Analysis of sports performance

By Connor Drew Mallinson

Throughout this task i will be trying to portray good understanding and explanations of the purposes and the resources required for analysis at two different levels of sport.
These being the foundation level and the elite level.

Levels of performance

With in sport there are four levels that you can categories each sporting individual into for each specific sport. The four levels consist of the foundation, participation, performance and elite levels.
The sporting individual would fit into one of these four categories for each sport they play. For example a individual may fit into the performance level for football however in basketball they may only fit into the participation.
Foundation is the level in which sporting enthusiasts are introduced to the specific sport. at this stage they will learn the basics of the sport and will not compete competitively. Individuals such as school children or people trying to learn about a new sport would fit into this category.
Participation is the level, where a basic understanding has been established and advanced techniques are started to be incorporated into a competitive game situation. However individuals that come under this category usually compete for fun and not to necessarily win. People under this level would usually be apart of a Saturday/Sunday league team.
Performance is the second level within sport and consists of players that have a good understanding of advanced techniques and execute them within competitive conditions effectively, individuals in this level usually excel amongst others around them. Players of this skill level would usually represent their county or nation within their sport.
Elite is the final level of the four, and is the stage where the individual has excelled to the point of elite. This is the stage where the individual has improved upon those advanced techniques significantly, making them the best of the best. Elite standard players usually represent their nation for the Olympics or play professionally and earn money.

My Choice Of Purposes

For the task i have been asked to choose two (2) of the four (4) levels and explain the purposes of, and the resources required for analysis between the two levels. the two levels i have chosen to explain are;
Foundation and Elite.

I have chosen these two of the four because they seemed to have the biggest differential, thus making it easier to explain them.

Within both these i have been asked to explain four of eight purposes, the ones i have chosen are;
Talent identification, Performance assessment, Recovery after injury and Goal setting


Talent identification.
Talent identification is the first of four purposes within the foundation and elite levels of performance that i will be explaining. Talent identification is the process of identifying talented performers in any given sport that are currently unrecognisable .
With in the Foundation performance level talent identification is established but not significant. What i mean by this is, within foundation you as a child would be identified as an excelling performer by your teacher in school or your parents at beginners practice. However although they have identified that your excelling, teachers are not paid to progress you and maybe offer you advice on joining a team or club and thus they lack motivation and therefore in 9/10 cases just do nothing and hope that you excel some other time.
However for the Elite performance level the talent identification is both established and significant, this is because at this level there are specialist talent identification personal who are paid to do that exact thing. Thus, unlike foundation's teachers the elite's hired staff are motivated and experienced in what they have to look for in a performer making them much more effective.

Furthermore we can establish a significant correlation between both age and the level of the performer at both elite and foundation. However for talent identification it is more focused on the level of the performer more than his or her age. Although it is important to start early and build upon their basic abilities, those individuals first have to be able to at least show an advanced understanding to be even second glanced at by scouts.

Also within talent identification it begins to deteriorate towards the elite level as once you do get to those elite level of performance you are most likely part of a professional club or even apart of the international squad, what this means is there is no longer progression once you reach this point. For example a English player may work his way up through the sporting academy over the years and make his way into the england national team however once he gets to this point there is no bigger or better stage to progress towards therefore there cant really be any talent identification once you have reached this peek.
Foundation's talent identification process is however vast because there are countless children coming through schools all over the world each and every one of them is monitored within a sport, what this means is each child has an opportunity to impress.
Whereas within Elite they are already at the highest level so their is near to no newly identified individuals, it is solely based on how well they perform for their current club or team to nether or not a another professional organisation would like them to join them.


Performance Assessment.
Performance assessment is the second of the four purposes i have chosen to cover and it can be defined as the analysis of data or information to help in the acceleration of athlete performance. The identification of performance indicators, repeatable methods for collection of data and the manner in which the information is analyzed, are all key factors to a successful performance analysis.
Within the Foundation performance level performance assessments in most cases cease to exist. This is because at such a young age the participants are most likely taking part for fun and to enjoy themselves as well as the fact of them being undeveloped as children. Therefore the teacher is not going to start putting the children through numerous skill and fitness oriented drills, as the children will most likely stop enjoying themselves thus reversing what they intended to do in the first place.

In the most part there is no point in performance assessments at foundation level as for the first part it wont give a accurate reading when relating to how well they could perform or progress as for the most part they aren't really trying to perform their just trying to have fun and secondly because the kids don't want to know about it.
For example an elite performer may participate within a performance assessment, find out his scores and seek to improve them where as a child at foundation level would most likely just tease his friends because he got a higher score but not bother to try and progress.
However at Elite level, performance assessments are extremely abundant. This is because to be the best of the best you have to be at your peek of physical and mental fitness. And due to the fact that these sporting individuals are fully developed they can get accurate readings of both strengths and weakness' to then work upon and improve. The players at this stage also know that they need to do these assessments to improve as players and thus are willing to participate within them.

so in foundation they are undeveloped and unwilling to participate within performance assessments and within Elite they are the complete opposite. It also worth mentioning that the foundation level (teachers/schools) would only be able to afford the most basic of testing equipment where as at elite millions of pounds go into performance assessments to ensure that they get the most out of their players.


Recovery after injury.
Recovery after injury is the third of the four i have chosen to explain. This process is defined as how well each levels participants are treated after injury and how well they are able to perform after being brought back.
Within foundation recovery after injury is significant but not thorough. This is because as a young child in school if your injured while participating within a p.e class your well looked after at the time of the incident however once your passed onto your parents there is no further action taken other than not allowing you to participate within the activities until you have recovered, but once you "have" they allow you to as you wish.
However in Elites side of things, recovery after injury is a massive, massive part of an elite's life as there are specialists for massage there are physiotherapists and psychologists as well as dietitians to monitor your weight when your off the pitch.

Also the player will be eased back into playing at elite level because if a player had just came back from a broken leg for example and they just put him straight into a 90m game he would suffer and risk weakening it again, so therefore at elite level they ease him back into light training first and progress him back to full fitness unlike how in foundation once they have "recovered" they are playing what they like and for however long they like.

Elite level athletes are always analyzed when they are injured because they may be a vital member of the first team meaning they need him back as soon as possible to ensure there team can have the best possible season, they also try to ensure their players recover as fast as possible so that financially they are getting their moneys worth. For example if a player gets injured the club are still playing that player while hes not playing, thusly the club do everything they can to get the player match fit again. However like previously mentioned this can have negative impact on the player if they a rushed into playing again without waiting the recommended times that the therapist recommends.
An example of this could be a player called Theo Walcott. This performer sustained a relatively normal ligament damage injury which rules him out for 4-5 weeks, however as arsenal where pushing for the premier league title and Theo was one of their main players Arsene Wenger introduced Theo Walcott back to training after just 3 Weeks what this meant was the injury was not completely fixed and inevitably three training sessions later Theo was back playing for the first team from which on his first game back he ruptured his already tore anterior cruciate ligament. This then ruled him out for the rest of the season and crushed his hopes of going to the world cup.
All of that could have been prevented if they had listened to the professional advice and kept him out for a further 2 weeks to ensure that he was fully fit.

Its also worth mentioning though, how a child's body does recovery much faster than a elite performers and thus may not need as much professional help.


Goal setting.
Goal setting is the fourth and final of the four i have chosen and is a mental training technique that can be used to increase an individual's commitment towards achieving a personal goal. Having a short or long term goal can encourage an individual to work harder, to be more focused on the task and to overcome setbacks more easily.
Goal setting within the foundation is again apparent but not significant, this is because at the beginners level the goals are most commonly short term and basic. For example as a child in school you may be set a goal of being able to dribble with the ball by the end of the lesson. However although that will help you progress its becomes tedious and boring for you as you will continue to do the same thing over each lesson. Without a long term goal you have nothing to work towards and motivate you to play the sport more either.

Whereas in the elites perspective goal setting is once again abundant. every individual athlete has both weekly short term goals to improve their performance which ultimately helps them achieve along term goal such as score 10 goals, hit 50 re-bounds, hit 50 "Ace's" over a season. By doing this the athletes remain motivated to achieve these goal while not becoming bored.

Analysis is used to help monitor goals through comparing the results gained form performance assessments. For example if a player had the desire to improve his cardiovascular levels he would first be analysed while performing a test such as the bleep test once completed he would train in that specific area for acumulatively 4 weeks. He would then be re-assessed in the bleep test and then his results will be analysed once again and compared to those gained 4 week prior. From this the performer will then be able to tell how much or how little he improved.
The second point about goal setting within foundation and elite is that in foundation you have to keep track of your goal yourself for example in that p.e lesson you will determine whether or not to completed your goal and this can be uncertain making you doubt yourself.
Whereas in elite again there is hired personal and technology that keep track of the goals set for you by your trainers, for example if you have a certain pass completion goal of over 1000 in a session, Then instead of you having to try and keep count the technology and personal would do it for you and as you progressively complete it you will become more motivated.

My Choice Of Resources

For the task i have been asked to choose two (2) of the four (4) levels and explain the purposes of, and the resources required for analysis between the two levels. the two levels i have chosen to explain are;
Foundation and Elite.

I have chosen these two of the four because they seemed to have the biggest differential, thus making it easier to explain them.

Within both these i have been asked to explain four of eight resources, the ones i have chosen are;
Fiscal, Equipment, Time and Facilities.


Fiscal. Fiscal is the first of the four resources in which i have chosen, fiscal relates to finance and is fundamental as a resource for every aspect of analysis.
Within the foundation performance level, the financial support of those running the lesson or practice is usually very basic. For example as a P.e teacher in school you are supported with the equipment that the head of the school deems appropriate for children of that young age. This however is negative because as the foundation level is not considered to need analysis equipment the head of the school in most cases would not allow the funds to be used for something that isn't needed.

However as analysis is hugely important within sport at elite level, clubs and organization put millions of pounds into ensuring the best equipment can be bought that will give their performers the best chance at improving.

There is also the amount of finance put into analysis between the two levels, Elite sporting establishment spends millions of pounds ensuring that they have the best equipment and facilities to improve there players and gain accurate scores, they would invest in things such as labs with state of the art testing equipment, as well as things such as timing gates to ensure that every score is accurate. Whereas in foundation level the extent of which they spend their money may reach to only gym mats and cones as it isn't established.

overall the basic difference is that at foundation there is little to no money put towards analysis equipment where as at elite level there is ample amounts.


Equipment. Equipment is the second of the four that i have chosen. Equipment needed to participate in a particular sport and analyse performance.
Within foundation, the equipment used to analyse performance at most would extend to maybe a normal family camera and event then it is most likely just to video the child playing not to analyse their performance, therefore for foundation the equipment needed to analyse basically doesn't exist as at this stage their is no need for analysis. the equipment in which they used for analysis would also not be to excessive, things such as skipping rope or mats would be the extent of their investments.

However the equipment side of things for the elite level is vast and very advanced, They have a much bigger demand for analysis equipment, their equipment ranges from the best recording equipment to computers that generate statistics at a sensational rate to lab equipment that automatically adjusts to your ability, timing gates to accurately read scores and video analysis specific equipment that are created and designed to the one job your asking it to do,


Time. Time is the third of the four that i have chosen. time in relation to analysis is is quite straight forward and relates to how long a analitacle procedure may take.
Within foundation the time that it takes to analyse a child is minimal, this is because after maybe one P.e lesson a teacher or parent can pass judgment and decide that they are good or bad concluding the analysis at foundation level.
However with in the Elite performance level there are vast amounts of procedures that must take place to ensure that the player has been analyzed effectively and accurately.

For example within a school the procedure will be finished in an hour as they maybe take 15 minutes setting up at most and record if they want on a piece of paper and then take 5 minutes after the session to compare.
However in an elite perspective they have to firstly prepare all the advanced analytical equipment which in a recent documentary was stated to consume up to 6 hours alone, they then have to conduct those tests which can again be rather time consuming and then finally they are up through the night comparing and analysing the results for the next morning to show the players before the next game.

So when compared to the 1-2 hours max that it takes to successfully analyse a foundation class of students it takes up to a full 24 hours for elite performers to be successfully analysed.


Facilities. Facilities is the fourth and final of the four that i have chosen and are the areas in which the coaches or organization can use to analyse their players or performers effectively.
Within the foundation performance level the facilities that are used to analyse are very basic, due to the fact of minimal need for them and there being once again little financial support for analysis within foundation. What this means is the at foundation level there choice is most likely to choose between a hall and a field making their facilities bad.

However with the elite performance level it couldn't be more of the opposite. This is because they have both the financial support and analysis being very important, its due to this that they are given the facilites such as stadiums to play in that are set-up with specialty cameras to accurately record making analysis of each and every player much easier.

Friday, March 7th, 10:30pm

SRC Bede Sixth Form