01 September, 2022 | Posted by Cian Fahey

How do you become a sports performance analyst?

sports performance analyst how to become

20 years ago, a sports performance analyst was just a fan in the crowd. Someone who had an overactive brain, who obsessed with what was happening on the field and spent their days telling everyone around them what was right and what was wrong.

They didn’t really know what they were talking about.

Nobody listened to them.

And they definitely weren’t being paid for the job they were doing.

Sports performance analysts were ushered into existence as the wider sporting industry professionalized. First, the players and managers were paid, and then the excess income had to be pumped back into organizations somehow to maximize profits. That led to an understanding that the athletes were the most valuable, irreplaceable people in the industry.

By understanding that, teams recognized the value in investing in greater support staff. Getting the edge in performance and finding ways of keeping their best athletes healthy.

Sports Therapists and doctors were the first waves. The next wave was performance analysts. The value of new methods for gathering data and understanding better how to apply that data allowed early adopters to attain unforeseen success.

While the benefit of being one of the few teams adopting performance analysts is now gone, the fact that every team/organization now employs performance analysts means it’s a budding career choice for those looking to work in Sports.

So how do you become a sports performance analyst?

The traditional way of finding employment in sports was nepotism.

You had to know the right person or be related to the right person to be handed the job you wanted. While we still have some billionaires appointing their sons or daughters to roles they didn’t deserve, sports has now moved towards more of a meritocracy where those with the right qualifications are more likely to get the job.

We can now clearly define who is a qualified sports performance analyst and who isn’t based on their education. You can still work your way up from the bottom through an organization to become a sports performance analyst but at some point, you will need a qualification to validate your skill set.

Portobello Institute offers Level 8 and Level 9 degrees in Sports Performance Analysis, through which you can become a sports performance analyst.

The BSc (Hons) Sports Science and Performance Analysis is a three-year, Level 8 degree that is internationally recognized. During the degree, you will be afforded the opportunity to develop your skill set as a performance analyst so that you can immediately apply what you’ve learned once graduated.

Furthermore, Portobello Institute has built excellent links with sports technology companies and performance sports domains so students can experience a practical-based placement as part of their course. This can then lead to the internship programme with sports technology companies and professional sports governing bodies.

We have a direct path into roles as sports performance analysts.

Many of Portobello’s lecturers have already followed their dreams of working in sports. As such, they understand how to guide students towards what they need to build a lifelong, fulfilling career in an area that they love.

Those who graduate with the Level 8 degree will have the opportunity to advance onto the master’s course.

Portobello Institute's MSc Sports Performance Analysis degree is designed to professionally develop practitioners to progress in both their applied and academic careers. Some specific benefits of doing the master’s in Performance Analysis are gaining proficiency in the hardware and software required for analysis of pitch-based and lab-based performance, including GPS, notational/video analysis, biomechanical and physiological analysis.

Portobello Institute values the one in everyone and understands that education is only a part of your life. We don’t want to take up all of your time and create stress for you. You should go to college to improve your life outside of college and after college.

We are training the sports professionals of the future. If you would like to work in sports in a professional capacity, you can find a course that will provide you with the requisite education to do so.

If you'd like to read more about the sports degrees and qualifications we carry, you can visit the department page here.

If you are interested in any of our sports courses or have any questions you can book a consultation call with our expert sports advisor Sharde Sebastian here, email sharde.sebastian@portobelloinstitute.com or call 01 892 0029. 

Featured in this article:
Johanna Shaw has a 2:1 in BSc (Hons) in Sports and Exercise Science from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh. She completed an MPhil Studentship in Physical Activity for Health alongside an Exercise Development role. She then went onto a Tackling Inactivity in Students role funded by Sport England within a Further Education College in London before moving back to Dublin to Portobello Institute.

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