Reflecting on #abbotsthon17 and #HPX17

#HPX17 Conference Image

Introduction

An intense three days has come to an end at Sport Ireland’s High Performance Knowledge Exchange Conference (#HPX17). I was fortunate be part of a pre-conference workshop (#Abbotsthon17) as well as the main event.

I had started a conversation about the workshop with Alan Swanton, the performance analysis lead at the Irish Institute of Sort,  in January this year. I am immensely grateful that he and Daragh Sheridan took the bold decision to invite me. When I saw John Rudd‘s slide in his Saturday presentation at the conference, I thought about the trust Alan and Daragh had placed in me.

This encouraged me to reflect on the three days on the Sport Ireland campus and the opportunity I had to meet a global cohort of presenters. I am fascinated by the opportunities we have to come together and explore the optimisation of readiness to perform and the delivery of performance as athlete, coach, support staff, family and friends.

I took to heart Tanni Grey-Thompson‘s caution in her keynote and shared by Matt Dossett:

Unmeetings, Hackathons and Conferences

Alan and Daragh getting ready for the conference.

One of my biggest take aways from #HPX17 is the cultural capital available to Irish sport. I am fascinated by the vision Daragh had for the conference. I do see enormous opportunities for the expansion of the role that Daragh has at the Sport Institute. He is Head of Capability and Expertise at the Institute. He holds this position at a time when, as Mark Pesce (2017) suggests:

We’re in the midst of the most important shift in civilization since the invention of the steam engine — the pervasive application of intelligence into every aspect of the world.

I do think that if Ireland can take a connectivist approach to this pervasive application of intelligence then the system will flourish.

The form this sharing can take is the set piece, themed conference. The theme of #HPX17 was Lessons Learned from High Performance Sport: The 2020 Evolution. It can take place in much less structured ways too. That was my first suggestion to Alan when we first started discussing the workshop.

I wanted to flip all the content for the workshop and set about creating some autoresponder opportunities to share content so that our meeting on 5 October could follow the interests of participants. I reposited resources throughout my cloud storage and started a # to aggregate Twitter feeds, #Abbotsthon17.

The theme we agreed was:

A picture of the front slide page for the workshop

Alan did his best to organise me and I really appreciated his guidance around a framework for the program. As with all good unmeetings and hackathons, we did wander but I am hopeful we did so in a sensitive way. One of the big successes of the day, for me, was Alan’s inclusion of Denise Martin and Johnny Bradley. The day ended with a panel that included Alan, Denise, Johnny and Vinny Hammond (who has just flown in from a conference in Boston, USA).

A picture of panelists at the workshop: Vinny, Denise, Johnny, Keith and Alan.

I am hopeful there are many outcomes from this workshop in terms of evolution. We had thirty analysts in the room from a range of sports. I am profoundly grateful for their patience with me. I trust that we have made enough of a connection within and between sports to have a sustainable community of practice open to sharing and able to bring a mutual appreciation to the occupational culture of being an analyst.

I though one immediate step might be to have a Friday Letter From Abbotstown. We have lots of volunteers to write each Friday’s letter. I have found such letters are a great asynchronous resource. No one has to reply or engage unless they choose to do so. But in that memorable line “we read to know we are not alone”.

Are We There Yet?

Camera set up to record the presentation

On Thursday, I had an opportunity to present some ideas about performance analysis and data analytics. Our session included Alan, Johnny, Ireland’s men’s hockey coach, Craig Fulton and myself. I thought Are We There Yet? might be an appropriate title. I did share my presentation in advance but made some late additions after hearing Joe Schmidt start the conference and finding a link to Australian Netball.

Just prior to the talk, I tweeted this:

We held the talk inside the indoor track. I was very apprehensive about this. I did not want to be fixed to a microphone and I was conscious the audience was trapped on some basic seats.

Alan managed the session beautifully. I presented first, then Alan and then we had a discussion with Craig Fulton. I cannot say enough how big a treat it was to share the session with Craig. I admire what he has done immensely. Johnny worked with Craig on the World League circuit so we ended up discussing the relationship between coach and athlete.

Johnny, Colin and Alan in the panel discussion

My concerns about presenting in the indoor arena evaporated when I heard Craig talk about the thirty-four players he had used in one hockey season. His account of coaching took me off to believe that we are here now when we work with coaches like Craig.

During the day I was left pondering on this Seneca quote from On Tranquility:

In money matters, the best measure is not to descend to poverty nor yet to be too far removed from it … We shall be content if we have learned to be content with thrift, without which no amount of wealth can satisfy and with which any amount suffices.

That for me is the evolutionary headline message of the conference: become a sport system that learns to adapt. (We do need a funding cycle greater than one year to help us with our planned thrift.)

Secondly, take time to appoint the right people particularly as head coach.

Thirdly, fund sport in a way that is appropriate to Irish culture with its rich textures.

What a prospect!

Daragh and Alan on the morning of the Conference.

Photo Credits

All photographs (Keith Lyons, CC BY 4.0)

Tweets captured from Twitter

#Abbotsthon17 at #HPX17 is on

Picture of National Indoor Arena, Dblin, with Gaelic title

After months of conversations about a performance analysis hackathon in Ireland, #Abbotsthon17, the day has arrived as part of #HPX17.

Laura is on her way to join thirty other colleagues for our day at the National Indoor Arena as part of #HPX17.

Kevin and Brian are on their ways too.

I am profoundly grateful to Alan Swanton and Daragh Sheridan for the opportunity to be here. It certainly adds another set of experiences to those back at home in Australia.

A picture of a fire truck on a track in the Australian bush in NSW

Photo Credits

Keith Lyons (CC BY 4.0)

Spring cleaning #OERuSIA ready for #Abbotsthon17

A frame grab of the landing page for the Sport Informatics and Analytics (#OERuSIA) course on WikiEducator.

I have been getting ready for #Abbotsthon17 in October in Dublin at the HPX 2017 Knowledge Exchange Conference.

As part of the day’s workshop, I have planned an autoresponse pre-workshop sharing of information about Sport Informatics and Analytics. I am using an OERu course to do this (#OERuSIA).

I have spent the last week Spring cleaning the course and making sure I am using the appropriate WikiEducator pedagogical iDevice templates to structure course content.

An example of the IDevices used in WikiEducator

The process has enhanced my interest in the open sharing of microcontent. I am looking forward to learn how the #Abbotsthon17 participants have enjoyed the experience.

The WikiEducator course template includes the opportunity to list an outline of the course with all the sections listed.

The Sport Informatics and Analytics outline can be found here. As of today there are 100 mocrocontent parts of the course.

As an open resource licensed under a Creative Commons license CC BY-SA 3.0, I think these microcontents could contribute to an infinite collection of resources focused on performance in sport.

Postscript

Shortly after posting this, Wayne Mackintosh was writing on the ICDE blog about micro-credentials in open online courses. In his post he notes:

The OERu assembles open online courses from OER and open access materials designed for independent study. Learners can study OERu courses online for free from anywhere in the world. Learners only pay for assessment, if and when they are ready for it. OERu partner institutions award transcript credit for assessed learning. OERu partners have developed a system for transnational credit transfer that operates within existing institutional policies. Successful learners can have their credits recognised towards designated qualifications based on credit transfer and credit accumulation agreements between OERu institutions.

I see enormous opportunities in this approach for learners with different amounts of time to invest in their learning journeys.