2021 Performance Analytics Conference  (PAC21) Recap

On the 10th November, Catapult hosted the second-annual Performance Analysis Conference (PAC21) – gathering more than 500 attendees globally from over 20 different countries around the world. Over the course of one day, nine main sessions featured 10 speakers and panelists with expertise in performance analysis, wearables, and elite sports teams. 

These are the key trends and reflections based on this year’s conference: 

Player Development: A Holistic Approach - Philipp Grobelny Fortuna Dusseldorf, First Team Analyst

During a player development process, coaches and analysts need to monitor and nurture each facet of a player's development. A constant understanding of the players technical, tactical, and psycho-social development is crucial to maximising potential. Phillip speaks on how he focuses on all facets of a players development and the tactics he uses in training and in games to help develop players, with specific reference to one of his players Kristoffer Peterson.

During his presentation, Grobelny went through the following themes:

  1. Athlete case study: Kristoffer Peterson - Liverpool FC academy graduate to German professional footballer.
  2. Leading a holistic player development process.
  3. The importance of coaching consistency and progressive development.

Development of Technology and Use of Technology in Football 

The use of technology in football and other sports is becoming more commonplace, as well as necessary, the ways in which teams approach game week using video analysis and performance analysis tools is changing how teams approach games. James Lovell, Assistant Director of Football Operations at  Fulham FC shared his thoughts on how the club are embracing technology and what other clubs can focus on to get that implementation streamlined.

This session highlighted 3 main benefits for elite sports teams:-

  1. How Fulham FC have embraced technology over the years
  2. How other sports have influenced their approach to performance analysis processes
  3. What Fulham are currently working on

An Expansion Journey - Oliver Miller-Farrell Nashville SC Head of Strategy & Analytics

Nashville SC are the latest franchise to join the ranks of the MLS with Oliver spearheading their analytics at the club. Nashville SC have created their infrastructure from scratch and are utilizing technology to streamline their performance analysis process to improve player and team performance. In this session Oliver explains how his role is in many ways is how the club collects data and information, and explains how the club links certain data or information sets together to see how a player performs on the field or how they're performing in training.

This session highlighted 3 main benefits for elite sports teams:-

  1. How to create a performance analysis infrastructure from scratch
  2. What Nashville SC learned from the expansion journey
  3. What Nashville SC are working on now


Panel Debate: Developing World Class Talent Through Technology

The growing sophistication of performance analytics software allows elite sports teams to quickly leverage their sources of information bringing video and data together better. Catapult solutions allow for streamlining efficiencies, saving time and resources. During this Panel Debate, Fortuna Dusseldorf’s - Philipp Grobelny & Fulham FC’s - James Lovell  spoke on how do you get your coaching staff to buy into and  transition to new technology and workflows and what the most common mistake clubs make when looking to implement technology. 

This session highlighted 3 main benefits for elite sports teams:-

  1. How to get coaches buy into new technology
  2. Common mistakes that clubs make when implementing technology
  3. methods do you use to feedback to players


Fireside ChatAndrew Butterworth, Lecturer, Loughborough University

One of the world's leading universities in sport, Loughborough University set's the bar high when it comes to sport as they have won the British Universities & Colleges Sports championship for the past 40 years running. We sat down with Andrew from Loughborough University to hear how he and the rest of the team are constantly innovating both on and off the field.

This session highlighted 3 main benefits for elite sports teams:-

  1. How Loughborough University has created a culture of winning and innovation
  2. How to deal with  the challenges working in practical analysis in netball
  3. How they plan to integrate the physical data alongside technical and tactical data in netball

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