How we talk about coaching and coaches

I have been watching Britain’s Great Art Walks (link). Each week, Gus Casely-Hayford has walked with a companion to explore the work of an artist. Last week he walked with Harriet Walter to discuss Walter Sickert (link).

The Brighton Pierrots (1915)

The Brighton Pierrots (1915

I was particularly interested in Gus and Harriet’s conversation as they explored Walter’s interest in and observations of performance. One of the triggers (and conclusion) was Walter’s 1915 painting, The Brighton Pierrots (link).

The Walks are a great introduction to art, art history and artists. I have been wondering how conversations about coaching, coaching history and coaches might flourish in this format.

The Walks are profoundly well researched and the choice of companion for each walk is inspired. Each week I gain a sense of place and space. The triggers for conversations are art works.

Now that we do have more artefacts about coaching and coaches, I wondered whom we might research and with whom we might talk about coaching, coach history and coaches.

My first choice would be to visit the Ukraine and explore the life and times Valerij Lobanovs’kyj (link). I wondered if Lisa Alexander might walk with me on this visit (link).

Netball, shoals of fish and visualising performance

Last Friday, I was in Dublin at #HPX17.

I had just heard Joe Schmidt open the conference. I was about to present an hour later so I edited my presentation after reflecting on some of Joe’s points.

I thought I would check my email feeds to see if anything else might need considering. An ABC article about Australian netball by Joel Werner and Jonathan Webb led me to tweet this:

I am instantly attracted to whatever Lisa Alexander (coach) and Mitch Mooney (analysts) do in netball but I did need to resist the temptation to delve with just 45 minutes before my presentation. I did add a link to the ABC article in one of my concluding slides and mentioned evolutionary algorithms as a one-liner for the audience’s consideration.

The title of my talk in Dublin was Performance Analysis and Data Analytics: Are We There Yet?

Almost a week later, I am back at the article. The day after Australia has taken a 3v0 lead against New Zealand in the Constellation Cup netball series.

The ABC article discusses Mitch’s interest in collective behaviour. I have had a long term interest in ethology and my posts have included discussions about starlings, sticklebacks, wildebeest, zebras and rhesus macaques.

Mitch’s use of a Voronoi visualisation caught my attention. (It appears as a gif in the ABC article.)

I am delighted Mitch and Lisa shared their thinking so openly. I am hopeful that this article might trigger lots of conversations about:

  • Ethological insights into performance
  • Coach analyst relationship
  • Visualising and sharing data

These issues are embedded in my single slide in Dublin. Now I have lots of time to unpack them.

Yesterday I was writing about the visualisation of boxing data. Today it is netball.

I am hopeful that both Matthew Sankey and Gregory Voronoi have a place in our sharing of stories.

Photo Credit

Coaches watch at the AIS (Teresa Tan, ABC)