IPAX – What’s it all about….

Alan Swanton @aswano23

The Irish Performance Analysis Exchange was created late last year on the back of a PA workshop which was hosted as part of the Sport Ireland Institute HPX conference.  We would like to thank Keith Lyons for giving us (myself, Johnny Bradley & Denise Martin) the nudge we needed to get this off the ground.  At the time of setup, we committed to having a fresh post every Friday.  Our first target was achieved but then the clock turned to 2018 and now 6 weeks in the year we are looking towards the most appropriate next steps.

The title of this post is somewhat misleading, potentially it should read.  ‘Irish analysts – what are WE all about…’  There are plenty of websites –http://thevideoanalyst.com/and people – Keith Lyons on twitter @520507  out there in the ether who do a great job at spreading the PA message and sharing resources.  It was never conceived that this blog post would be in competition for clicks! with these sites.  However, what we do feel is needed is a platform for the Irish PA community to come together to share and learn from each other in equal measure.  We feel that IPAX with the input from the wider PA community can be that platform.

Having been working in the PA sector for just over a decade now, I have certainly witnessed a steady increase in the application of PA principles and methods precipitating through to all elements of Irish sport.  It’s great to witness but l do get the impression from some those that l meet with that there is still a misunderstanding as to the role of the analyst in sport.  For example – Are the PA tools, thinking and methods employed by an inter-county GAA squad appropriate for an U14 club team?  I think not, it most certainly isn’t a copy & paste.  Of course, some of the basic PA tools might well be, for example a match video simply edited but used with a clearly defined purpose can add significant value.  An experienced analyst will know the difference, will know what is an appropriate use of the skills and tools they have at their disposal.

This we feel cuts to the core of what IPAX is all about.  We in our roles as analysts and educators feel that we have a part to play in sharing our experiences and are keen to see the sector continue to grow in a positive and productive manner, and gain recognition of the value it can add in any sport across all levels.  We want to help promote that appropriate PA methods are employed with the appropriate competitive level of each athlete and team.    This in turn will help them to make informed decision about the tools and equipment which can value to what they do.  We are keen to get the message out there to sports administrators and coaches across every sport who are curious about PA are aware of this difference.

We also want to bring the PA community together in Ireland, to put faces to names of those we know are operating within sport in Ireland.  But, what should this platform look like?  Continual blog posts?  Quarterly get togethers?  How can it be structured?  How should we come together in order to leverage the experience in the community?  Should we even bother?  Is there a place for IPAX and for what it might be?  If you are to commit your valuable time to engagement, what would you like to see?

So we are leveraging this blog post to gather your thoughts on what might work best.  We are interested in getting your thoughts, good, bad or indifferent on our next steps.  So please click on the link below and fill in the questionnaire in as much detail as you deem appropriate.  We will be coming together next on 19th April @ 14:00 for an open forum discussion about IPAX.  Those who would like to attend are more than welcome to do so, please contact me (aswanton@sportireland.ie) ahead of time so that we can account for numbers on the day.  Thanks for reading and we look forward to getting your thoughts on our next steps.


Alan Swanton, Johnny Bradley, Denise Martin

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.