Ellie’s Experience

Ellie’s impressions so far:

While these are my own experiences of Performance Advantage, I thought I would share them to help anyone thinking of doing their placement here decide whether or not it is suited to them.

Coming to Durham from Bath University was a big move for me, the furthest North I’d ever been – and a long way away from the home comforts of the Isle of Wight. Not only that, but I’d chosen to work at a company that provides Performance Analysis services having never come across Performance Analysis during the first two years of my degree.

I’m learning a lot and working in a challenging but enjoyable environment. We have a wide array of filming solutions from handheld cameras mounted on tripods to dome cameras mounted on portable high masts. The different options we have for filming means we can cover almost any sport from any angle that’s required. Often, we’ll film and live-code from MAS (the Mobile Analysis Suite, lovingly nicknamed the “burger van”), we’re lucky to have it because we’re kept warm and dry in any conditions we have to face!

In terms of software I’ve been exposed to three key Performance Analysis tools: SportsCode Gamebreaker, Dartfish and Nacsport. In the short time I’ve been here I now know the key differences between them and their pros and cons. Not only this, but given they run off different platforms (Mac and Windows) I’m getting used to both operating systems as well.

Gamebreaker works well for a simple capture and code of a game, providing some key information and video clips.

Dartfish can do the same, but its added image processing tools are key to its functionality. Technique analysis becomes incredibly powerful using stromotion, side-by-side comparisons and their drawing tools. The video and codes from each match (regardless of the software used) are uploaded onto DartfishTV for coaches and players alike to watch, comment on and view attachments from fixtures relevant to them.

Nacsport, on the other hand, can do the simple capture and registering of actions, however the ability to add descriptors to the actions makes the analysis much more powerful. Not only this, but the software also includes dashboards to visualise data from matches and the ability to create a local network to access the dashboard live. Using the same local network system a coach on the sidelines can re-watch aspects of the game as they are being registered, something we are keen to include in our Hockey workflows to improve the quality of service to Durham University Hockey Club.

All-in-all I’m glad I decided to make the move to Durham, and I’m looking forward to progressing even more in the coming months when the sun will hopefully be shining!

Ellie Furmidge, placement student.

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