What Does a Sports Performance Analyst Do?


10-Feb-2021 | 9 minute read

Ever thought about the role of a sports performance analyst and wondered what exactly the job entails? Maybe you're thinking of a change of career and are wondering if you could cut the mustard in this field?


Well, we’re here to help. Here’s our definition of what a sports analyst is and what they do…

First off the bat, let’s start by saying that being a KlipDraw god does not make you a performance analyst. Sure you might be able to create Klips that Michaelangelo himself would die for...but there is much more to this job than telestration.


No, KlipDraw is an integral tool in the process, which a successful analyst probably should be utilising, but it’s nowhere near the full package.


So, What Does a Performance Analyst Do?


KlipDraw sports performance analyst role


Well, simply put, the ultimate goal of the analyst is to provide objective feedback of a team or individual performance to coaches or players in the hope that this feedback will be used to inform training and tactical decisions and to help the team grow and win.


But this is a very simplistic overview of the job. In reality, it’s much more complex and the roles and responsibilities of the analyst will vary greatly depending on the club, sport or level with which they are involved.


But there are a few things that almost every sports analysis post will have common, such as…


Filming the Action


KlipDraw sports analysis filming


Usually, it will be the role of the analyst to collect video footage of the team. This means that they must be au fait with filming technology, whether that’s a simple camcorder or more advanced equipment such as IP cameras or fixed automatic camera systems such as Veo or Usportfor.


But what do they film?


Well, this depends on the ultimate goal of the analysis department and what they want to achieve. Having said that, generally speaking, there are three distinct possibilities here: training sessions, own games and prospective opponent’s games.


Of course, there are some lucky analysts at top clubs who will have access to TV footage for their analytical work but, of course, this doesn’t cover training sessions, so they’ll still have to get out onto the field!


Data Collection and Analysis


Once they have the appropriate footage, they get down to the meat and potatoes of the job: collecting data and analysing it.


Again, the type of data collected will depend on the goals of the analysis department and the club. These goals will usually be decided collectively in discussions about the needs of coaches and players...but the method of compiling the data will usually fall on the analyst alone.


And this will probably involve the use of specialist sports analysis software such as Nacsport.


Yep, an analyst must also be an IT expert!


Whatever analysis software you use, the normal method for collecting data is to first create a template relating to the goals of the analysis in order to tag actions on the video footage. This allows the analyst to build up an extensive database of relevant video clips and raw data. This “tagging” can also be done live, in real-time, depending on the software you use.


klipdraw panoramic stadium view


Examples of data collected might include (and let’s just talk about football here for the moment): passes, free-kicks, corners, possession time, player positioning, effective attacks, bad defensive actions, successful on pitch partnerships between players, goals, etc. 


The idea here is to build a database of both good and bad actions which can be analysed before presenting it to the coaching staff and / or players either in the short-term (analysis of the most recent match) or over a longer period of time (the collected data of all a team’s matches during an entire season in order to identify trends).


So, once all this data has been compiled, what to do with it?


This question brings us to the next stage which is also where KlipDraw tends to come into the equation…


Presenting the Analysis


klipdraw presentation at leeds united

Coaches probably don’t have the time to wade through the hours of video footage or the stacks of Excel spreadsheets compiled by the analyst. And players...well players are quite often young with short attention spans and the will to play the sport rather than study it.


Because of this, the analyst needs to be able to summarise their findings succinctly and effectively, both in writing and on video.


A video highlight reel of an individual player’s actions, for example, can be more effective than a written report or lecture. Showing a few good things a player did during a match followed by an example of what they did wrong can be an extremely powerful teaching tool.


Throw in KlipDraw illustrations to highlight good or bad positioning and it becomes even more powerful, allowing you to deliver clear, actionable messages to players.


These highlight reels can be combined with written reports for meetings with coaching staff in order to delve a bit deeper into the insights gained by the analyst.


Hopefully, from there, the now fully informed coaches will take these analytical insights and formulate a training and tactical plan to improve the performance of the team. On the other side of the coin, players will work on the weaknesses that have been identified in their game.


If set up and utilised correctly, a performance analysis department can be an extremely powerful tool, giving teams a major advantage over their opponent. It’s no coincidence that practically every club in practically every sport now has a dedicated analytical department.


The Role of KlipDraw in Performance Analysis


klipdraw sports analyst liverpool fc


As mentioned above, KlipDraw can play an essential part in the presentation stage of performance analysis. Being able to highlight video frames and illustrate the movement of players is a huge boon for any professional analyst.


What’s the old saying? A picture is worth a thousand words...and this holds true in performance analysis too.


KlipDraw is used, usually in conjunction with video analysis or, at least, video editing software, at many big clubs around the world.


Take Liverpool FC, for example. One of the biggest, most prestigious clubs in Europe are KlipDraw users and Gregg Mathieson and James French from the Opposition Analysis Department at Anfield use it to highlight plays to Jürgen Norbert(!) Klopp.


Check out this article for more information on opposition analysis at Liverpool.


klipdraw goal mouth action analysis


More than this though, KlipDraw can provide a powerful, affordable foot in the performance analysis door for clubs and individuals on a budget.


Although it may not have the analytical power of specialist analytical software, it can be used to compile highlight videos and illustrate good and bad points in a game.


Bring this into the dressing room of any amatuer or grassroots team and you get the same results...100% objective feedback which can be used to build and improve the team.


To try KlipDraw for yourself, why not download our 30-day, no-obligation trial or get in contact with us through our website or social media channels.


klipdraw free trial


Until we meet again...happy KlipDrawing and all the best!


Written By

Duncan Ritchie

KlipDraw Communications

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