Toronto FC choose The Sports Office

Toronto FC are the latest club in global professional football to choose The Sports Office’s online performance management system.

The club which competes in the Eastern Conference of the Major Soccer League (MLS) will use the system to support their teams and playing squad.

The Canadian based organisation will benefit from a wide range of functionality offered by the system including athlete monitoring, sports science, sports medicine, data analytics and information management as well as coaching and scouting.

The Sports Office Operations Manager Rob Jackson said: ” We are delighted to be working with Toronto FC as they seek to continue their development as a major force in the MLS.

“We believe our Performance Management system – which is widely used across elite soccer – will provide many benefits and add great value to their football department.”

The Sports Office supply performance management systems to several elite football clubs who play in the world’s most high profile competitions. These include Manchester City in the Barclay’s Premier League and Melbourne City in Australia’s A-League.

The Scottish FA have also chosen to use The Sports Office’s software at all seven of their Performance Schools throughout the country.

The Sports Office to supply Melbourne City FC

The Sports Office is delighted to be chosen to supply Melbourne City FC with an online performance management system.

The club – which is part of the global network of organisations owned by reigning Barclay’s Premier League champions Manchester City –  compete in Australia’s rapidly developing A-League.

Neil Holland, Client Manager from The Sports Office, commented: “Our online performance management systems for football offer a wide range of functionality which we believe will provide excellent support for Melbourne City FC’s coaches and performance staff.”

“Like many high-profile football clubs in elite competitions, Melbourne require access to high-quality management information which creates insight and intelligence.  The Sports Office system will enable them to generate this and allow evidence based decision making at every stage of their performance cycle.”

The Sports Office supply performance management systems to several elite football clubs who play in the world’s most high profile competitions. These include Manchester City in the Barclay’s Premier League and Toronto FC in the MLS, in the United States.

The Scottish FA have also chosen to use The Sports Office’s software at all seven of their Performance Schools throughout the country.

The Sports Office attends Soccerex

The Sports Office attends Soccerex

The Sports Office (TSO) is attending the 2014 Soccerex conference in Manchester.

The event, which is widely regarded as the world’s largest convention of its kind in global football, is being staged at the city’s GMEX arena, from 6th to 10th September.  Members of the TSO team will be available to meet existing and potential clients and offer demonstrations of the company’s online performance management systems.

Rob Jackson, Operations Manager at The Sports Office said:”We are very much looking forward to Soccerex. It will be great opportunity  to catch-up with many of our current partner organisations from the global football industry, as well as speak to potential new clients, who have an interest in optimsing all aspects of performance and preparation.”

During the convention, The Sports Office team will be located on stand 419 which is to the right as deleagtes enter.  Soccerex is attended by world football’s leading administrators, decision makers and legends from the sport. It is used as a platform to engage with the latest developments in the global football industry.

Anybody attending Soccerex who wishes to contact the The Sports Office team during the event can use the Twitter handle: @SprtsOffice

The Sports Office works with Widnes Vikings

Widnes Vikings – who have recently climbed to fourth place in Rugby League’s Super League – are among the growing number of elite rugby clubs using The Sports Office performance management system.

The Vikings adopted the system in 2012 and have used it to maximise all aspects of preparation and performance, as they develop themselves as a competitive force in the 13-a-side code’s elite division.

The Sports Office works with Widnes Vikings

The club’s coaching, team administration and strength and conditioning staff make use of the system’s wide range of functions, using it in areas such as sports medicine, sports science, video analysis and various coaching activities.

The Sports Office Mobile App also allows for vastly improved information management, with the Vikings’ players able to remotely submit key wellbeing data for analysis by coaches and medical personnel. Specifically in the area of sports medicine, Widnes’ use of The Sports Office system has been credited with playing a role in helping the Super League club maintain a low rate of injuryin the pre-season period.

“We are delighted to be working with Widnes Vikings and we are pleased that they are experiencing so many benefits from using our system”, said The Sports Office Client Manager Neil Holland.

“The Sports Office has the power and capability to help elite rugby clubs and organisations to improve in many areas which are critical for high performance and we look forward to seeing the club continue to develop their use of the system.”

Vikings Head Coach Denis Betts said, “The Sports Office is such a versatile piece of software that forms a big part of what we do on a daily basis here at the Vikings. From monitoring players daily wellbeing right through to match analysis tools, it allows us to cater for the high performance demands of the sport on the players.”

Betts added:”A real strength of The Sports Office is the accessibility of the information to the players through ipads, iphones and computers.

“All users are able to log in and analyse performances, have schedules synced straight to their personal calendars and many other capabilites, which allows them to plan and review often in the comfort of their own homes. We also have the ability to build in custom aspects to the software to ensure we, and the system continues to develop and improve.”

Elite Rugby Union clubs which use The Sports Office’s dedicated performance management systems include Bath, Harlequins, London Irish and Sale Sharks. They are all enjoying current success in Aviva Premiership.

The Sports Office also works with the RFU and recently supplied two teams in the 2013 Rugby League World Cup.

In both rugby and football, The Sports Office provides client support for implementation and training , meaning that clubs and organisations can easily begin using the systems without additional staff recruitment.

Hartpury College becomes first academic client for The Sports Office

Hartpury College becomes first academic client for The Sports Office

The Sports Office is to supply leading academic institution Hartpury College with a performance management system.

Hartpury is recognised as a centre of excellence for sport and land management and offers one of the world’s largest equine education facilities. Hartpury have also regularly won national university titles in rugby, and football, as well as college titles in rugby, football, netball and golf.

The college will use the Sports Office system for a range of its sports, including men’s and women’s rugby, football, rowing, netball, golf, modern pentathalon and equine.

“Hartpury is our first client in the college and education sector and we? are delighted to be working with them to support their continued successful delivery of sporting and educational excellence”, said Stuart Jones, Client Manager at The Sports Office.

“The Sports Office performance management systems have the power and functionality to enable the Hartpury staff to optimise the performance of their athletes across the diverse range of sporting disciplines they offer.

“The system also has the flexibility to be used for sports with differing demands for teams and individuals, such as modern pentathlon. Hartpury will use the system for key activities such as athlete monitoring, sports science, sports medicine as well as video analysis and squad management.”

Hartpury’s Director of Elite Sport and former England Rugby Union international Phil de Glanville, said: “Hartpury always aims to be at the forefront of providing cutting-edge facilities and support to elite young sportsmen and women to be the best they can be.

“We were the first specialist sports college to bring in a dedicated lifestyle performance manager for our elite athletes and now we’re leading the way in implementing an online performance management system.

“This will be of huge benefit – not just in enhancing the performance of those students on our elite programmes but also as a learning tool for all of our sports students.”

The Sports Office Client Management team have worked closely with de Glanville during the implementation and integration of the system into the college.

Hartpury currently has 1500 students studying degrees, honours degrees and postgraduate qualifications. It also has has 2,000 students studying A-levels, BTEC Diplomas and short courses.

To learn more about the power and capability of The Sports Office systems please contact a member of the Client Service team via the contact section

Is this the age of information management for elite sport?

Sport's 'Big Data' Challenge Highlighted

OPINION by Phil Clarke, Managing Director, The Sports Office.

“Many of us would recognise that advances in technology and the breath-taking growth of the so-called connected world mean we now live in an era like no other.

A basic example is that in the year 2000 there were 200 million people with email accounts. Today there are over 3.5 billion. Since the start of the new millenium, a whole generation has grown-up using social media as well as shopping and consuming a range of content online. The way we live, communicate and even behave has been transformed.

Another facet of this is the vast amount of data that we are now presented with or informed that we could have access to. This can certainly be overwhelming and the individual can feel bombarded with information.

However, all is not lost. If managed and used intelligently, these vast volumes of data can help us focus our endeavours into the right areas and give us a significant advantage in whatever we are seeking to achieve. We are told, for example, that weather forecasting has improved by over 350% over the last 25 years by using computer systems to intelligently analyse climate and meteorological data.

This principle certainly applies in the world of high performance sport and here at The Sports Office our aim is to help you with the collection and the management of these huge quantities of data and information so that it becomes something useful and indeed very powerful for sports performance management.

We have developed a range of online-based systems which enable sporting organisations to analyse their performance data. They can ask the key questions, find the right answers and make critical decisions quickly and easily.

Our systems can show what has happened and what is happening during the course of performance activities . They enable the setting of objectives, viewing progress against these and gaining insight to help understand what is most likely to happen in future.

This is SPORTING INTELLIGENCE and creates a competitive advantage.

Many sporting teams and organisations simply strive to collect more information than ever before. We believe their focus should be on gaining greater knowledge and generating such SPORTING INTELLIGENCE from this to help them do what they do even more successfully.

There are some in sport who are sceptical about the usefulness of such an approach and regard it as an over-reliance on IT. To them, we would say we do not suggest becoming a slave to technology.

Computers are very good making calculations, doing this consistently and doing it without becoming tired or emotional. However, what they are not good at is tasks that require creativity or imagination. So we should not worship at the altar of technology nor be frightened by it.

We believe the best approach is one that does not create a competition between science and art, rather it is one that supports and empowers those with ideas and critical thinking to use data management technology to test, inform and refine their new approaches and methods of delivering elite sporting performance.

Leading sporting organisations are already encouraging their staff to do this and do what people do much better than computers, which is producing the ground-breaking ideas about how to improve the performance of players and athletes and then using their data to test whether or not this works.

Anybody with a pension or investment will have read the line that ‘past performance is not indicative of future results’.

Is this true in sport?

Intelligent information management can help us find out.”

The Sports Office Supports RL World Cup Teams

The Sports Office Supports RL World Cup Teams

Papa New Guinea coaches, left to right, Mal Meninga and Adrian Lam with Sports Office MD Phil Clarke.

Two teams competing in the current Rugby League World Cup are benefiting from a performance management system provided by The Sports Office.

The system is being used by both the Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Wales squads, as they play their part in the 13-a-side code’s most important international tournament.

The Sports Office’s powerful system brings together all team operations, coaching and management functions and supports all aspects of preparation and performance. This includes key elements of video analysis, such as the delivery of preview and review video footage to players. Coaches and players can also access the system via a mobile app and use it via a range of mobile devices.

During the tournament, PNG and Wales will use the Sports Office system to monitor and collect critical data generated by their players during training and matches; such as information from heart rate and GPS monitors. The powerful software will offer both teams the ability to generate insight from this data, in order to get the most from their preparation and training activities.

“The Rugby League World Cup represents a significant challenge for both Papua New Guinea and Wales and we are delighted they have chosen our system to support their campaigns”, said The Sports Office MD Phil Clarke.

“We believe our performance management system will provide comprehensive support for all aspects of their preparation and training”.

Clarke added: ”Our systems offer many invaluable benefits for squads competing at elite, international level.

“We also work with several clubs in Rugby League’s Super League and with leading clubs in Rugby Union’s Aviva Premiership”.

The Sports Office provides performance management systems, used across elite sport, which offer a range of functionality to support coaching, athlete/player performance, administration, health and wellbeing, recruitment, squad management and a mobile app for players.

The Sports Office’s dedicated software for elite football is also currently used by leading clubs in the Barclay’s Premier League, the Sky Bet Championship and major football governing bodies including the Scottish FA.

In both rugby and football, The Sports Office provides client support for implementation and training , meaning that clubs and organisations can easily begin using the systems without additional staff recruitment.

To learn more about the power and capability of The Sports Office systems please contact a member of the Client Service team via the contact section.

Sport’s ‘Big Data’ Challenge Highlighted

Phil Clarke, The Sports Office MD, has recently written an article discussing the concept of Big Data and its implications for high performance sport.

Sport's 'Big Data' Challenge Highlighted

We have reproduced the piece below:

“If you have looked in the business section of a national newspaper recently, or viewed one of the many business or tech websites, you will have surely seen the term Big Data being used frequently and given great prominence.

Whilst there are many complex definitions, Big Data can reasonably be understood to mean the ever-increasing volume of information,statistics and numbers that can be collected and analysed, in organisations and enterprises of all types, to tell us what is happening and why.

Business leaders are rapidly facing up to the implications of this growing phenomenon.

If they have not already done so they are upgrading their data management approaches and processes in order to meet the challenge. They are changing the way they work and they are re-tasking people within their organisations to take advantage of the insight and business intelligence that can be generated by these critical numbers.

They are changing their cultures and working practices by investing in new resources and structures so that they are best placed to prosper and gain maximum value from what could be be regarded as a revolution. The message is clear and consistent. If organisations do not evolve to meet the challenge posed by Big Data and seize the opportunities it creates, they face the prospect of failing to keep pace in sectors and markets that grow evermore competitive.

There are lessons for high performance sport in this story.

In sport, just as in business, an increasing volume of information is being captured and collected. Technological advances will fuel exponential growth in this area for the foreseeable future, as athletes are continuously monitored by tools as diverse as sports GPS systems, heart rate monitors and daily saliva tests. These statistics and many more like them are high performance sport’s Big Data.

Within these numbers there is a massive amount of potential insight and intelligence for coaches, administrators, trainers, sports medics and athletes and players.

Just as a major corporation could and should use “their” Big Data to learn a great deal about how effectively they are operating, the same goes for sports organisations who wish to be successful and fend off their rivals.

The opportunities that Big Data creates for sport are truly great. Coaches can find a winning edge. Players and athletes can better understand what is required of them during games and competitions. Sports scientists, conditioners and sports medicine professionals can understand what effect their programmes and treatments are having.

Statistics can be collected and analysed to better understand what are the critical factors for success and optimum performance, in all facets of elite sport. Preparation, competition, injury prevention and rehabilitation can all benefit by applying this approach. Scouting and recruitment and retention can also be enhanced by these powerful principles.

A critical piece of sport’s Big Data jigsaw is the management and the bringing-together of what could be a huge volume of information, in order to truly gain maximum benefit. A sporting organisation should not only collect and collate information critical to their performance, they also need to have an efficient way of learning from the intelligence and insight it can give them.

In order to achieve this, they need to effectively manage their data in a centralised hub which can be easily accessed by all relevant personnel.

Through this, a sporting organisation’s key performance indicators can be then identified and used as a basis for continuous improvement. Such a system should add value to all aspects of sports performance and make sport’s Big Data a powerful tool.

Arguably one of the most practical applications of this is the concept of the Game Score. In simple terms, it is the combination of various statistics that the coches inside any sporting organisation deem critical to success; these are often known as the key performance indicators. Using these a formula can be created to produce a score or numerical ranking which is an overall indicator of how successfully and effectively an athlete has performed in a particular contest.

By crunching numbers in this way, a coach or a manager can quickly and easily understand which players and athletes need additional training, support and guidance. Areas for improvement and reasons for success will be understood more clearly. Used consistently this is a powerful measure of performance and progress.

The film “Moneyball” and the story of maverick baseball General Manager Billy Beane may have brought this rapidly developing area into the public gaze in recent times, but any sports organisation, which needs to deliver success in a competitive environment and enjoy a Hollywood-style happy ending, must face up to the challenge and grasp the opportunity.

Sports organisations should do as their business cousins are doing. They should consider where they can improve. They should consider where they need to invest to unlock the value from Big Data. They should reflect on what they need to change to succeed in this brave new sporting world.

At The Sports Office we have a vision to play our part in this sporting revolution. We believe the correct approach to Big Data is critical to the future success of all elite sporting organisations and we have amassed a significant body of knowledge and experience about how best to tackle the challenges and opportunities that are created.

You could argue that elite sport has never had such a high profile in everyday life and ,as it continues to hit the headlines and fill up the TV schedules, there is no doubt that Big Data is big news for sport.”

Phil Clarke

Managing Director, The Sports Office

The Sports Office attends rugby research event

The Sports Office attends rugby research event

A team from The Sports Office was among the delegates at a recent University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN) event which brought together leading professionals from both codes of rugby.

The UCLAN Rugby Research symposium was attended by coaches ,sport scientists, strength and conditioning professionals, medical staff, coach educators and elite players.

Sports Office MD Phil Clarke and Client Manager Carl Pomfret attended the one-day event which aimed to explore and discuss current research, relating to both Union and League and to identify future directions and trends.

“The Rugby Research symposium at UCLAN was a thought provoking and stimulating event”, commented Phil Clarke.

“As provider of performance management systems for professional rugby clubs and federations, the conference proved to be a tremendous opportunity for The Sports Office to keep up to date with some of the latest thinking and research in these areas”.

Clarke added: ”The symposium also provided a great chance to meet with a number of people who are directly involved in delivering high performance in elite rugby”.

The Sports Office features on runningrugby.com

features

The Sports Office has recently been featured on runningrugby.com – the website providing business news, articles and insight for rugby industry decision makers in the UK and Ireland.

The site carried an interview with Phil Clarke about The Sports Office’s performance management systems for elite rugby clubs.

Phil also discussed the increasing use of statiscal analysis and associated technology and techniques within professional rugby.

runningrugby.com is free to register for those invloved in the rugby industry