The Story He Wouldn’t Allow Me to Tell!! 

Alan Swanton @aswano23

A week is a long time in sport and l have returned to the day job since our catch up last week.  Back to bout analysis and program planning for the year ahead and beyond.  Some of the conversations I had during the Hackathon have stuck in my head, I’ve taken some time to make my notes and to reflect on what was an interesting get together last Thursday.  Myself, Johnny & Denise have also begun to flesh out our thoughts on the mechanisms through which we can build on our catch up on Thurs, your feedback to the post event survey is helpful here so please take some time to fill out, it will influence our thinking as we flesh this out over the coming weeks.  We will put together a plan of action and we welcome all feedback from the group around how best to do this.

Keith asked/nominated me to put together the next installment of the letter from Abbottstown so here you go, I have entitled it:

The Story He Wouldn’t Allow Me to Tell!! 

Not sure if any of you have come across Keith post on the topic of pattern recognition on the back of some of the conversation within the Hackathon and the HPX conference input the following day.  It’s worth a read as it eloquently explains his perception of the topic.  Interesting as it happens, this was not the l had planned on showing during the Hackathon.  It was this…

On the bottom right hand corner of the bout debrief matrix there is an overview of the punches landed & conceded by the boxer being analysed.  This is represented by the outline below, all punches below the horizontal line land to the body and conversely those above the line land to the head, left side are punches thrown with left hand and so on.

Examining these patterns throws up some interesting findings, over 5 rounds as we have in world series of boxing

The topic of pattern recognition fascinates me and l think if we should be looking to build our feedback tools in ways to leverage the natural advantages of the human eye and begin to tap into the coaches tacit knowledge and experience, maybe without even realising it.  I believe that the evolution of performance analysis to analytics can provide us with some further tools that will allow us to be cleverer in how we do this.  While l am still working through the haze of what analytics is and how it might apply to what l do on a daily basis, I have found this to be a useful starting point and collection of resources.  I wish l knew this resource existed when l began this journey of discovery some time ago…

The chart/graph or visualisation to use the fancy speak in this particular case is a radar graph which l put together in excel using this article as a guide.  There are a lot of tools available out there which can help with the display of the information that we collect, take some time to think about how best to tell your story and build out from there.



Author: Alan Swanton

Alan has been working in elite performance sport in Ireland for the last 10 years. He is responsible for the planning, delivery and implementation of performance analysis services within Sport Institute Ireland, delivering service within boxing, Paralympic swimming and cycling across both the London and Rio Olympic/Paralympic cycles.

In knowing that at its core PA is a coaching tool and given the rapid development of sports related tools & technologies, he is interested in exploring how these can be integrated into the everyday activities and operating environment of the analyst. He has witnessed the growth and evolution of PA in Ireland over the last decade and is keen to explore the potential of building a PA community of practice in Ireland.

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