Performance Analysis: A National Perspective

A60f12c65626cb8baf1565b8c8b2b10f?s=47 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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    The brief for this session • Australian-wide view considering the

    past and our present status • The System • The Profession • Futures • Informed through 2016/17 visits and ongoing discussions across the country
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    The Australian Sports System • 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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    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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    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 sport • See for comprehensive history and timelines
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    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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    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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    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 spectrum
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    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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    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 Sport • We are still in a growth phase with a mix of FT, PT and casual roles
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    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 actions) • Not all roles demarcated so clearly with general sport science duties required
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    The institute performance analyst • 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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    The football performance analyst • 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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    Is there a difference overseas? • 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
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    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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    Futures - what is on the horizon? • 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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    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 today
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    2. Community of practice • Theme, mixed research and technical

    workshops or conferences • Small communities - MS NIN Network, NRL, Cricket • Connect and engage within and across • Connection, sharing, common goals, advocacy
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    Thinking about what you’ve seen and heard about AI, what

    role do you think it has in our area?
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    3. The computers are thinking!!! • 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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    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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    What does an All-Star Performance Analyst look like to you?

    Write down 5 - 10 points to describe this person.
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    An All Star? • Data literacy • Critical thinker •

    Problem solver • Communicator • Influencer • Wide perspective
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    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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    From doing to being • A move from tool skills

    to professional skills • Link
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    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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