Elite Coaches Engagement with Performance Analysis

It’s not very often we see research into the actual use of Performance Analysis and even rarer to see research conducted like the following. “An analysis of elite coaches’ engagement with performance analysis services (match, notational analysis and technique analysis)” by Craig White, Steve Atkins and Bryan Jones.

This research was published in the latest version of the International Journal of Performance Analysis in Sport. It’s certainly the first piece of research of its kind that I have come across so I thought it would be worth outlining the main points.

The research is based on a questionnaire sent to a number of coaches covering the professional, semi-professional, international and national level and came from a variety of different sports. In total there were 34 questions asked covering a few different topics. Here are some key findings;

  • 68% have access to edited video after every match.
  • 68% of coaches said they did not have access to an analyst
  • 91% of coaches complete some form of their own analysis
  • How does PA impact your planning? Short Term: 93%, Medium Term 80%, Long Term 70%
  • 54% said some key performance indicators remain constant from game to game while some are more flexible

I found these final 2 questions of the survey really interesting.

Q. Based on your organisation’s commitment of money and resources, in your opinion to what extent does your organisation value the role of performance analysis? – Only 23% answered Essential, the same number of people who said Not Very Important!!

Q. As a coach to what extent do you value the use of performance analysis and the services a performance analyst can provide? – Essential 46% Very Important 34%


I think the answer to that second last question shows how much work is still to be done in the profession. It is clear from the last question that on the whole coaches are ‘sold’ on the important role analysis can play but the hierarchy are not. This must have a knock on effect on funding and staff levels within analysis departments. Perhaps this is a reason for the number of unpaid internships??

I also found it interesting that some key performance indicators remain constant while others change. It would be interesting to know if the definition changes from game to game or simply they look at different KPI’s?

There is loads more I could say about this piece of research, which I think is excellent, but I’d love to hear what other people think of some of the findings. If you can I recommend you check out the full article. 

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