As the weather has been getting colder, our work with Performance Advantage has been hotting up! New developments have been focussed on the beginning of the cricket season and how we as a company can provide statistical insight and support for Durham and Yorkshire CCC.
More on that later though, the continued work with Team Durham and Newcastle University has provided the chance for Dan and I to hone our coding skills with a diet of football, hockey, lacrosse and rugby. We are now using NacSport exclusively to do all of our coding and with new updates coming out we are excited to see where this new technology will lead us.
One thing we have been trying is a wide angle camera to take in the whole pitch and syncing it up with our usual tight angle. This can help our teams see the ‘big picture’ and where the space is on the field at all times. Tactical, as well as technical analysis.
One new sport which we’ve covered is American Football. Living with 14 Americans has certainly helped us both grasp the rules. It was a good spectacle to watch and the Durham Saints did well to win. More importantly though, it gave us the chance to try out another NacSport initiative – Tag&Go. Being able to tag the game on an iPad allows us to move up and down the touchline following the play, a really useful feature.
Another new experience has been filming rowing at the Rutherford Head. This involved positioning the whole Performance Advantage team at different positions along the river, capturing the relevant Newcastle and Durham crews as they passed by. Once back in the office, the clips of each individual boat were combined together, giving the crews the chance to see how they were performing at the different stages of the course.
With our understanding of how we cover university sport getting better we have focussed more of our time on a new initiative surrounding cricket stats. We have been looking how we can best present the data we find so it is easily understood and interpreted. This has led to use a new piece of software called Tableau. It allows us to powerfully present data in an interactive way and be able to handle the huge datasets which we have.
With the advancements we have made in Tableau in mind we took a trip to Headingley in early December to meet with the new Yorkshire CCC Head Coach Andrew Gale and Assistant Coach, Rich Pyrah. Part of the day was spent outlining how Tableau can be used to help gain an edge in all formats of the game. To illustrate the power of Tableau we presented Andrew Gale with a summary of his career.
With the Christmas break approaching we had a chance to see how far Dan and I had come since the start of October. We filmed and coded a Durham Saints American Football game completely independently from planning to execution. It’s a challenge both of us grasped with two hands and we were successful in providing the service we had planned to do.
We’ve both loved the start of our placement year and are looking forward to all 2017 has to offer with the prospect of the BUCS play offs and plenty of cricket! Happy Christmas!
By Bertie Kennedy and Dan Wiseman