With the 2010 Winter Olympics now under way in Vancouver, Britain's Curling squads are competing with the support of performance analysis supplied by Elite Sports Analysis. Having provided feedback support during the squad selection and team preparation phases, analyst Kenny More is now in Vancouver giving a full performance analysis support service to both the Men's and Women's Curling teams. High Performance Curling coach Derek Brown said: "Performance Analysis support has been invaluable in our build up to the Olympics and now we are here, analysis continues with filming, analysis and feedback provided to each team after every match." Elite Sports Analysis use their own Focus software to provide significant video and statistical databases on the performances Team GB and their opposition, and have been part of Team Scotland and Team GB’s World and Olympic successes since 2002. (19 Feb 10)
Durham Cricket have used software based performance analysis since 2006 and have a system in place that sees their Analyst travel home and away with their first team and assist in the development process by supporting the Academy and 2nd XI programmes. Focus X2 is used to measure, annotate and archive player performance and Durham have recently used Focus to analyse academy players fielding skills.
"The versatile nature of the software allowed us to develop a tagging panel to suit a fielding scenario which the coaches had designed. We mimicked a game situation calling upon players to field the ball from 4 positions, mid-wicket and mid-on on the leg side and mid-off and extra-cover on the off. Ensuring a consistent feed speed by using a Kanon over a measured distance we were then able to tag individual efforts by each of the players. We were able to measure performance components such as speed to the ball, accuracy of pick-up, time from pick up to release, speed of throw and finally accuracy of throw. The results were fascinating…
Some players were very quick to the ball but their speed had compromised the accuracy of their pick up resulting in a fumble. Others, whilst more assured in their pick up had taken longer to reach the ball and therefore given the batsman the extra second they needed to make their ground. Some allowed the batsman the advantage by being insufficiently balanced to complete a pick up and throw sufficiently quickly. Whatever the issue, being able to identify it and show both coach and player the performance was invaluable." Phil Dicks, Durham Cricket, see Durham Cricket Performance Analysis (20 Jun 09)
The versatile Focus software is being employed to analyse darts by Paul Gillings, a mature student at UWIC on the Masters Degree course in the Performance Analysis of Sport. As part of the course students are set an assignment to analyse a sport of their choice using a commercial match analysis software package. One of the key elements of the task is to describe how the software coped with the analysis, the creation of highlight clips and then the creation of a video. Gillings explained his choice of darts. “We all know Focus is great for football, tennis and other sports so I wondered what I would have to write about? Focus has never been used for darts though. I am going to test the voice activation software by coding a live match as well as assessing the usefulness of all the other statistics that Focus can produce. The trial run I recently carried out was successful. My dissertation project is also going to centre on darts. With the help of Focus I am going to identify key performance areas in darts and carry out a statistical comparison of the two recent `rival` World Championship finals.” (13 Feb 09)
Focus X2 software is making its mark in all divisions of the Scottish Football League as an increasing number of clubs harness the power of video-based performance analysis. In all, eight SFL clubs have linked with Elite Sports Analysis to integrate match analysis into their coaching week, and evaluating performance has become part of the player’s discipline at clubs such as St Johnstone, Dunfermline, Raith Rovers and Dundee. Clubs have been helped to recruit appropriate students/volunteers, who in turn have been guided on what information to gather and feedback. With clubs operating with smaller squads, and some with part-time players, managers are very aware of the need to get the most out of their players. One manager commented, “With matches in the lower leagues rarely being filmed players have little or no access to footage on their performance. We have now changed all that and the technology means I can get straight to the key moments before my whole squad trains on a Tuesday night. Then they see the bits that matter right before they train”. Each club also subscribes to Elite Sports Analysis’s “The Analysis Zone”, allowing coaching staff, many of them part-time, to access the same footage from home or work in advance of training so that they can make their contribution too. With Focus X2 users currently sitting top of Divisions 1 and 2, it’s surely just a matter of time before more clubs link with Elite Sports Analysis. (13 Nov 08)
Nordic Ski Coaches Roy Young and Alastair Dargie have recruited Elite Sports Analysis to revolutionise the feedback they provide to their world class Cross Country skiers. After initial contact with Kenny More, they are now working practically with Pamela Stevenson at their training base in Huntly, Aberdeenshire. Pamela and Alastair concentrated on the type of information the coaches and athletes would be empowered by, and set about customising the Focus Series of software to their needs. As a result, their last training camp in August saw athlete performances being data-based through Focus X2 for immediate feedback on general performance principles, an innovative analysis of stride patterning evolving, and some specific technical feedback through Focus X3’s exporter and annotation tools. The introduction of new technologies was delivered progressively, and always with coach and athlete needs at the heart of decisions taken. It leaves Nordic Skiing with a clear process of athlete feedback capable of making a difference at the elite level. (18 Sep 08)
Typical Focus users concentrate on sport and use Focus as part of their coaching process. However there are other applications where video analysis can be of use - a recent example is in the Occupational Therapy Department at the Victoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy, Scotland. Clinical specialist occupational therapist Charlie Chung has carried out a pilot study using video with stroke patients and is now regularly using Focus with patients as well as planning further, PHD level, research. While video has been used in sport for decades, it has not been widely used for feedback in rehabilitation and Charlie had to go through a careful pilot and medical ethics process before being able to video patients. Initial work has shown that patients respond very positively to seeing video - especially with stoke patients who have cognitive problems as well as physical issues caused by the stroke. The process followed by Charlie is very similar to sports analysis with the activities focused on being everyday issues for stroke patients such as getting dressed or making a cup of tea. Focus is used to catalogue the video so that each individual patients’ previous assessment can be quickly found and the activities in making the drink are logged as Focus events with an outcome that reflects how well the individual was able to complete the task (with or without assistance for example). Because of the cognitive problems caused by their stroke, patients are often unable to carry out these tasks and often cannot remember what went wrong. Showing the patient the video acts as a useful memory jog for the patient as well as giving the therapist objective evidence of performance. (26 Feb 08)