but, is momentum
    really a thing?
    What is that the coach is hoping we will be doing,
    what does performance mean to them?

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  32. From doing to being
    • A move from tool
    skills to professional

    • Link

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  33. Resources to further your
    own national perspective
    • Sporting Nation - ABC iview series on sport in Australia

    • The Australian system - a brief history up to 2012

    • MIT Sloan 2018 - largest analytics conference in the US

    • ESSA Accreditation - Sports Science

    • Performance Analyst Profiles - interviews with PAs in different industries and countries

    • Sam Hinke - a high performance leader with long-term vision and contrarian approach

    • Tennis Australia and the Aus Open 2018 - recent application of analytics in tennis

    • Advanced Football Analytics Podcast and Analytics FC Podcast - iTunes (interviews with
    analysts discussing techniques and experiences)

    • How to support a champion - Steve Ingham - practical tips

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  34. Thank you

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