The Hurling and football championships have entered the business end of the season. We are now almost down to the final eight in football, while Hurling Championship has been reduced to four. It is an accepted fact that team preparation has never been more professional. Performance Analysis, using video, has become an integral part of inter county training regimes for most of the top performers and the gospel is spreading fast, writes Pete Kelly.
Earlier this year in a series of articles for http://gaascores.com/ I wrote about how the use of performance analysis technologies and methodologies has become mainstream. Performance Analysis in Gaelic Games looked at how a select number of counties have embraced more modern techniques. We further looked at how the world class techniques used elsewhere extensively by the NBA, The All Blacks and most of the world’s leading soccer teams, are being applied to Gaelic Games.
We looked back on the 2013 championship, got the views of the mainstream county managers who were using performance analysis and offered the theory that a ‘trickle down’ effect has begun and is gaining momentum in the world of Gaelic Games. Successful deployment of performance analysis solutions by the likes of Dublin, Clare and Cork are and will proven to be the catalysts.
I mentioned at the beginning that we are now at the business end of the season – we see the last of the qualifiers and first of the quarter finals in this year’s football championship down for decision this weekend. As I write seven of the remaining ten counties actively use video analysis as a key element of their match day preparation regime. The analyst now plays a vital role on the coaching team and ‘conventional wisdom’ is adapting it’s position to – you are at a disadvantage without professional analysis.
Mayo, Kerry, Dublin, Galway, Kildare, Meath have become polished, professional devotees of Avenir Sports suite of performance analysis solutions, while Cork footballers are also users of the Sportscode software.
The final four has been reached in this year’s Hurling Championship with Limerick, Tipperary & Cork using Performance Analysis extensively in their march to the penultimate round. Analysis has become as much like furniture as the pre-training warm up.
The Leinster Intermediate and Munster U21 hurling finals were played in the past two weeks and to further emphasise the ‘trickle down’ notion both Clare and Kilkenny analysed the games live. Live analysis allows a live video feed directly into the coding screen on laptops for almost instant review of key facets of play – most effective for half time analysis particularly in a game like hurling where everything happens in the flash of eye.
Performance Analysis, although compared to some other major sports is still relatively in its infancy in Gaelic Games. However the indications that it is here to stay and flourish. Iconic and respected managers like Jimmy Barry Murphy, Jim Gavin, Eamon O’Shea and Eamon Fitzmaurice have their methods studied by others – where they go, others follow.