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. Just watched Levien’s interview on Sportscene saying he had no regrets when he was Scotland manager. He most be the only one as most of Scotland regretted it.

  2. Tim Malone Will Tell on




    Good post regarding the training video.



    I particularly liked the bit in the middle when everybody kneels in the presence of Sammi and the bit at the end when they practice the “Zombie Walk”.



    I like Tam Rogic’s dribbling style – but can see the likes of Lasley breaking his ankles if he tries that in a game…

  3. South Of Tunis on

    TallyBhoy @ 16 45 .



    My local paper occasionally lists the nationalities of those caught attempting to enter Sicily illegally.



    They use the word Burkinabe [ use of the k suggests that is the English ].





    13:03 on 21 January, 2013




    You nearly achieved the impossible with those pics, made me think for a moment they had been punished enough.

  5. My Dear,Dear,Dear Friend…Kojo…



    So Your ‘Low-Info’ Voters….



    Hiv Given The Fox..(Or The Jackal..? )..



    Anither FOUR YEARS……



    In The Hen-Hoose…..!



    ** Shakes Head Vigorously**



    Astonished Of Foreheid…!!



    Whoever Said….”Ye Cannae Fool All The People…All The Time…”



    The Perfidious Green-Red Alliance…..



    Hiv Provided Us Wi’ A New Paradigm…



    Most Perspicacious And Erudite Poliitical Commentator…..



    The Catholic Theologian And Writer..Robert Spencer….



    Disnae Pull Any Punches…..





  6. !!bada bing!! 16:47 on 21 January, 2013


    I don’t see the app in the App Store. Maybe it’s only available in UK?


    I have no probs with Celtic TV and have been a subscriber since the early days of Jim Craig, Bertie Auld and John Cole sitting around having a chat.

  7. sipsini



    None taken.



    I must admit that the mountain thing is a wee bit of poetic licence, they are about 3 k away, I would be in a valley of the mountains tho.



    I take her down the river, about a couple of hundred yards away. lots of hares and deer.



    Must go, she who must be obeyed wants to go shopping.







  8. 16 roads - Neil Lennon walks on water. on

    The Singing Detective Demands The Resignation Of Campbell Ogilvie –




    Seen that Mackay Steven clip where he beat two or three Killie players with great skill,then as he moved towards the penalty area,he was unceremoniously emptied!!




  9. Valentine's Day on

    Watching Barack Obama inauguration, let’s hope



    in his second term he delivers.



    He came up short in his first

  10. Sipsini



    The deadybears reaction to the video is priceless..


    Offended by a few swear words and an accusation of affiliation to the orange order … Their responses are full of same swear words.. Threats of violence and callling the daftie cameraman all sorts of sectarian abuse.


    The irony goes way over their heads

  11. All this talk of Hooper leaving is a wee bit distracting.


    We have a big test ahead against Juve and we will be in full view of the world’s armchair fans. For the sake of the club’s standing and reputation we must be competitive.


    How are we to attract attention, and lucrative fees, for glamour pre season tournaments if we stumble and stutter against Juve?


    How can we attract young prospects to Celtic Park of we field a weakened team and are overrun and humiliated in front of a vast TV audience?


    The difference in the selling fee may be a couple of million or may not.


    The difference to the long term brand reputation may be multiples of that figure, whatever it may be.




  12. Friesdorfer




    16:03 on 21 January, 2013



    I reckon whatever leverage is used to bring about change it has to come from the supporters of as many clubs as possible, hence asking trusts of all clubs to go to the SFA via their own clubs to convey the trust concern articulated in the main article.


    Using the competitions would only work if trusts agreed to do it as one and I doubt they are ready to think never mind do that at present.



    The response from trusts will be interesting because it tells us if its all keyboard warrior hot air or are supporters serious about not putting up with the SFA as constituted for any longer.



    I’m thinking the authorities are betting on it just being hot air from a small bunch of mavericks and I think there is a good possibility they are right, not so much because supporters do not feel strongly about the issues but because there is no existing mechanism to help them bring pressure to bear.



    I understand ICT Trust have said they will raise the issues at the AGM, there is time over the next few months for others to do so, but we will just have to wait and see.

  13. proudbhoy



    16:11 on 21 January, 2013




    Sons of Anarchy just finished series 5


    BB due to screen final series in March.




  14. 16 Roads….



    Seen Mackay Steven’s Outrageous Bit Of Skill That You Mentioned…



    On The STV Link….



    I Have Noticed That Some Posters On Here Have Remarked That GMS Does Not Seem To Have Done Much This Season…



    However,He Has Been Out With A Knee Injury…Which Necessitated An Operation.



    And A Fractured Wrist…..



    Still….United Have Only Lost Twice….



    In The Eight League Games He Played For Them…..



    He Just…..Ghosts Past Opponents….



    And Also Seems To Be On Good Terms…



    With The Individual Players…..



    In The Celtic Squad….

  15. Valentine’s Day


    17:17 on


    21 January, 2013



    It was a fine speech by Barack, but just a speech



    He has to contend with a hostile lunatic Republican party and MSM



    I wish him well

  16. big g 17:18 on 21 January, 2013


    Let’s face it honestly.


    He’s going back to Oz for some sunshine and heat.


    A couple of days training with Broonie at Lennoxtown and he is scared of the captain and suffering from frostbite.




  17. Tim Malone Will Tell on




    No – he’s doing the Marko Viduka walk about.



    Its customary for Aussies who sign for the ‘Tic to go missing for an unspecified period…





    Every linesman knew where McDonald was-in an offside position!

  19. tim malone will tell


    I sincerely hope and pray Viduka was a one off.


    Great talent. Poor attitude.

  20. Tim Malone Will Tell on




    Any sign of a challenger to Ogilvie appearing on the horizon before the February deadline date (whatever that might be)?

  21. Valentine’s Day



    17:17 on



    21 January, 2013



    Watching Barack Obama inauguration, let’s hope



    in his second term he delivers.



    He came up short in his first…..






    My Dear,Dear Valentines Day….



    Ah Hiv Tae Disagree Wi’ Yer Assessment..



    Most Forcefully…..



    The Great Malinky ‘Zero’……



    Hiz Been Successful Beyond His WILDEST DREAMS….



    In His Overt Mission To Trash The Land Of The Free…”



    And “Destroy Western Civilization From Within….By Our Own Hand..”




  22. Tim Malone Will Tell on




    :)) – that was a different sort of walkabout. You knew where Skippy’s front half was…but his erchie seemed to have a mind of its own

  23. ‘GG






    ‘Complete some final paperwork’



    really means



    He forgot to pack his pillow and heated troosers




  24. 16 roads - Neil Lennon walks on water. on

    The Singing Detective Demands The Resignation Of Campbell Ogilvie – I totally agree mate.He would be a great signing for us,as would JR.

  25. South Of Tunis on

    Robert Spencer



    Robert Spencer is not erudite . Robert Spencer is not perspicacious .



    He is a lying fundamental right nut job . His mission is to spread fear and hate.

  26. lionroars67


    17:26 on 21 January, 2013


    I smiled grimly at your remark about President Obama having to deal with a hostile LUNATIC Republican Party.


    However, I almost choked on my Tetley when you gratuitously threw in the MSM.


    The local MSM is so cozy with Obama they make Jabba seem like a rampaging Viking intent on be heading the zombies.




  27. The boy jinky.



    Thought you would see the amusing side of it.


    You posted last nite of maybe moving on.


    Due to the lack of investment in engineering apprentices for many years.


    There is a drastic shortfall of trained


    engineers,especially manual




    The skills have been lost.


    Have a look at the hourly rates being paid in the aberdeen area.


    There’s some no bad looking sheep aswel;-))

  28. The previously mentioned free smartfone app TV Catchup is showing the Nigeria game live on ITV 4,handy if you are at work or stuck on the train/bus.

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