Castleford Tigers – Going for the playoffs with Performance Analysis
Ste Mills is the Head of Performance Analysis at Castleford Tigers. Ste has provided us with some excellent blog posts over the years (here, here and here) and now brings us up to speed with the developments of the Performance Analysis processes used by the Super League team in 2019, as they close in on the end of the season, aiming for those elusive play-off spots!
As I write this latest blog, we currently sit 6th in the Super League after 25 games, we have 4 games left to try and get ourselves into the play offs (*this blog was written by Ste before Castleford’s 24-0 victory over Huddersfield Giants on 18th August*). What a year this has been for us at Castleford Tigers, a season riddled with injuries and performances that have been so up and down. However, we have made massive strides in terms of analysis at the club, especially within the First Team.
At the start of the year we made big changes to our analysis processes by changing the whole ‘Players Analysis Room’ over to Nacsport. I also introduced the ‘Sharimg’ online communication and sharing platform into the first team environment. These additions have really added to our workflows and now we are in the groove where players have more input and responsibility in the analysis side of their games.
The coaches and I do all the previews and opposition analysis in the same way as the year before, however our aim at the start of the year was for the players to see/do more. The next step we took from this was to make all our .Nac files (timelines) and Presentations available in their analysis room on the Nacsport Basic Plus and Nacsport Viewer licences. Instantly, we have gone from the players just watching the videos in a meeting room to the players getting eyes on the videos prior to the meetings. This has made our opposition preview meetings a lot more interactive and more beneficial for the time we have them in attendance.
In the last couple of weeks, rather than polishing the final presentation list off ourselves, we have given a number of presentation lists to the players (who are broken down into small groups) and they have selected/deselected clips that they think are relevant/worth watching as a team or as a unit. This exercise has proven to be a success, with the players leading some of the team preview meetings.
Throughout the year, we put everything we do onto our online Sharimg platform. This includes all training videos, previews and reviews. By doing this through Sharimg, all the players have to do is click a button via the online platform and they can see everything and comment on it if they see fit. Now the players have the responsibility to do their homework and feedback to the coaching staff the next morning. One feature we have really utilised in the last month or so is Sharimg’s new ‘Analysis’ feature. This allows me to export my Nacsport analysis as an XML file to upload alongside the video, meaning the players can then access the matrix of the analysis online to better review specific moments. This has once again taken our analysis to a higher level.
We have big plans for our analysis next year with another member of staff coming on board and we are very excited to see where the analysis department can go. We still cannot recommend Nacsport highly enough as the performance analysis tool for sports teams!