Three ways to improve the communication of performance data within a football club

The collection and analysis of physical data are core components of any elite club’s performance strategy. However, clearly communicating the value of GPS technology and the insights it derives to the organisation as a whole can often prove challenging.

We recently spoke to André Fornaziero, Lead Physiologist at Clube Atlético Paranaense, to see how the Brazilian Série A team have taken steps to improve the communication and understanding of performance data within their organisation.

Drill Classifications

Coaches don’t always have time to drill down into the data, so it’s important that they are presented with key insights that give a good indication of player performance in training and matches.

“We show the coaches some rankings – some top threes or top fives – of the training drills that produced the most IMA, top speed distance, or total distance covered,” said André. “These classifications helped them to better understand how to use the GPS, analyse the loads involved with their training plans, and to plan for the next session.”

By providing a top-line overview of the loads involved with different drills, coaches are able to quantify what they are demanding from the players and improve the efficiency with which they plan sessions.

Physiologist/Coach Interaction

In order to help the coaching staff derive the maximum possible insight from the available training data, André and his team make sure that at least one physiologist is present whenever the coaching team meet to plan sessions.

“We have two physiologists in the club, so one of us does this job with the first team and the other supports does the job with the academy teams,” André said. “This allows us all to meet together and to discuss how we can use GPS data to plan the sessions.”

By analysing the relevant data and providing added context in coaching meetings, André and his colleague Felipe Rabelo are able to support the expertise of the coaches with objective information and ensure that decisions are made with all the available facts.

Education Sessions

Another key element of Atlético Paranaense’s performance communication strategy has been the establishment of education sessions for coaches at all levels of the club.

“We run education sessions with all the staff, starting at U14 and going all the way up to the first team,” said André. “The sessions show them what GPS analysis is, the metrics that we analyse, and explain the differences between accelerometer data and GPS data.”

Running those sessions has disseminated technical knowledge throughout the organisation, helping all staff to appreciate the value of GPS technology to the coaching process.

By employing these three core principles, Clube Atlético Paranaense have created an educational culture that opens data analysis up to the entire organisation. Improving the communication and understanding of key insights at all levels, the initiatives driven by André and Felipe are a great example of how sports scientists can educate those around them while adding value to the club as a whole.

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