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'I Don’t Necessarily Think Sports Analytics Has Its Limits'

We sat down with Ross Herridge, Strength & Conditioning Coach at Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club

2Feb

Ross Herridge is currently the head of strength and conditioning for Nottinghamshire CCC alongside working for the England Lions Cricket team as their S&C coach for the past three overseas tours. Ross’s previous experience includes working at Reading Football Club and the British Fencing National Academy as well as consulting within sports science experience in various other sports. He is an accredited coach with the UK strength and conditioning association (UKSCA) and has an MSc in strength and conditioning. Ross has peer-reviewed publications on the development of physical qualities for elite cricketers.

Ahead of his presentation at the Sports Analytics Innovation Summit in London this March 22, we sat down with Ross to discuss the sports analytics industry, from collaboration with startups to the wider impact of analytics on sports as an industry. 

1. What, in your view, have been the key developments in sports analytics in the past few years?

As analytics is evolving in team sports the information on match demands using systems such as GPS has advanced greatly over recent years. Individualised metrics for sports has allowed the data that's collected to be very specific to the unique nature of each sport.

2. How important do you think collaboration between clubs and technology companies is when developing new products?

Companies need to be aware of what information is useful to coaches and players when developing new products so the communication between themselves and teams/individuals from within the sport is crucial. Products which can receive updates have the ability to keep progressing with the moving times of sports.

3. What do you think is the most important aspect of any sports analytics program?

First and foremost the information its delivering is accurate, then it's quick and easy to access and use. No coach using sports analytics wants to waste time using awkward technology that means delivery of feedback is consistently delayed.

4. What are the areas in which you see analytics already having the greatest impact?

I think that information on what happens on the pitch/training field has had the biggest impact. Analytics has been able to highlight tactics, statistics from matches and physical demands for numerous sports. This, in turn, has affected the way teams and coaches prepare for the demands of the sport, affecting their day to day practice.

5. Does sports analytics have limits on how impactful it can be within a club or organization? Will we reach a saturation point?

I don’t necessarily think it has its limits, analytics has developed hugely in the past decade and will continue to do so. For me what's key, is like anything, it has its place within a club/organization and within each individual sport. Its easy for technology or data to get overused or pushed too much in a club above what it should do and then it can have a negative impact. In terms of a saturation point, sport is ever evolving and developing, in my opinion, analytics will do the same.

6. What can the audience expect from your presentation at the summit?

I’m looking to present how analytics has had an impact on how we trained and prepared for two of our in-season competitions, based on data of our strengths and weaknesses from the previous season. It will highlight how numbers and statistics translated to day to day training. 

You can hear more from Ross, along with many other industry-leading sports analytics experts, at the Sports Analytics Innovation Summit this March 22. To see the full schedule, click here.

Bonus Content: Effective utilization of GPS during a rehab period can positively impact the speed and quality of player return to play. The key factors for effective utilization of GPS include; identifying injury specific metrics and planning the progressions of each metric. Nick Leman of Seattle Reign FC will demonstrate how to plan a rehab period and the factors involved in the determining the loading periodization. 

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