Posts

Navigating the technology paradox in sport

Technology is a good thing, right? When we evaluate technology we tend to focus on the benefits: what it can add. But the paradox of technology is that it often has hidden costs we do not see up front. Determining whether technology is good or not can be harder than it looks. Read more

Penetrating the data smog through better visualization

As anyone who witnessed the UK government’s recent presentation on COVID-19 data will know, data is only useful if it can be read and understood clearly. For those who missed the broadcast, the presentation consisted of many slides of data with the BBC banner on the screen blocking out the titles! The audience of millions was left looking at lines and bar charts that had no context or explanation. Unfortunately such examples can easily be found in the world of sport too. Read more

GAINcast Episode 183: From data to speed (with Matt Rhea)

American football is a bastion of tradition. In some areas, such as strength and conditioning, that can hold the sport back. Many coaches, however, are working to change the traditions and they start out by asking simple questions all over again like how do we make our players better? On this week’s GAINcast, Matt Rhea explains how the forward-thinking setup he installed at Indiana University helped turn their program around using a practical data-driven approach. Read more

Some final thoughts on the future of coaching

The HMMR site theme in February was the future of training. I’m a little late to the party, but wanted to add a few points about the future of coaching. After listening to the thoughts of other coaches, many people gave insight into the future of training, but the future of the profession is just as important. Read more

Finding the right feedback for reflective coaching

Finding the right time for reflective coaching is critical, as I wrote about last week. But reflecting will not bring your coaching forward if you do not have the right information. In order to properly reflect, you need to search out the best information. Read more

Key questions in data science for sports

Over the last decade or so, there has been a Big Data revolution. This is true of our general lives; a good example is how Cambridge Analytica collected, both legally and potentially illegally, data of Facebook users for the targeting of campaign advertisements, but also within sport, where, in part thanks to the increase in technology, there is a vast amount of data available to sporting teams. Read more

From big data to smart data

There is an arms race in today’s sporting environment. Teams, athletes, coaches and support staff aren’t just fighting for the best facilities and talent, they’re also seeing who can collect the most numbers. This is the era of big data, and the past decade has seen an unrivaled amount of information available in sports from a wide variety of methods, including the use of GPS systems, electronic timing gates, force platforms, blood testing, and general wellness questionnaires. The richness and vastness of information available, however, can also be seen as a curse; both teams and individuals can feel like they have to collect more and more data, in the hope that they can gain an edge over their competitors, and better enhance athletic performance. As with many things, we need to shift the focus on data from quantity to quality. Read more

GAINcast Episode 133: Getting better feedback

Having a process to collect feedback is critical, but even more important is the type of feedback you get. If the process is not producing actionable steps to improve or reinforce what you did, it is not doing its job. On this week’s GAINcast we look at how coaches can improve debriefing and other feedback processes to get the information they are looking for to make them better coaches. Read more

The quest for prediction in coaching

Within sport, everyone is now looking at prediction. Coaches, athletes, and support staff are all searching for methods to predict various outcomes, such as injury, talent, performance, or training adaptation. The ability to successfully predict within these areas would obviously be hugely advantageous. Injury prediction could allow you to make interventions to stop that from happening. Talent prediction can allow teams to better focus resources. Predicting adaptations would allow coaches to design better training blocks or alter them based on the predicted response. In other words, prediction is the holy grail of sports science. Read more

February 2018 in review: transfer of training

Another month, another theme. In February we gathered some different perspectives on transfer of training from elite coaches. We discussed how some commonly held ideas may not hold up, how coaches have found unique solutions to transfer, and what processes coaches use to refine training and identify transfer. Links to all of our resources from February are below, as well as some additional articles from our archives. When reading through all the content again, three main points on transfer emerged. Read more