How analytics technology is transforming the way we study sports performance

by frank-stuart

Trevor Clark has been in and out of sport for over 34 years as a player, coach, teacher and researcher. He remembers spending hours painstakingly reviewing rugby league games that had been recorded by video camera.

With the advent of digital recording and software, this is something his students at ACPE will never have to experience.

“Our students have a real aptitude for modern sports analytics technology,” Trevor said.

“They’re so used to technology being part of their lives that they pick it up quickly and easily.”

As Head of Department for Sport Performance, Trevor knows how important this is.

“Technology is transforming the way coaches, teams and individual athletes track, monitor and improve performance,” he said.

“Learning about analytics and new technology is a major bonus for students.”

At ACPE students learn to master products such as Hudl’s Sportscode, which enables them to record and analyse the performance of sports teams or individuals.

“Using this software, we can customise the factors – such as movement, speed, distance, possession – that teams or individuals track and measure,” Trevor explained.

“They can upload a video with detailed analysis and statistics, which coaches and athletes can review on their individual devices when it suits them.

“This means you no longer have to measure and record each and every movement by hand, as well as catch the flow of the game. Rather than having to manually scan through video footage for a particular incident you can now search for it by the movement or the players involved. Plus you’re not relying solely on people to input data, which may be limited and potentially biased.

“The software analysis is sophisticated – it can break down every aspect of performance. This means you get quality feedback and it is instantaneous,” Trevor said.

“You can use it during a game or training to make decisions about what’s happening on the field.

“Sports analytics technology is being used at an elite athlete level on an international scale. Some of our students are already applying the technology to help A-league teams here improve their performance.

“There’s always new technology coming out. For those of us who live and breathe sport, it’s exciting to see how it can be applied and how our industry is evolving as a result,” Trevor said.

Trevor Clarke

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