Improving performance. Lessons from US sport


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?
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  1. Valencia government assumes control of city’s stricken football club



    Valencia CF, currently seventh in Spain’s top division, failed to service debt on £68m loan, which city authorities guaranteed



    Giles Tremlett in Madrid


    The Guardian, Monday 21 January 2013 21.15 GMT



    The local government of Valencia, one of Spain’s most cash-strapped regions and owner of several infamous public white elephants, has added a La Liga football club, Valencia, to its portfolio.



    With local health and education services hit by austerity programmes, the regional government’s effective takeover of Valencia and its squad of highly paid soccer players has provoked fury. But it became inevitable after the club defaulted on interest payments on an €81m (£68m) loan which was only granted after the regional government offered to stand as guarantor. The total debt is now €86m. The acquisition presents yet another administrative headache for the regional government, whose properties include the new but unused airport of Castellon and a hospital at Lliria that it cannot afford to open.



    The regional government, which has long been run by Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy’s People’s party (PP), part-owns two local second division clubs, Elche and Hercules, which also failed to service their debts. In all, it guaranteed football club loans of about €110m in 2009 and 2010, a time when Spain’s public finances were in deep trouble. It is unclear how the authority, which has said it will try to sell the club as soon as possible, will service the loans because its own debt has been given junk status by ratings agencies, effectively shutting it out of the markets. The money is owed to Bankia, which is owned by the Spanish state after being rescued with €20bn loaned by the eurozone’s rescue funds.”We are aware of the importance that Valencia CF has to Valencian society and we will work so that the club can go forward in the best possible fashion,” said the regional government’s deputy head, José Císcar.



    There was no mention of selling stars such as striker Roberto Soldado or promising youngster Sergio Canales, part of a team that is seventh in the Spanish league. Valencia was the first region to ask for bailout money from central government in July when it required an estimated €2.5bn to help it get through 2012. It is expected to ask for more this year.

  2. Steinreignedsupreme on

    Peter Crouch will never know what it is like to stand on a step-ladder, and he has to inform air traffic control every time he leaves the house.

  3. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    It will be interesting to see if Lennie plays Hooper tonight I think that will tell us more truthfully whats going on with Hooper than reading MSM. If there is any truth in the rumour that Norwich offerred cash plus Holt for Hooper that would concern me as Holt is 31 and nearing the end of his career I would rather see another young striker either being bought or coming through the ranks that in my opinion would be the way to move forward. H.H.

  4. Big G



    I bow to your superior knowledge. Apologies.






    Peter Crouch does not fit with our celebration policy. That robot dance was woeful. he will be mostly training with Efe when he returns from ACN duty.




  5. Miki67




    Martin Luther King Jr.s



    Name was .. Michael King..



    His father… was a minister.. who .. Arbitrarily Changed both of their first Names and Middle name tae..



    Martin Luther..



    He figgered it wid bring in Mair.. Congregants.. and wid add Distinction.



    Martin Luther wis a Big Time Womanizer..



    He consorted wi. Prostitutes.. Regularly..



    The Night before his Assassination.. He went tae bed wi..



    THREE WOMEN..and Beat wan up.. tae boot.



    The Above info.. comes fae the writings of His Former Number Wan.. Aid.



    Ralph Abernathty…it kin be found ,in his book on King…”And the Walls Came Tumbling Down.”



    King was a Chronic.. PLAGIARIST..



    It has bin found..and Proven… that in his Final Dissertation Papers at Uni.. for his Doctorate in Theology.. Over Sixty percent of it was Blatantly . Plagiarized from other Authors..he was so stupid..that he . copied pages of others writings.. WORD FOR WORD.



    The F.B.I. were convinced that King was a Communist..



    So.. they.. Constantly Tapped his Telephones..for over.. Many Years..



    Howevah… when a retired F.B.I. director L.Patrick Gray was Asked, if the F.B.i. had much information oan his Communist Activities.. he Answered..



    That they were not very successful in collecting information ,regarding King’s Communist Connections.. as The F.B.I. were in conlecting Informatiion oan King’s


    Immoral Liaisons… with Prostitutes.



    Mr.Gray revealed that at the F.B.I..records office .. they have FIFTEEN STEEL FILING CABINETS , containing the Results of Fifteen Years of Secret Surveillance of King..



    And..Only .. ONE CABINET.. contained references to King’s Communistic Activities..



    The Other FOURTEEN.. contained Nothing but.. Iformation oan Kings.. Immoral and Illicit Sexual Activities with Female Prostitutes..



    Yep… King wiz a real… Dorian Grey..



    When there was Talk ..after his Assassination.. of having a Martin Luther King Jr. Day set aside in his Honor..



    A Federal Judge, … John Lewis Smith Jnr.. who was a King Sympathizer..anticipating… Cries of Objection tae this Proposal of a King National Holiday..



    ORDERED ..All F.B.I. Records oan King.. tae be Sealed






    They will remain sealed until.. 2027.



    But,ye kin bet yer sweet Booty.. that .. the Truth Aboot King.. which they contain…wull



    Never see the Light of Day.



    There ur even a Loata evidence that.. King… Shamelessly.



    Plagiarized..his Famous.. I have bin tae the Mountain Quote..



    and Scads of Ither.. Quotes which he made..






    King wiz a Bum.. and Everybudy who knows aboot his Backgrun..



    Knows…King wiz a Bum.



    Noo..YOU DAE..as Well.



    That is If ye choose tae accept these Facts… Ah hiv revealed aboot Him..



    Up tae You,pal.. and anyvbuddy else who reads this.





    Still.. Laughin.