Brian Fitzpatrick @brianfitzp10
”All ideas grow out of other ideas” – Anish Kapoor
Although not a revolutionary idea in planning your analysis for the long term, it is something that is scarcely written about to date.
Cross-discipline amalgamation is a great way of developing new theories and adapting them across to your own discipline. Given a large percentage of people in analysis have a sports science degree or related and that the strength and conditioning industry in many ways was the analysis of 20 years ago, it makes a lot of sense to adapt what they do and apply it to what we do in analysis.
I have adapted Mayveyev’s theory of sports training periodisation. Matveyev’s theory was to plan to do more generic and foundational work first and then increase the specificity with time. Below is Metveyev’s theory and you can read more about it here.
By adapting Metveyev’s theory to sports analysis, it comparably works in increasing specificity with time. As a foundation for a team sport you should consider focusing your analysis more on yourself initially before worrying about the opposition or individuals too much.
This is because focusing your analysis on yourself will have a lasting effect for the season, more so than analysing an opposition that will have it’s maximum effect for that game alone.
Even in a lead up to a season, you can use some preparatory work that will enhance your teams understanding of your way of playing and can be used again when introducing a new player to your squad. Again focusing on a long term, sustained effect.
Something you’re likely to experience is that after doing the same thing for a while, the effects begin diminishing. So once you feel you’ve got your team playing close to how you want them to play, it’s perhaps time to begin concentrating your resources more so on improving individuals to fine tune that system or improve the individual’s technical abilities.
The graph below is the adaptation of Metveyev’s theory of periodisation in an analysis context. Illustrating the increasing specificity with time and the increase in player ownership, discussed in more detail later.
In an individual context, you can similarly focus your attention on the long term by focusing on player that will be in you team for a longer period of time. Ben Darwin also noted on the Pacey Performance Podcast, younger players, who likely will be around longer, are more adaptable and willing to change, hence you are likely to have a bigger impact working with them.
With looking after individuals, it’s a possibility that they could get injured and then for those games they won’t have an effect with your analysis and is hence the downside of increasing specificity which continues along the scale. When you do analysis on the opposition, it’s maximum effect will be against that opposition and that is a total of probably very few games of your season.
This is not to take away from doing opposition analysis or that lessons learned against one opposition can’t be applied again against another but definitely less so.
Adapting to a lot of literature on coaching, I’ve also added a line on how coach/analyst led the analysis should be and how analysts should adapt through time. The thought process here was that as you introduce new elements of what you analyse to players, you should probably have this as more coach led and then allow players to take larger ownership as they increase in understanding of what is useful information.
I detail a bit more about ownership in feedback in an article on some live examples from the fly on the wall Netflix series “Last Chance U” here.
A consideration I’ve had is how this applies to individual sports. With sports where you have a direct competitor, it probably does apply quite similarly with less aspects. Where you don’t have an opposition such as golf, perhaps you could apply it in a way that looks at your game as a whole firstly before identifying more closely specific parts such as initially putting then onto your putting backswing. Perhaps that is also just common sense!
I’m delighted to be sharing this article with the ipax community and the hope with setting this up, as far as I’m aware, was to share more knowledge together and grow quicker. I would be very interested to hear more about what other ways people are planning their analysis for the season or what they have done in the past. Feel free to tweet me @brianfitzp10, email me on firstname.lastname@example.org to contact me. If you want to stay up to date with my writing and hopefully learn some more analysis ideas, the best way to do that is by subscribing to my website, www.bfsportsanalysis.com.