Preseason Responsibilities for Analysts

By Daniel Muñoz

27-July-2022 on Tips

17 minute read

In sport, like in so many other facets of life, preparation is the key to success. And the preseason period is when the essential foundations are laid for the coming campaign.

 

In this article, we, alongside our colleague Dani Muñoz, break down the roles and responsibilities of the analyst during preseason preparations. Having worked as an analyst at clubs such as Spain’s Real Betis, rest assured that Dani knows what he’s talking about.

 

So, without further ado, let’s get started…

Index

 

1. An Analyst’s Work Is Never Done

2. The Preseason Begins: A Review of Resources and Processes

3. Contact with Coaching Staff

4. The Preseason Is Your Preseason Too

5. A Job That Never Stops

 

preseason tasks for analysts 

 

An Analyst’s Work Is Never Done

 

A few weeks ago, we asked our followers on Instagram, most of whom are coaches and analysts, whether summer was a time for relaxing or a time for training.

 

82% of respondents said that they take advantage of this downtime for professional development. Although we wouldn’t assume that this is the same for every analyst in every part of the world or every sport, it is a noteworthy percentage.

 

It certainly seems clear that, despite the intense and stressful work of the analyst throughout the season, there is no extended break to be had during the summer months. In fact, when one campaign finishes, these dedicated professionals are already thinking about the next.

 

During the preseason, the analyst will be concentrating on things such as training, updating their tools and workflows, investigating new initiatives and keeping up with the transfer markets, both with their own team and with competitors.

The Preseason Begins: A Review of Resources and Processes

 

Teams will specify an official return to work date for players and coaching staff, but we recommend that you bring this date forward a little so that you have room to maneuver since there is a fair bit of work to be done even before the preseason officially begins. It kicks off for analysts with a review of resources.

 

After a few weeks of being away from your gear, you must ensure that all your resources are ready and available for the new season. Check the status of cameras, batteries, capture devices, computers, hard drives, licenses and all the rest of the hardware and software you need. If something is missing or broken, you must make the necessary arrangements to acquire new gear.

 

preseason analysis equipment

 

Many analysts will create a report at the end of the previous season regarding equipment levels. This will allow them to get ahead of themselves by a few weeks so they are ready to jump straight in when they return. If new material has been acquired, now is the time to test it, practice using it and have it ready for the new season

 

But try not to get overwhelmed. As we’ll see later, just as the preseason is a buildup for the team, so it is for the analyst.

 

Incorporate New Tools

 

One of the most valuable character traits of any good analyst is the ability to get better every day. They do this by improving their knowledge and also by acquiring new, more efficient resources which allow them to work faster, simpler and, above all, in a manner that suits them.

 

Therefore, it’s logical that the preseason is the ideal time to incorporate new tools into their workflows, improve the ones they already have, or simply update their licenses to meet the latest challenges facing them.

 

preseason training analysis

 

In the case of Nacsport, our work never stops throughout the year. As our motto says, “Sports Analysis Evolved”, which means we’re constantly seeking to innovate with our product. We incorporate new tools and processes, create new synergies with other products, and work hard to meet the highest demands of the market through contact with you, the user.

 

But we are also aware that, during the year, the workload is so huge that we don’t always have time to keep up with everything. For this reason, summer is the time when we have more direct contact with you and your colleagues. We take stock of the year that’s gone by and see how we can help you. We explain the new workflows and allow you to have some input into the new tools and features that we’ll incorporate into the software in the future.

 

One of the most common results of these conversations is the incorporation of new licenses at clubs for other members of coaching staff. Upgrades are also common, contracting a higher level of the program and moving the analysts workflows up a level.

 

The good news with upgrades is that it may not be as expensive as you think to move to a higher level of software. With a Nacsport upgrade, the software doesn’t have to be bought from scratch, but rather you simply pay the difference between the current software you are using and the higher level program you want to work with.

 

EBOOK. How to create a video analysis department in your club

 

In addition, this year we introduced annual subscription payments for all our products which allow you to acquire new licenses at a much cheaper short term price. If your not sure about what’s happening in the future and only need a software license for a short period of time, a subscription payment may be the ideal solution for you or your coaching team.

 

More resources for more money! 

 

If you’d like to know more about the payment options available for Nacsport, please feel free to contact one of our expert advisors who will talk you through your needs and options.

 

Contact with Coaching Staff

 

A lot of the time, preseason will signify new beginnings. Whether there are new members of the coaching team or a new head coach, a meeting is essential before starting work to establish the mechanisms and procedures that will be carried out during the coming season.

 

contact with coaching staff

 

If you already know the coaching staff, you’ll save a lot of time. It’s possible that this meeting will simply be to make small changes to the working processes that have carried on from last season. Nevertheless, it’s important that you know their way of working, their game philosophy and their likes and dislikes.

 

If the coach is new, then you must adapt to their needs. It may be that you report directly to the head coach, or maybe you work with an assistant coach. This is something that needs to be made clear at the beginning.

 

Some of the questions that need to be resolved during that initial meeting include:

 

Satisfaction with the current equipment

 

You must present the tools you currently work with and the resources you have to hand. There are coaches that are more in tune with technology than others. Some have set methodologies and others prefer to work on the fly.

 

There are other coaches that have their own tools which they prefer to continue using, even though they are not the same as yours. At Nacsport, we are prepared for this type of technological collaboration with other tools in the sector. How?

 

Our XML file import and export allows you to share data between different timeline-based video analysis programs. For example, at Colón de Santa Fe (1st Division, Argentina), they use two different analysis programs, Nacsport and Sportscode. But they use both tools together, combining them to enable the sharing of data between different analysts. 

 

nacsport synergy

 

BLOG. Nacsport and Sportscode: How to combine them in the same team

 

And this is not the only synergy available when you work with Nacsport. If you work with the data provider InStat, we have a commercial agreement with them which can take your analysis to the next level. Download their data and work with it in our software to your advantage.

 

Looking for more versatility? Check out this list of 20 tools that can be combined with Nacsport and maybe you’ll get some inspiration for your own working processes. 

 

Your Role in the Team Structure

 

There are analysts who work closely with coaching staff and their role within the club is extremely important. There are others who take up a role at a club and aren’t as integrated into the structure.

 

Therefore, you must be clear of what is expected of you.

 

How are you going to work and who do you report to?

What is the coach's methodology and philosophy?

Will you analyse training sessions, own games, opponent’s games, be involved in scouting, etc?

Will you be expected to create presentations or just deliver the raw data?

How will your work be shared with the team? Will you use specific solutions such as Sharimg or a more classic method such as a pen drive?

 

sharimg

 

Whatever the case, based on our experience, the trust you gain with the coaching staff will play an important role. We know analysts who have earned the respect of the coaches and have ended up as an integral part of the coaching team. At the end of the day, hard work pays off.

 

training analysis 

 

BLOG. How to analyse training sessions

 

The Type of Data They Need

 

Whatever your role is, you must always keep in mind that your main mission is to provide usable data and videos to the coaching staff. But what information do they need and how will it be presented?

 

These are the two big questions you must answer.

 

• Type of content. What should your focus be? Own and/or opponent analysis? Strategic plays such as set pieces? Individual player analysis?

• Structure of the report. How will this data be presented? Does the coach want specific sections concentrating on set pieces? Do they want it as an audiovisual file or do they prefer a written report?

• Inclusion of telestration. Without a doubt, drawing tools have caused a huge leap in the quality of video reports. Most coaches will ask for videos to include drawings as they make the videos clearer, improving communication between coaches and players. There are many options for this on the market, but we recommend KlipDraw, which can be fully integrated into Nacsport.

• Duration of presentations. Some coaches don’t like long presentations as they believe they can overwhelm players. On the other hand, there are others who put great importance on the data that has been collected. It depends on the individual coach, and you need to find out their preferences.

 

player presentations

 

How to Organise the Working Week

 

It’s important to establish what you need to deliver and when so that you can plan your working week effectively. In case we haven’t already been clear, you need to adapt to the needs of the coaching staff, and every coach has their own way of working.

 

Some will want instant game data on the day of the match. Others will want the report first thing on the day after the game. Others still will prefer to let the game lie for a while and study the data a few days later.

 

You’ll also need to establish how many video sessions will be held before a game and when these will be held. Some coaches will have one session a couple of days before the game. Others will want a session every day for the lead up to the game, including on match day itself.

 

You need all this information so that you can arrange your working week effectively. This is where you take control as you will know how long each task will take and be able to put it into practice.

 

The Preseason Is Your Preseason Too

 

Once you are clear on all the above points, it’s time to get down to work. You need to put your plan into practice and ensure you have a system that is adequate and workable. The preseason is the time to make adjustments to your workflows in order to be efficient as possible when the season kicks off.

 

The preseason isn’t just for players, it’s also for coaches and analysts to get settled in.

 

We recommend that you have periodic meetings throughout the preseason period to make sure you’re on the right path and that coaches are happy with the work you’re doing or whether changes need to be made. Good communication is one of the keys to success.

 

But be aware, changes don’t stop when the season starts. Analysts must be dynamic and able to adapt to any situation that may arise during the season.

 

coaching staff preseason

 

A Job That Never Stops

 

So, these are the main tasks of an analyst during the preseason, but they’re not the only ones. Playing an important role within the coaching staff, analysts must be versatile and adaptable to every situation. 

 

We know coaches who ask their analysts to get involved in the scouting process (InStat can, again, be very useful in this task). Others get involved in sports management, and yet others who are involved in networking with other analysts in order to share videos of games which can’t always be covered.

 

In short, as we said at the beginning of this article, an analyst’s work is never done. Sacrifice and hard work are needed to succeed in this game, and we’re here, ready and willing to help you.

 

We’d like to end this article by wishing every analyst all over the world the very best of luck in their respective preseasons. We also want to wish you every success in the season to come and hope to see some silverware in the cabinet this time next year.

 

Thanks for reading!

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