Following on from our discussion yesterday about adopting one or two of the techniques the enormously successful GB Olympic cycling team there are other areas where a technical advantage can be sought.
Football is awash with metrics these days. Clubs know things about their players they never even wondered about 10 years ago, leading to more informed decisions. It is probably no exaggeration to suggest that a club like Celtic will have some information on thousands of players. At the top level, much of this information will be fresh in the minds of coaches and scouts, and will easily be recorded on a database, but scouting permeates through youth football. Acquiring and assimilating information on the many hundreds of players on view each month is an information challenge.
The US sports were early to get on top of this problem. SportsBoard is a iPad-based data capture and management app which enables coaches and scouts to record information on players (their own players and others) as they watch the game. Data is uploaded from the iPad to a cloud-based database. Information and comment on each player or opposing team can then easily be analysed.
The alternative would be to scour through unstructured notes without any way of controlling the up-flow of information.
The app has also been used to provide instant metrics to first team squads. Players can get home from training, login and see how their performance was rated that day, allowing them to adjust their own target for the next session. I spoke to the designer, Gregg Jacobs, who has received a ton of media coverage in the US over the last two years. He told me this was about providing “more meaningful feedback”. Take a look at the Assessment and Contact Management features, which has screenshots of the ‘soccer’ app.
So this week we’ve covered orthopaedic pillows on tour and leg heaters from the GB cycling team, as well as a scouting management and instant metrics system from US sports, all low-cost and designed to reduce risk and improve performance.
Should we do it?