Observations in Sport

Mr Bryan Hain – Director of Sport and Activities

Over the Easter break I attended two sports conferences, one at the MCG covering the latest technical and data gathering techniques in sport, the other was in Sydney and focused on Sports Business, Marketing, Sponsorship and how to engage the younger members of our community.

We certainly have a range of analytic tools at TSS to collect and view match and training data, but the skill in coaching is really the way you communicate that extra information. Too often coaches like to use match video and coded highlights to illustrate the ‘mistakes’ in a game, rather than showing the ‘success moments’ and therefore building confidence within the athlete and team.

Two sports which have grown considerably over the last three years is tennis and football. The data (Heart Rate and Tracking Monitors) clearly show footballers cover huge distances in a game of soccer and the ball is in play for so much of the game in comparison to rugby. After just a few matches, all our new recruits to soccer (off season rugby players) realise this game is played at a different pace to rugby and attack turns to defence very quickly.

I would still guess that many of our current students think tennis is an easy option compared to most other sports offered at TSS. But spare a thought for our very fit and talented FirstĀ IV on Saturday. They started warming up at 8.30am on Saturday (v GT) and after 3 matches, 2 doubles and 1 singles match, 9 sets of action packed tennis…. the final shot was played just before 5pm. The TSS open players were on court for just under 8 hours, the concentration, commitment, fitness and grit to play any sport for longer than 4 hours is huge, but 8 hours that’s a marathon by any standards.

I learnt a lot from the analytics conference, how AFL teams use data to select their draft picks, how the Melbourne Storm use their KPI’s to turn over the scoreboard and why Tennis Australia sent a team of sports scientists off to Perth to study the game. Data is great, but so is pure sport, that freedom of school activities where playing for fun, enjoyment and time with your mates is just priceless. Term 2 has been an awesome few weeks and you just can’t help noticing how many boys who are just having fun, kicking a ball and cracking another over a net.



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