OK, so picture this: Two blokes, both holding a pint of beer and discussing the finer points of the match between their favourite teams and who was better. I’m sure you’re imagining soft voices, logical assessments and an openness to listen to each others point of view… Stop there – we are now it is all the other way round. But is there a way to get the situation back on track before it gets worse? Why not let the stats objectively talk for themselves and prevent a riot.
KEEP ON LIVING SPORTS BUT READ IT WITH NUMBERS
We are not saying – give up on the true emotions of sports and take to reading Excel spreadsheets instead, because to truly enjoy sport at it’s deepest level, you need to have a genuine affection for the game. The need to feel the thrill once the game starts, but when it ends, it would really be nice to understand what happened! How did they lose that match, when we played so well?
Oh, did they? Or maybe that’s just the way you remember the game. The stats will tell you clearly what happened and – what is even more important – why it happened. We could have been so wrong with ‘booing’ our striker, who had so few attempts on goal, while applauding someone else, who was far more active. But when we take a look at the stats, these might prove that the first one had 75% of the shots on target, while the other only 20%. So, in most cases when the theoretically less active striker took a shot, the ball was heading for goal, while the shots of the later one led mainly to the lost possession and no progress made. What a shame!
How easy life can be, if you just sit calmly after the game, take a couple of deep breathes, OK, maybe couple more, Relaxed? Now you can just dig into the wonderful world of sports data. Take STATSCORE’s LeagueCenter for example, where you can review every game from the scratch!
Read more: how we use the data from the LeagueCenter to analyse handball!
THE COACHES SAY: BEEN THERE, DONE THAT
So, once we agree that the data may prove that we could have been wrong, we may realize something that is still new to fans, but has been a part of the coaching agenda for many years. All of the key decisions in sports are made based on the numbers.
From scouting players based on a statistical criteria, to the many different percentage statistics and positional data that all end up in the end of season evaluations and summaries. Yes, all of these are driven by the sports data and prevent any subjective influence from affecting the performance analysis. This is even more important, when you realize the number of incidents (in an average football match there are approximately 2,500-3,000 incidents!) and all the emotions involved. It’s no wonder coaches remember no more than 30% of what really happened, according to the studies mentioned by Christopher Carling in the ‘Handbook of Soccer Match Analysis’. We can not expect them to make good decisions and performance reviews based on the little they remember. At the same time the numbers remain objective and when the methodology of gathering them is common for all games, you can then start to make comparisons.
Read more: what are the key info you have to now about STATSCORE pure data feed SportsAPI!
XXI century – the age of digital data changes sport and our experience of the game. We are much better informed than our ancestors were when talking about who was better Pele or Diego. So, don’t give up on the cold beer we mentioned at the beginning and keep arguing about our preferences to like or dislike certain teams. However, at the same time agree that when it comes to saying who is INDEED better, it’s not us who knows best any more, but the numbers, that can not lie.
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