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Showing posts from April, 2012

Talent and Coaching and Recruiting

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It seems to me that there are two aspects to success:  good players combined with good coaching.  When a team loses there is always talk of how much better and easier it would be if the players were better.  ("We need racehorses, not camels!")  When the team wins its because the players were better than the others.  Even when they haven't won before.  ("They won because they have the best players, anyone could coach them to victory.")  Someone who has won more championships in the NBA than any other coach, and coached some of the best players to have played the game, only one 'Coach of the Year' once, for this  very reason.

Now, I'm the first to say that its not about the coaches, its about the players.  But somehow, somewhere, players who were camels become racehorses.  The team that 'didn't know what it takes to win', somehow learned how to win.  Where from?

There has been a lot of research done about teams who get the 'best tale…

Analyse What We Have Already Collected

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Here is an interesting article which simply uses basic, existing data to analyse Tiger Woods' performance over his career.  There is SO much data collected in sports nowadays, with new ways invented all the time.  Sometimes, in the quest to find new ways to collect data we forget to analyse the data we already have.

This is something that I've presented on in the past.

(Photo Credit)

Winning by Design

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Scouting has been common in sports, particularly team sports, for decades and decades and decades - long before specialised 'scouts' and 'analysts' were employed.  Coaches with a pen and paper, or just a good visual memory, have been developing game plans and tactics based on opponent tendencies since coaching has existed (yes I know there are studies that show that human memory is fallible, but there are also studies showing computer predictions are fallible).

No matter how good a player is, they have tendencies.  At the highest levels of sport players' weaknesses are small, their strengths strong, but tendencies remain.  Having said that, there is a lot more to game plans than simply knowing what your opponent will do in certain specific situations.  You have to come up with a plan on how to exploit this information, constrained by the abilities of your team.

I read recently about a team who, after losing a 2nd match to an 'inferior' opponent, bemoaned t…