At the elite level, the performance analyst has become a critical part of the coaching team and provides the head coach with key information about upcoming opponents, and often providing information during a match situation or at half-time about areas of the team and the opposition team that can help change the game. Another key duty of the performance analyst is to provide a thorough review of the performance once the match is over, giving the coaching staff and players information about weaknesses – so they can be rectified – and strengths, which can be further developed. The performance analyst compiles reports for the head coach and team by watching the game live in the stadium, watching video replays, and using the ever-expanding amount of available match data.
One of the key strengths of any elite performance analyst is the ability to translate a colossal amount of data into meaningful information that is simple for coaches to understand and can be used effectively to help improve the team. Performance analysts also have to be clear, concise and objective, and remove any emotion they may have for their own team from the analysis they provide. Performance analysts often work with individual players to support their development and explain how they can deliver the level of performance demanded by the coach.
In this interview, FIFA Training Centre speaks to Chris Loxston, Harry Lowe and Sam Dorin from FIFA's Performance Analysis team to gain further insight into the role.
If you're the type of person that needs somebody to constantly pat you on the back and say, 'Well done, that was fantastic', it's the wrong job because players don't really get that, [and nor do] the coaching staff – in fact, nobody in the club [does] because you're all working for one thing, which is to win the next game