A groundbreaking document, the Gaelic Games Performance Analysis Guide for Good Practice, is now available. (you can download it below).

Produced by the Performance Analysis sub-group of the Gaelic Games Sports Science Working Group, it’s an incredibly detailed publication that should be a tremendous resource not just for performance analysts themselves, but also coaches, players, club and county officials, and even parents.

It highlights the six areas in which performance analysis can support coaches and players, shines a light on exactly what performance analysts do, details how individuals and teams can best work effectively with a performance analyst, and how to find a quality assured Gaelic games performance analyst.

Dr Denise Martin, a leading member of the Performance Analysis sub-group, hopes the publication will give the wider Gaelic games public a much better understanding of the work she and her fellow Performance Analysts do.

“In 2016 we started to put together an accreditation programme for people doing analysis,” says Martin, a Lecturer in Sports Performance Analysis in TU Dublin.

“So, we now have around 250 people accredited and it’s a very strong community.

“What we are increasingly realising is that many people outside the community don’t understand what we do, how we do it, and what it’s supposed to do, which can lead to people fearing analysis or dismissing it.

“This document really aims to try and articulate for coaches, for administrators, for people working with clubs and counties, even for parents what this is and what it’s not and how it can help those who avail of it.

“There’s a very important line in it, we want analysis to provide trustworthy information to allow coaches and players to make better decisions. That’s fundamentally what we do.”

When it comes to performance analysis, arguably the first question to ask yourself is what sort of performance analysis is most appropriate for your team, be that at club or county level.

This document signposts the way in terms of answering that question in fine detail and can also lead you towards the performance analysts best suited for such a role.

“It’s written in the most simplistic terms that we could bring it down to,” says Martin. “What we want to do is to get people to understand what’s appropriate and what’s not appropriate so we’re produced some recommendations.

“We have a new player pathway and we’re very closely aligned to it and the different stages of it in terms of what’s appropriate.

“There’s some information about how to find an analyst and another important piece is the idea of role descriptors for an analyst.

“What do you expect from an analyst, for example, at inter-county level and what would you expect from someone who is holding a camera for a club? So that’s new and that’s different. That’s not been done well anywhere previously.

“It’s a quite unique and novel publication and we’re certainly the first governing body in Ireland to come out with something like this. There’s nothing like it in the UK either, so it’s quite ground-breaking.

The eight members of the Performance Analysis Working Group are as follows:

Denise Martin, Colm Clear, Johnny Bradley, Niall Collins, Brian McDonnell, Louise Byrne, Emma Byrne, Alan Swanton, and Kevin McGuigan.

The Gaelic Games Performance Analysis Guide for Good Practice can be viewed and downloaded below.

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