Sports Performance Analysis

Sports Performance Analysis
Prepared by  Prepared by: Christine May, Librarian, Clearinghouse for Sport, Sport Australia (formerly Australian Sports Commission)
evaluated by  Evaluation by: Professor Keith Lyons, Consultant, Clyde Street (February 2016)
evaluated by  Evaluation by: Mr Hamish Jeacocke, Senior Performance Analyst, Australian Institute of Sport, Canberra (February 2016)
Reviewed by  Reviewed by network: Australian Sport Information Network (AUSPIN)
Last updated  Last updated: 5 April 2019
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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 competitors for strengths and weaknesses.

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 (i.e. video feedback systems); in the expanded skill-set of coaching staff (i.e. 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.


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 local club and community sports building skills and exploring the ways in which performance analysis may impact performance. Further work experience opportunities are available within the State Institute and Academy of Sport (SIS/SAS) network and elite level sports teams, and these 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.

Several Australian universities (including Open Universities Australia and University of Canberra) currently offer individual subjects introducing the concepts and techniques of performance analysis for the sport sector. Additionally Open Learning has developed a small, introductory, open online course on Observing and Analysing Performance in Sport.

For those seeking postgraduate opportunities for study in performance analysis, Australian Catholic University (ANU) 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 SIS/SAS network 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.

Professional Accreditation

In December 2017 the Australian Sports Commission (now Sport Australia) announced the introduction of a national accreditation scheme for sport scientists (including but not limited to physiologists, biomechanists, performance analysts, skill acquisition specialists and strength scientists) and strength and conditioning coaches. The schemes will be run in partnership with Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA) and the Australian Strength & Conditioning Association (ASCA). In order to continue receiving funding through Sport Australia's Sport Investment Agreements national sporting organisation will be required to ensure that all sport science and strength and conditioning staff have relevant accreditation with ESSA and/or ASCA by the end of 2018. The scheme will be reviewed after 2 years.  

  • International Society of Performance Analysis of Sport (ISPAS). The ISPAS exists to provide an infrastructure of professionalisation, information and training opportunities for all performance analysts, whether they be interested amateurs, professional consultants or academics.

International accreditation for performance analysts can be acquired by applying to ISPAS. Accreditation is for those with relevant experience of performance analysis support with sports teams and individuals. 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.

Where possible, direct links to full-text and online resources are provided. However, where links are not available, you may be able to access documents directly by searching our licenced full-text databases (note: user access restrictions apply). Alternatively, you can ask your institutional, university, or local library for assistance—or purchase documents directly from the publisher. You may also find the information you’re seeking by searching Google Scholar.



Conference Proceedings

  • 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)

Electronic journals

Public Domain Software

  • 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.

Clearinghouse Videos

Please note a number of the resources below (as indicated) are restricted to ‘GOLD' AIS Advantage small AIS Advantage members only.
Please see the Clearinghouse membership categories for further information.

Other videos

  • 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.
  • What is performance analysis? - Water Polo. Tamara Kefford explains the important role of performance analysis in water polo. (Sport Australia [formerly Australian Sports Commission], YouTube) (19/05/2016)
  • AIS Performance Analysis - Innovation in Netball. 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. (Sport Australia [formerly Australian Sports Commission], YouTube) 


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