Performance analysis seeks to explore how the innovative application of technology may help performance. Practitioners aim to provide systematic and objective feedback to athletes and coaches in order to understand, accelerate, and develop performance, including optimising existing techniques and learning new skills. It may also be used to analyse the strengths and weaknesses of competitors.
The main components of performance analysis include tactical and technical evaluation, analysis of movement, and statistical compilation. These components are often facilitated by the use of technology including computer software and video technology.
Integration into the daily training environment is sport-dependent and individualised for the needs of coaches and athletes. The implementation of a performance analysis system is seen in the daily training environment via technologies (e.g. video feedback systems); in the expanded skill-set of coaching staff (coaches using software to analyse performance); through the provision of human resources (staff recording performance data); or in a combination of these types of services.
International Society of Performance Analysis of Sport (ISPAS). ISPAS exists to provide an infrastructure of professionalisation, information and training opportunities for all performance analysts, whether they are interested amateurs, professional consultants, or academics.
Performance analysts with relevant experience supporting sports teams and/or individuals can apply for international accreditation with ISPAS. Individuals who meet the minimum standards for level 1 or 2 accreditation will receive the generic ISPAS accreditation. After these levels there are two pathways, the applied and the scientific routes. For more information visit the ISPAS website.
Although there is no clearly defined vocational training path many performance analysts come from a background of coaching and/or sport science and technology. It is typical that experience is first gained with community sports clubs, building skills and exploring the ways in which performance analysis may impact performance. Further work experience opportunities are available within the National Institute Network (NIN) and elite level sports teams, and are often linked with university degrees. To be successful as an applicant for such a placement students need to demonstrate a passion for the area together with a developing skill set relevant to the work.
For those seeking postgraduate study opportunities, Australian Catholic University (ACU) offers a Graduate Certificate in Performance Analysis or students may pursue a research pathway commencing with Honours or Masters.
The Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) offers postgraduate scholarships in performance analysis on an annual basis. These roles help the AIS provide extra resources for sports and offer the scholars an opportunity to be exposed to the application of performance analysis across a range of elite sports. The scholarships draw significant interest each year and the process to receive a scholarship is highly competitive.
Presently the number of performance analysis positions within the NIN is quite small, however the role is quite prominent within professional codes. All Australian professional football clubs (Australian Football League (AFL), Rugby Super 15, A-League, and National Rugby League (NRL) clubs) have a staff member responsible for performance analysis and many have more than one.
In December 2017 the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) announced the introduction of a national accreditation scheme for sport scientists. The scheme is run in partnership with Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA) and the Australian Strength & Conditioning Association (ASCA).
In August 2020 the AIS released the Sports Science Sports Medicine Practitioner Minimum Standards. These standards represent the mandatory minimum standards for SSSM staff and contractors engaged to deliver services in these disciplines of practice (including performance analysis) by National Sporting Organisations (NSOs) that are subject to the AIS SSSM Best Practice Principles via their Sport Investment Agreement. They will also guide the minimum SSSM personnel requirements of the National Institute Network (NIN).
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MASA ("Movement and Action Sequence Analysis") software is the first public-domain software made available on the International Association of Computer Science in Sport (IACSS) website. The MASA software was developed in cooperation at the University of Graz and the Technical University of Graz. It is a game analysis software that can be used for scientific analyses or in sports practice in different types of sports.
Proceedings of the 2016 International Association of Computer Science in Sport (IACSS) Conference. The International Association of Computer Science in Sport Conference 2016 took place between July 31– August 3, 2016 in Brasilia, Brazil. The aim of the conference was to promote the inter-disciplinary field of sport science and computer science in order to face challenging problems in sports and exercise sciences, supported by formal models, analytical approaches and computational support. (IACSS)
A day in the life of a Performance Analyst, NSW Institute of Sport, YouTube, (27 March 2019). Sam Marshall is a Performance Analyst at the NSW Institute of Sport. Hear from him on how he works with hockey and netball at NSWIS.
AIS Performance Analysis - Innovation in Netball, Australian Sports Commission, YouTube, (13 June 2016). Dr Mitchell Mooney, AIS Senior Performance Analyst is joined by Australian Netball Diamonds Head Coach Lisa Alexander and Athlete Clare McMeniman as they discuss the innovation in their approach to performance analysis.
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