The role of interpretation

A60f12c65626cb8baf1565b8c8b2b10f?s=47 Keith Lyons
February 12, 2018

The role of interpretation

A talk given by Mitch Mooney on Day 1 of #ACUGCPA18 on 12 February.


Keith Lyons

February 12, 2018


  1. 3.

    In this module you will… •  Understand the importance of

    interpretation in performance analysis. •  Exposure to a theoretical foundation to justify your observations. •  Understand the role of thought process to assist in decision making. 12/2/18 3
  2. 5.

    Start with semantics •  Science is loosely used as a

    term in sport to describe the act of scientific investigation that incorporates a scientific method. •  Art is often used as every other means of enquiry, but most commonly ‘gut feel’. 12/2/18 5
  3. 6.

    Start with the perception of science •  Science is commonly

    seen as an objective and truthful account of the universe. •  Science is also seen as an unbiased method of testing ones assertions. •  Science can provide evolving theories on the nature of things e.g. Newtonian physics à Relativity à Quantum mechanics 12/2/18 6
  4. 7.

    What can science do? •  Science is concerned with what

    and how questions e.g. how does the heart work? What does the heart do? •  Science provides a platform to challenge existing theories based on observed evidence. •  Scientific evidence provides us with ability to justify claims made based on rigorous analysis. 12/2/18 7
  5. 8.

    Limitations of science •  Science can not give us any

    answers of why things exist. •  Science does not concern itself with the metaphysical e.g. why is the heart there at all? –  The presumption is that the how and what questions will provide all we need to know about something. •  Scientists do not tend to engage with the philosophies anymore. –  Science was originally call natural philosophy and was inseparable. –  Thomas Kuhn: normal scientist vs revolutionary scientist 12/2/18 Kuhn (1962) The structure of scientific revolutions 8
  6. 9.

    What about the perception of Art? •  Art, at least

    in the popular culture of the sports setting, refers to decisions/opinions that do not have obvious reproducible evidence. •  The ‘art’ of sport comes from experience, domain specific knowledge, logic and reasoning. 12/2/18 9
  7. 10.

    What can art do? •  Art enables an expression of

    a certain vision of reality •  Blends what is currently understood with other ideas. •  Can be spontaneous and impulsive or reasoned through discussion. •  Art will sometimes question why things exist and ponder that through expression. 12/2/18 10
  8. 11.

    Limitations to art •  The premise for any discussion must

    be agreed on for a conclusion to be reached. This is difficult without evidence or a consensus. 12/2/18 11
  9. 13.

    Objectivity v Subjectivity •  This is the most critical distinction

    between art and science in the sporting debate. •  Objectivity: Being the object of perception or thought; belonging to the object of thought rather than to the thinking subject. •  Subjectivity: Existing in the mind; belonging to the thinking subject rather than to the object of thought 12/2/18 13
  10. 16.

    How does this influence us? •  Meaning is purely subjective.

    •  Performance itself is objective. •  For us to make an ‘meaningful’ account of performance we must understand the subjective nature of the meaning. 12/2/18 16
  11. 17.

    Money as an example •  The paper that we call

    money is objective. •  However, the notion of money is subjective. •  The value people place on money is subjective and therefore the models associated with predicting market behaviour are poor because they deal in the objective (Taleb, 2007). 12/2/18 17
  12. 18.

    What about sports performance? •  Sport performance is objective. • 

    Whether that performance was good or not, above or below expectations or not, acceptable or not is subjective. 12/2/18 18
  13. 21.

    Hierarchical model 12/2/18 21 Performance Tactical Performance Decision Making Game

    Involvement Technical Performance Skill Efficiency Technique Physical Performance Work Rate Movement Efficiency
  14. 24.

    How do we make decisions then? •  System 1 and

    System 2 thinking (Kahneman, 2007) – System 1 = intuitive and impulsive decisions with little thinking and energy required. – System 2 = rational, slow well reasoned decisions, requires computation and rational thinking. 12/2/18 24
  15. 25.

    System 2 - Thinking •  Main methods of reasoning – Inductive

    reasoning – Deductive reasoning – Abductive reasoning 12/2/18 25
  16. 27.

    Reasoning in a sport context •  Deductive Reasoning: –  Talent

    can be identified through physical testing –  My physical test correlates with the outputs of the sport –  Therefore, my test can identify talent. •  Inductive Reasoning: –  I’ve had several people identified from my test battery –  Therefore, talent can be identified through the test battery. •  Abductive reasoning: –  I’ve had an athlete won the race –  This can be explained by the test battery results… –  This can be explained by their skill levels… –  The best explanation is ??? 12/2/18 27
  17. 28.

    Using Reasoning •  Each approach has it’s own objectives. • 

    Deductive reasoning sources to make a conclusion based on the rule and the premise •  Inductive reasoning sources to prove or disprove the theory based on the observation. •  Abductive reasoning sources to determine the most probable explanation for the premise. 12/2/18 28
  18. 29.

    Hopefully you have… •  Understood the importance of interpretation in

    performance analysis. •  Been exposure to a theoretical foundation to justify your observations and observed the importance of reasoning the evidence appropriately. •  Understand the role of thought process to assist in decision making. 12/2/18 29