Lesson 1: Don’t always trust the numbers: From a data analysis perceptive Sevilla FC could have won the match yesterday. Compared to Leicester City FC, they had more ball possession (68% vs 32%), more passes completed (531 vs 199!), higher passes accuracy (86% vs 70%) and more attempts on target (5 vs 4). In addition, Sevilla players covered greater distance running compared to Leicester (106.2 km vs 104.4 km). Though, Sevilla lost the match! Last week, PSG players covered much greater distance in the field (110.4 km vs 105.8 Km) though they were defeated by FC Barcelona. Match winning is so complex and affected by not only technical and physical elements but also other factors like players’ desire to win (!), robustness of the team, fans’ support.
So, what’s going on? Are the data we collect (huge amounts indeed) useless? No, this is not the case. Data are needed and will assist in making more intelligent solutions. It’s not about the data; It’s about how you interpret the numbers. Smart data interpretation require the ability to read the context!
Lesson 2: Smart planning leads to success. Leicester are not doing well in the English Premier League but they are very successful in the Champions League. I assume the Club has made a decision right from this season’s beginning and prioritized the objectives based on the team’s strengths and weaknesses.
Lesson 3: Smart support may raise the team to a higher level. I am sure you all agree Leicester FC have been a successful example of smart planning and decision making at all levels. Science and medical staff play a role in this success story. Proper training and recovery periodization and injury prevention strategies are key action plans that can add value and boost the team's performance to a higher level.
To learn more about how this is happening in Leicester City FC I advise you to watch the video with the Head of Sports Science speaking https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7Rsdj-_AoI&feature=youtu.be&list=PL8z05aMc--mi4LZb2wynvSYUqlR1ou20
To learn more on how intelligent approaches may help the team to achieve more, you can have a look at resources below
-a novel concept in injury prevention https://www.researchgate.net/publication/270160861_Injury_prevention_training_in_football_Time_to_consider_training_under_fatigue
-effective recovery strategies https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23315753
-effective strength training in football https://www.researchgate.net/publication/275651919_Strength_training_in_soccer_with_a_specific_focus_on_highly_trained_players
-nutrition for football https://resources.fifa.com/mm/document/footballdevelopment/medical/51/55/15/nutritionbooklet_neue2010.pdf
-Player tracking technology http://journals.humankinetics.com/doi/abs/10.1123/ijspp.2016-0499?url_ver=Z39.88-2003&rfr_id=ori:rid:crossref.org&rfr_dat=cr_pub%3dpubmed