The key role of performance analysts is to collect data from the athletes that they work with and analyse it to see where the potential for optimisation of performance is. They then have to display this information to the athlete and other coaches in a way they can understand so they can begin training in those specific areas.
Throughout the course, you will be learning the key principles of working with both individual athletes and professional sports teams. You might wonder what can this look like?
Performance analysts can be key members of a team of multidisciplinary professionals that work with one athlete. This is quite common in sports like Formula 1, where drivers have a team of experts around them, all striving for maximum output from the driver. To read more about what that can be like, you can read our interviews with Pyry Salmela, who works with Alpha Tauri’s Pierre Gasly, or Michael Italiano, who works with McLaren driver Daniel Ricciardo.
In a similar vein, performance analysts are integral to the success of elite-level sporting teams, where they gather data for analysis for many different athletes, as they contribute to the team becoming a high-performing unit. For more of an idea of what a performance analyst does in a team context, you can read out chats with Jack Christopher, Head of Academy Sports Science and Physical Fitness for Chelsea Football Club, or Nick Winkelman, Head of Athletic Development for Irish Rugby.
Performance analysts can also go into research roles for public entities such as colleges and universities or private companies such as medical device companies. The research work they carry out here can be for the benefit of elite athletes through new discoveries in performance or the wider public through the development of new medical devices.