Celebrating Female Performance Analysts
Thursday 8th March is International Women’s Day and we would like to share insights provided by some of the female analysts that we work with here at AnalysisPro. Alongside this recent blog celebrating female analysts from across the globe who are using Nacsport, we wanted to bring you further details from the three UK and Ireland analysts who kindly shared their experiences as part of that blog!
Here you will learn about three analysts based in Wales, Scotland and Ireland. We love to provide insights into our user’s processes and it wouldn’t be possible without them being kind enough to share this with you also. If you are open to letting this fantastic community know about your processes, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
A big thanks to Gemma Davies, Gillian Wilson and Sarah Burke for providing these case studies. Gemma gives some great insight to the growing number of female analysts in the Industry and mentions some excellent analysts and academics who we have had the pleasure of also working with for a number of years.
Academic and Analyst
Cardiff Metropolitan University and Welsh Netball.
I’m fortunate enough not only to be working within the academic institution which introduced me to the phenomenon of Performance Analysis, but I am privileged to combine work as a university lecturer with a voluntary placement as an active Performance Analyst. Thanks to Cardiff Metropolitan University and Welsh Netball, I have the perfect opportunity to ‘Practice what I Teach'. The industry of Performance Analysis is growing and we’ve (Cardiff Met) seen an increased uptake in females interested in studying our Undergraduate Sports Performance Analysis (SPA) pathway. Leaning on my own experiences in both capacities, I would fully encourage female students who are interested in sport to investigate this as an area of study, as it’s not only for male students as perhaps traditionally perceived. There are some fantastic females working in the field, such as ex-Cardiff Met (UWIC) students Esther Wills, Head of Performance Analysis at the FAW and Julia Wells, Technical Lead at the English Institute of Sport, as well as in academia, such as my colleagues here, Dr Gemma Robinson and Lucy Holmes, who leads our MSc in Professional Practice. ‘Practice what I Teach’. The industry of Performance Analysis is growing and we’ve (Cardiff Met) seen an increased uptake in females interested in studying our Undergraduate Sports Performance Analysis (SPA) pathway. Leaning on my own experiences in both capacities, I would fully encourage female students who are interested in sport to investigate this as an area of study, as it’s not only for male students as perhaps traditionally perceived. There are some fantastic females working in the field, such as ex-Cardiff Met (UWIC) students Esther Wills, Head of Performance Analysis at the FAW and Julia Wells, Technical Lead at the English Institute of Sport, as well as in academia, such as my colleagues here, Dr Gemma Robinson and Lucy Holmes, who leads our MSc in Professional Practice.
.Applied Analyst: The Welsh Netball placement provides me with an opportunity to embrace the high-performance platform, working with exceptional coaches, talented players and supporting both through the medium of analysis with statistics and video. This year provides an extraordinary opportunity for the players of Welsh Netball with the Commonwealth Games set for Gold Coast, Australia in April. Having been involved with the Squad since 2016, I am excited at the prospect of supporting the team at a major games and providing the best possible analysis structure. Commonwealth Games 2018: an exciting prospect but a career highlight too! Performance analysis is an evolving sport science structure, mostly due to its dependence on technology and many of my processes have evolved with Nacsport. The introduction of live dashboards linked to my template allows stats to be sent courtside; the use of iPad app Tag and Go gives training sessions more flexibility with registers linked directly to the base laptop. Meaning I can code courtside, interact with coaches/players and not be isolated and operate from the balcony.
Supporting weekend camps, evening training sessions, attending Test matches and International competitions is the norm for the role. Live match coding combined with filming, is where I am most comfortable. A live coding template developed to meet the needs of the team united with a live video stream. With a strong desire for the players to succeed, I often find my voice on video playback – screaming at the success of an interception or rebound opportunity! However, collecting data live as players perform, allows my post-match process to be even more efficient.
Following matches, the coaches can review the footage and registers gathered. Playlists and presentations are developed to provide players with feedback at post-match reviews and 1:1 sessions. Within international competitions, these sessions are coupled with opposition analysis. Analysing and preparing presentations on our next opponent to present to the team. As an academic, it is important to stay on top of processes, connect with industry and migrate with developments. As an analyst, I have the opportunity to do this, apply what I teach and engage within a high-performance environment. For now, I look forward to the opportunity of Gold Coast 2018 with Team Wales and on my return sharing Performance analysis experiences with Cardiff Met colleagues and students.
Scotland Women – Scottish Rugby
Hi, my name is Gillian Wilson and I am the performance analyst of Scotland Women, within Scottish Rugby. This season I have been using the Nacsport Elite software, which allows us to carry out everything we require for the analysis of ourselves and opposition. The ability to create activation links when designing templates was very helpful & I have found that using the panel flows has made registering actions much more efficient.
For training, I capture live so that the session is available for coaches straight after. I like the option in Elite to edit and review registers live without having to leave the capture. Post training, I use the Presentation window to highlight or export any registers for further review.
In our game day set up, we use the live review workflows such as Play by Play. The review station for the coaches allows them to review the footage as they wish, and the Play by Play option is really useful for looking at more specific parts of the live game. These are both really easy for coaches to use and the option for coaches to create playlists during the game is great.
The Nacsport and AnalysisPro team are incredibly helpful and always on hand with any questions I have.
Performance Analyst and Performance Analysis Student
Meath GAA and IT Carlow
My name is Sarah Burke and I am a Sports Performance Analyst from Ireland based in Kilkenny. I am in my final few months of completing my MSc in Sports Performance Analysis. Whilst completing my Masters, I have been working with hurling teams mainly, providing live and post-match analysis. I have been extremely fortunate in that most of the time I do not need to worry about the camera or filming of games. This is done for me, which helps with my workflow and ensures I am ready to begin preparing for the game ahead- live analysis, using the category template, reviewing dashboards etc. This is my second year using the Nacsport Scout Plus and Nacsport Tag and Go app , which is also a bonus during live analysis. One thing I’ve realised in my time working in hurling as an analyst is that no time can be wasted, each time you find yourself with a moment to spare, it is a chance to improve or plan for the upcoming games or challenges. Being able to work on the go is vital and planning an efficient workflow is key. Nacsport Scout Plus enables me to do all those things which in turn allows me to give a clear break down of the game after the match for management staff. The timeline is crucial in this, as I can bring up certain periods of the game during meetings or formulate them into presentation files to show players.
It is important to be able to design a category template that outputs the information that the management need and being able to interpret data for the coaching staff is a crucial part of being an analyst, particularly for a female working in a male dominated environment. I feel this software allows me to do that. Nacsport has also played a major role in my studies and I am currently using it while I complete my dissertation in ‘Turnovers and Attacking play in elite hurling’. I look forward to continued success with the Nacsport software.
We would like to thank Gemma, Gillian and Sarah for sharing their experiences of using Nacsport and giving us all an insight into the fantastic analysis that they provide in their different environments!