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Performance Analysis at Southampton Solent University – Part 3 of 3

Here we are….. Part 3!! The student’s perspective of studying Performance Analysis at Southampton Solent University.

How exciting!

Let’s cut to the chase and meet Andrew ‘Andy’ Hardiman

Thanks Andy, I think it’s interesting to hear how he changed the way he was watching the game of football, and this, in turn, led to his interest in studying sports science and getting into analysis.

Andy is on placement with Aldershot Town FC and thoroughly enjoying learning and delivering an analyst program as part of his course. This placement has arisen from the relationship between Aldershot and Southampton Solent University, they also have built many other relationships where students can go out on placement to practice the service of Performance Analysis (PA).

Andy uses Nacsport to code each game live. His live template is very simple – he uses 2 categories (one for each team) and then a selection of descriptor buttons. The descriptors are based on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) discussed with the coaches, i.e crosses, shots. These figures are discussed at half time and full time and exported to an excel spreadsheet where the coaches will keep a record. In this case, the context is the KPI’s. Operational definitions are decided before any analysis is carried out, so everyone knows ‘what counts’ to keep the stats as accurate as possible.

Andy may analyse the game post-event too. He will use the playback controls of Nacsport to add further detailed analysis – this isn’t necessarily used by the club how it could be, but he does export a video of key points to send to the coaches. He has a template for individual player analysis too.

We spoke about ways to improve this process in the future by bringing in the matrix and the dashboard so all the figures are linked to the video – the club could have a Nacsport Viewer licence and see the analysis. Coaches could then search for a game, see the stats, click on the number and see the video behind the number.

Bradley Grice and Andrew Hardiman

Let’s use the example of passing statistics – ‘John’ may have 98% pass success rate, ‘Ed’ may have 43%, at first glance you would think John is clearly better than Ed. So, what if you watched the video of the game back and wanted to look at the passing of both individuals (using the matrix in Nacsport). You saw John was only passing backwards and sideways, but Ed was trying through balls and adventurous passes to make things happen. You could have the descriptor buttons providing type and direction of passes, giving you that extra layer of detail to make more informed decisions.

If you were 3-0 up, have John on the pitch, if you were 1-0 down, you need a player like Ed to make something happen.

You do need a certain amount of financial muscle to employ a full-time performance analyst to shoot, analyse and share the information back to the coaches and team. Without that financial muscle, you may look at an intern.

But how could a club get a program started?

As a club, you could purchase any camera (we can advise you ones to look for) and an affordable version of Nacsport (prices start at £130 +vat) on a club laptop, then you are ready to analyse in-house!

Your coaches could oversee the process and introduce it to the club, you could affiliate with a university too and build an internship relationship, perhaps with a view to making a position in the future for someone to take the post full time paid (if feasible).

If you provide the correct level of support, guidance and education, an intern should gain valuable experience within your environment, build contacts and possibly even create themselves a job. The club will benefit from receiving analysis from those skilled in the SHOOT, ANALYSE, SHARE processes, who can help to facilitate some great workflows.

Nacsport works with any video file and easy to use, so the coaching team could look at what workflows they already do and use Nacsport to enhance their coaching points.

If you already have an analyst or an analysis program in place and are using something other than Nacsport, contact me for a free trial (you will never look back).

An analyst would need to suit the coaching team and club, language, style, metrics etc., like what we discussed in Part 2 of this blog series, where Louis seemed the right character to go into Crystal Palace. Many studies have been done on this – you may find this a good read ‘Developing micropolitical literacy in professional soccer: a performance analyst’s tale’ by Richard Huggan, Lee Nelson & Paul Potrac.

So, let us talk to another student! Meet Lyndon Stewart, also at Southampton Solent University.

Lyndon Stewart Intro

Lyndon, why Performance Analysis?

“I was an avid rugby player from a young age, playing at various different levels from club to county against touring international sides and developing teams. After suffering a serious shoulder injury, interests turned to how I can relay my knowledge and understanding to other players willing to learn.”

Why analysis over coaching?

“I had no real interest in the coaching aspect, I was leaning towards the analysis of players movements and technical understanding and how I can assist in the growth of their knowledge, thus leading me to Applied Sports Science at Solent University

That makes sense, so how is it all going?

“I’m currently working with a number of teams through different skill sets & playing standards offering up my skills whilst learning & applying them to real-life situations. Working with the likes of Army Rugby Union, Hampshire Women’s Rugby, Hampshire Girls Rugby, Nomads 7s and various Men’s 1st XV around Hampshire from County leagues to National leagues.”

Lyndon working with various teams on placement

Lyndon working with various teams on placement

Lyndon working with various teams on placement

“Through working with a number of different teams at different levels, it has allowed for the use of different equipment, i.e. basic camera & tripod set up to the likes of multi-camera setups and the use of advanced telescopic sports masts.”

Rugby camera

“The most enjoyable teams to have worked with so far would be the Army Squad. I was able to use the AP Capture sports mast and travel across the UK going against different teams, leading up to the Inter-services match between the RAF & Navy. I was also running a small team with multiple cameras to record match footage, relaying it back for players and coaching staff to view and further analyse the gameplay, to in turn produce a detailed feedback about key points within the game, also highlighting the errors made and how the team intend to fix or eradicate them.”

Night filming flood lights

“Working with Nomads 7s was also enjoyable because of the sheer speed of the turnaround between games for players and coaching staff to feedback leading into the next game, certainly linking to the AnalysisPro catchphrase of ‘SHOOT, ANALYSE and SHARE’, but with an accelerated nature!” “Whilst using Nacsport to analyse footage I use a number of template windows depending on the team that I’m working with, taking into consideration the key performance indicators that are relevant to their game.”

Lyndon Stewart Template

So there we have it!

Exciting times for Solent University, it seems a fantastic place to study Performance Analysis; the ever-growing arm of Sports Science.

We are pleased to supply Nacsport and AP Capture to your various courses and will continue to provide the ongoing support needed to help you make the glue that holds coaching together – students are the analysts of tomorrow!

A massive thank you to Louis Langdown for providing such excellent information for this case study, in particular, Part 2. Also, a big thank you to students Andrew Hardiman and Lyndon Stewart for your input.

This concludes our case study on Southampton Solent University and Performance Analysis, we have touched on a multitude of points surrounding Performance Analysis as a subject, which I hope you have found interesting!

Any questions or comments, please get it touch –and contact AnalysisPro.


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