“Listing” Sports Analysis Method

What is it?

This is an analysis method that is simple to use and is a useful one for people who are new to analysis, are short on time or simply just want to try out a different way of breaking down a game.

Simply, it works on a method of observing your game and listing everything you feel you can improve. From there, highlight 3 things, 3 times: What will make a big difference if you improve it, what will be the easiest change to make, and what will be the 3 things you actually do.

The advantages of this method are that it is a quick and uncomplicated method. It is a good one for a coaches and analysts that back their intuition. It is also a quite rounded way to identify areas of weakness in your team. It also doesn’t require any software to do it!

How to do it

1. Watch the game

You can do this straight after the game, after you have watch the game on video or after a period of games and stats have been put together. You can customise this method of data collection down to your individual time constraints.

Me watching the 1st Bledisloe Cup game from the weekend before (18th August 2018)

2. Make a list of all the things you want to change

During or after watching your match, identify all the areas where your team can improve. If you have a team of coaches, this can be delegated into your sections. Your skills coach would narrow their focus on skills, your defence coach would focus more on defensive positioning and decision making.

My notes some elements Australia could improve on (Note this only goes as far as half time when they were leading 6-5!)

3. Link elements that are similar together

4. Highlight 3 of the elements that would make the biggest difference and 3 elements that are easiest to change

5. Identify if there is a “Sweet Spot” something that is both easy to change and will make a big difference and make a selection of a few elements to prioritise implementing.

Don’t worry if you don’t end up with a “Sweet Spot”. The highlighting is merely a guide to direct your intuition to make a decision for what to prioritise working on.

6. Move onto strategising how to implement those changes this week.

This isn’t to say to ignore the non-circled elements. This exercise merely promotes giving you that broad view before prioritising.

Progressions

As mentioned that you can delegate certain focuses to people with direct responsibility to that area of the game, you can also get the opinions of players from the pitch.

Encouraging them to use this method as a self reflective tool will encourage thinking of improving and how to get the best out of themselves.

You can also develop this into the team analysis and get a rounded view of opinions from both the touchline and on the pitch together. Something I’ve used before is Google Forms with creates an online survey that players can fill in and you can view the results online or download a .csv that opens in Microsoft Excel or Numbers for Apple users.

This can futher be reviewed with a keyword analysis that will show how many times a word was said and you can get a better idea of what players think is important to prioritise. You can make it a word cloud then to visualise that. It will also visualise the alignment your team has in how they should improve.

Another consideration and progression is to consider storing these results long term and seeing how it adapts and changes through out the season.

Summary

This is an easy and low time effort way of doing analysis. The outputs are in language as opposed to numbers and therefore can be a little more relatable for a Analyst/Coach/Player who doesn’t enjoy working in numbers.

Going forward, encouraging your players to use this method can also benefit their self-reflection and also give you more information on their feelings. This can lead into creating a player-led analysis enviroment that I discuss further in this article.

Another large benefit of this is it gives you an opportunity to look at everything as opposed just what you may gets stats on if you have them. This is particularly beneficial at the start of a season when there is often lots of things to change.


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