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Showing posts from April, 2018

Sports Analytics

Analytics is the discovery, interpretation, and communication of meaningful patterns in data. The data in sports analytics are the statistics recorded in games (points, rebounds, aces). It is mainly concerned with quantitative data, meaning numbers. Sports analytics is about using objective numbers to help make decisions. The decisions or applications of sports analytics include: strategy decisions, goal-setting, and player evaluations. Traditionally, the “eye test,” meaning subjective observations have been used to make these decisions. However, the analytics movement has pointed out that the eye test is often inaccurate and inconsistent because of human cognitive biases, therefore they argue that using analytics is a better approach.
Strategic decisions: analytics helps judge the efficiency of certain shots/strategies. For examples, statistics show that lay-ups and three-pointers are the most efficient shots in basketball. Coaches can take these statistics and interpret them to mean…

Strategy

Strategy (using tennis as an example) The rules of tennis say you must hit the ball onto the court one more time than your opponent to win a point. They don’t say how you must go about doing it. This opens the door for a lot of strategy. You can try to win points by hitting from the baseline, coming to the net, hitting lobs, etc. You have many options when deciding where to hit the ball, how to hit the ball, and where to stand on the court. All these decisions make up your strategy. Strategy is important because the decisions you make can make it easier for you to win the point and harder for your opponent to win the point. That’s the purpose of strategy: maximize your chances of winning by making it easier for you or harder for your opponent.

To make it easier for yourself, you should play to your strengths and avoid using your weaknesses. If your forehand is way better than your backhand, run around your backhand and hit more forehands. To make it harder for your opponent, hit to thei…

Nutrition

Food matters. The body needs certain nutrients to function properly. So for athletes who need their body to do a lot, food matters a lot. Athletes need to eat for energy, to build and repair muscle, and to maintain a certain weight. To improve fitness and performance, athletes need to know both what, and how to eat.
Many diets tell you what to eat: a balanced diet, vegetarian, low-carb, gluten free, paleo, no refined sugar. However, the content of your diet is just one dimension of dieting. You could be given the perfect list of foods to eat for you and your sport, but it still may not help you that much. You still need to know how to eat.
How much and when you eat is also important. Breakfast and lunch should contain primarily carbs to give you energy for workouts and games, while dinner should contain more protein to help build and repair muscles. Portion size and your schedule of meals also matter. Generally for athletes, 4-6 smaller meals spread throughout the day is better than 2-3…

Recovery

I consider physical recovery as a sub-component to fitness, but it is so important that I want to write about it separately. Physical recovery is the rest and recovery of the body after exercise. The purpose of recovery is to refresh the body back to full health so you can play at peak performance for continuous days in a row. It is also meant to prevent injuries and preserve your body so you can have a longer athletic career.

Many athletes only focus on recovery and rehab after injuring themselves. However, after any intense exercise, whether it is strength training, conditioning, or playing a sport, your body will be stressed in ways that are not considered injuries. For example, after a basketball game, you muscles, tendons, and ligaments may be tight and sore. Soreness and tightness, since they are not thought of as an injury, are often ignored by young athletes. They do no physical recovery so after many days of training in a row, their soreness and tightness adds up and gets wor…

Fitness

As an athlete, your body is more important to you than for non-athletes. Professional athletes make their living using their body, so they must take care of it. You can’t perform well if you have an injured or unathletic body. That’s what the fitness component of sports is all about, making sure you are healthy and athletic so you can perform at your highest potential.

Like technique, all components of sports apply to the cup/water analogy. Having an unfit body, like having poor technique, strategy or mental game, can limit your potential. So if you want to reach your full potential, train your fitness. Fitness can be broken down into 8 components: strength, size, speed, agility, endurance, coordination, flexibility, and durability.
Strength: the benefit of strength is obvious. Strength helps you hit harder, throw farther, and break tackles.Size: size can affect performance in different ways. Height helps you reach higher in basketball. Being short can improve lateral movement. Being …