Thinking clearly under pressure was one of Sir Clive Woodward’s favourite mantras as coach of England’s 2003 Rugby World Cup-winning side. In order to ensure his players were able to make the right calls when the heat was on, Woodward sought to recreate pressurised scenarios so that his team had already practised the thought processes […]
The football industry is going through a period of change in which establishing joined-up football services off the pitch is a key strategic goal and often a major logistical challenge. To be able to succeed in this respect and introduce the new ideas that are central to its advancement requires a certain bravery on the […]
With less than two weeks until the transfer window closes, boardrooms are increasingly required to make quick decisions under pressure.
In this environment, we often try to evaluate complex choices by relying on small pieces of simple information. In some cases, this can be useful – last year we encouraged clubs to ‘make three rules’ as […]
“Data, data, data!” [Holmes] cried impatiently. “I cannot make bricks without clay!” ― Arthur Conan Doyle, The Adventure of the Copper Beeches
The brilliant detective of Conan Doyle’s creation is not alone. Today, key decision-makers in most fields rely on a healthy supply of objective, accurate data and analytics in order make the decisions on which their […]
John Henry, slouched comfortably in his chair with the air of a man sure of his position, fixes a tired Billy Beane in the eye. The Oakland Athletic’s recent defeat in the play-offs hangs heavy around Beane’s neck, made heavier still by the steady stream of Baseball-voices queuing up to discredit his methods on the […]
Intuition has historically been a decision-maker’s best friend in business and sport. Then data came along and the value of intuition seemingly diminished – an objective challenger to the notion that we’re capable of understanding something immediately without the need for conscious reasoning or numbers.
The commonly held assumption that intuition is nothing more than pure […]
Decision-making in football is a thankless task. Such is the diversity of opinion that even sensible action – selling an ageing player for example – is likely to attract the ire of some. Media narrative is often deliberately contrarian and fans can be passionate beyond reason. Inaction, no matter how sensible or justified, can also […]
- "Someone once bet me I couldn't clear a stuffed leather chair. Not only did I lose the bet, I also broke my hand in the crash landing." In attributing these words to anyone, I suspect few would turn to the list of past Olympic jumping champions for inspiration, yet these are the words of Dick Fosbury, 1968 Olympic High Jump Gold Medallist, recalling a college incident.
- In February, ESPN released a feature titled The Great Analytics Rankings. In it they rated every major US sports franchise on its “analytics staff, its buy-in from execs and coaches, its investment in biometric data and how much its approach is predicated on analytics,” producing a top 10, bottom 10 and headline assessment of each team.At a professional sports club it would be difficult to perform a similarly comprehensive overview of the competition, but there are enough rumours and ongoing knowledge exchange to at least hazard a guess.
- It’s that time of year again; when players’ contracts expire. At least for the majority of clubs in Europe the end of season triggers the often uncomfortable discussions with players and their representatives, where the ultimate outcome is either renew or release.