This year’s all Ireland football final sees Dublin seeking to achieve the ‘holy grail’ of Gaelic Football, the elusive ‘three-in-a-row’. Mayo will be trying to end a disappointing spell of almost making it.
Many will draw contrasts between the counties when it comes to styles, athleticism and playing philosophy and no doubt there will be many noticeable differences.
In fact each of the final four in this year’s All Ireland series use performance analysis as a pivotal element – and that is right from the outset of the season with the national league and the early season provincial cup competitions.
Performance analysis in elite sport is all about gaining small advantages – which can be the world of difference at the very highest level. In some sports, it’s split second timing, in field games like Gaelic Football it can be decision making.
Footballers tend to be creatures of habit on playing fields and so the in-depth analysis of opposition players can yield that ‘chink’ in the armour that is crucial. Similarly when a team is analysing its own players they will be looking for their own ‘chinks’, which they know their opponents can see, and devising solutions.
The technology exists currently for teams to analyse live second by second at major games. This involves having live match footage, laptops to analyse and captured footage displayed on an IRW (see above) Meanwhile all this data is utilised by sending information to the dugout where clips and images can be seen on an iPad. Many of the top teams use this facility and whether it is utilised during the actual play or at half time it’s not hard to imagine that in a finely balanced contest, one little nugget could be the difference.
Regardless of who comes out on top on Sunday, it is likely that nobody has ever prepared more diligently or engaged levels of expertise – applying the science