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Across the world, there is speculation and prediction going around on who will take home the medals from the Rio Olympics in 2016. Athletes and coaches have been working with big data and analytics to try to get every insightful information from all the data that they can collect. There is increasing pressure to get the forecasts right this Olympic season.
Some sports such as rowing are analytics friendly as most of what the athletes do can be measured, such as training time at the gym, and can be implemented in some way by those who are certified data analysts. This data can help them improve performance. However, there are some variables such as weather and water conditions that are not only difficult to predict, but hard to assess the impact of this.
The main idea is that by accumulating every tiny bit of data about every athlete in a particular sport who enters the training program, the new athlete’s performance can be matched against the profiles of the athletes before him. By identifying the ideal approach of training, we can an individual into a champion.
With coaches and businesses trying to unlock the potential of data analytics, they are likely to find that a holistic approach to management of data and creating the right strategy will pay off. By gathering this data together, sports agencies are also increasingly finding that big data analytics are important. These elite sports scientists and physiologists are not equipped to handle big data-driven analytics, and hence merging with data scientists are vital for them to get the right actionable insights.
There is always a good synergy between the two groups as they both think, “will this factor help my boat move faster?”
How can strength be improved? Sports such as rowing involve balance of strength and endurance, and this can be managed with training regimes. These training regimes can pin-point exactly where improvements should be made, and where you might have to slow down. It’s about whether one weight session is enough or can he take more with endurance training.
Can injuries reduce? This coordinated effort and approach to analytics will actually lead to athletes getting injured less, and spending less time in recovery. This gives trainers an optimum way for athletes to train with their schedules. Athletes should not be pushed past their breaking point.
With the Rio games full in swing, all nationals are working hard to achieve their targets and win medals across sports.
By Tenaz Shanice Cardoz,