When Dublin and Kerry meet this Saturday for the anticipated All-Ireland Football Final replay, Johnny Bradley will watch the match – as he does every televised GAA match – with more attention than most.
Johnny, who is Programme Director of the MSc Sports Performance Analysis at Institute of Technology Carlow, will watch and record every play of the ball as part of his role as a sports analyst for The Sunday Game on RTE after the national broadcaster this year called in the expertise of the sports Performance Analyst at Institute of Technology Carlow.
“Earlier this year, RTE contacted us to work collaboratively with the Sunday Game and analyse every single live game. I use NacSport Performance Analysis software to break down the game and provide evidence-based information to the RTE team so they can formulate their opinions quickly. This information can be relayed on screen for the public too so they can see where and how each game is won and lost”, commented Johnny Bradley.
A highly experienced performance analyst who has worked with elite athletes at numerous major championships, Bradley was Performance Analyst at the Sports Institute Northern Ireland for ten years before moving to work as Programme Director for the MSc in Sports Performance Analysis at Institute of Technology Carlow. He has provided support to elite athletes from a wide range of sports, including hockey, triathlon, rugby union, Gaelic football, hurling, netball and swimming.
Over the past few years, the world of sports has experienced an explosion in the use of analytics. Institute of Technology Carlow offers the only Master of Science in Sports Performance Analysis in Ireland. Performance Analysis is the newest of the sports science disciplines and investigates actual sports performance or performance in training. Analysis can include technical, tactical, KPIs, coaching behaviour and movement analysis within a game. It can also cover pre-match, live and post-match analysis, scouting, talent identification and trend analysis. The current class of 16 students includes representatives from county boards, the Irish Hockey team and the FAI.
According to technology publication TechWatch, sports performance data has experienced a huge market surge, with the industry predicted to be worth $4.7billion by 2021.
“The work I do for The Sunday Game is exactly what we teach at IT Carlow as part of our MSc programme. All our students have access to the latest performance analysis software and GPS technology. The course prepares graduates for future opportunities in Perfomance Analysis by offering a blend of theory and practice, ensuring practical knowledge underpinned with a strong theoretical foundation. It is a great compliment to the Institute and its MSc course that RTE sought out our skills. It reflects the fact that there is a huge demand for Performance Analysis in the world of high performance sport”, said Bradley.