In the last couple of years, many sports clubs have been signing deals Universities allowing teams, coaches and athletes to have access to world-class sport scientists at the universities at an unprecedented level. Such partnerships are seen as a knowledge exchange relationship to develop players to their full potential and to improve team performance during competitions and sports seasons. Usually, sports scientists and researches shuffle their time between university and training fields, to collect data on players and analyse it to help the club with key decision making.
Over the past decade, sport science technology has advanced and changed dramatically, however the biggest game-changer as a practical application and tool is GPS technology. GPS has revolutionised most team sports where it measures every step athletes take when in training and on game day via GPS technology installed in athletes jumpers. GPS technology has shifted data analysis from pen and paper to real-time sense of how players are performing. Video is also one of the biggest data collection sources where sensors are installed on floors to measure the force players can produce during training sessions. Available self-service systems also collects medical data such as muscle strength and allow players to enter their own data which enables sports scientists to provide information and insights to coaches and also to identify weak spots and help players work on any issues before game days.
Data and sports scientists have been trying to refine technology to give them exactly the data they need. One of the main advantages is taking the human error and burden out of data collection. The collected data can be used in recruiting strategies where special recruitment programs can assist clubs with selecting and recruiting the most suitable players. Collected data can also be provided to coaches on game days to assist coaches with making key decisions during the game.
Many sports clubs are starting to invest in employing full time sport scientists and it will be interesting to see how this expands around the world. This certainly means that practical applications of data aren’t just used in business, but even to train athletes of all sports and to assist clubs and coaches make strategic decisions for their players and teams.