Video Editor v Performance Analyst

Are you really a Performance Analyst?

Camerman in RainThis is something I have grappled with myself in different teams & situations. I also had a recent conversation with a couple of people on twitter on the problem with Video Editors v Performance Analysts. There are a lot of people and organisations who consider themselves as having or being Performance Analysts when in fact they could really only be called video editors. Clearly the editing process is part of being a Performance Analyst but the role does not finish at that. This is something I constantly come across and it can be frustrating to see. Performance Analysis is about so much more than just Capture – Code – Copy!! As Andy Smith stated at the recent GSIC conference.

cfoIt’s a bit like the difference between being a book-keeper and a Chief Financial Officer. A book-keeper’s job is to Capture all the invoices/payments etc.. Input (Code) them into a computer system and Copy that information to some standard report and send it onto the decision makers. Whereas a Financial Officer has a seat on the board, is involved in the decision making process and at least has the ear of the CEO and other key personnel. In smaller organisations the CFO might have to do the book-keeper job as well but still holds the responsibility of CFO. Can you say the same in your current analysis role?

This analogy can be easily applied to Video Editors and Performance Analysts. If the limits of your job are to Capture, Code and Copy match highlights and pass them on, can your role really be considered any more than a video editor? Sometimes the limits are put in by the manager, whether through fear or a lack of knowledge about what’s possible, some managers want nothing more than someone to hand them a highlights reel. However it is up to people to push themselves to become more like a CFO and be part of the decision making. That won’t mean you have a say in final selection or recruitment of players but it should mean you have a place at the table.

How do you become a Performance Analyst?

First thing to say is it’s not always that easy. Mangers can often put you in a box and while you can do your utmost to change that it, might not always be possible. So what can you do?

  • See what other’s do. Don’t just come back and copy them, you have to develop on what you have seen. Most of the time if people are willing to share something it is because they are confident they can improve on it. You need to take what you saw and make it your own.
  • Do something you weren’t asked for. This is about pushing both your own boundaries and that of the coaches you work with. Often coaches wont ask for something because they don’t know it’s possible. Part of your job is to educate coaches and players so you need to constantly push to make yourself more valuable. New reports, new metrics and new methods of delivery.
  • Go direct. Are there players who might like to work more directly with you? I’m not advocating going behind the coaches back but can you become valuable to the players directly rather than always through coaches?
  • Walk away. Sometimes you might just need to walk away. If you have outgrown an organisation and genuinely feel that your path from the video guy to Performance Analyst is not going to happen you might need to make a serious decision about your future with that team, if you stay too long as a video editor with a team it might be hard to shake off that image. You might need to take your lesson and move on.


  • Brett Igoe

    Well Done Rob, great piece.
    As a key element of the coaching process a Performance Analysts has to be given flexibility to perform their role like Physios, S&C coaches, and other members of the “back room team”. There are some fantastic coaches out there who trust their analysts to deliver World Class analysis for them and the team. The key lies in the Coach/Analyst relationship. Successful teams have it.

    • thevideoanalyst

      Thanks Brett. Yeah it does need a good relationship and with better coaches I think you get that from the start. But when it’s not naturally there any tips for building it?

  • Matt

    It is interesting that in US sports they use the term “Video Coordinator” rather than Performance Analyst, which I think better reflects the role performed by many analysts in the UK. That is not to say that the role is any less worthwhile. In fact, current Miami Heat Head Coach Erik Spoelstra started out as a Video Coordinator. Whether or not you are involved in the “decision making” isn’t as important as whether you are contributing to the success of the team / athletes you are working with. For me, the best way to do that is to ensure that you are always looking for new ways to add value for the coaches you are supporting.

    • thevideoanalyst

      Hi Matt, Yes the US seem to divide the role in two – Video Coordinators and Stats guys where in the UK they seem to be considered the same role – Performance Analyst.

      I would think that it can be hard to add value as just a video guy. It’s a very techie job and not really part of the coaching process?

      I agree you can move from the video guy up the ladder but that role in itself is very limited.

    • Mark

      In the US, our observation has been that all members of the technical staff (from head coach to assistant coach to players) are more likely to be using analysis tools than in most countries. This creates a different dynamic where everyone is more directly engaged in analysis as an ongoing conversation. In Europe, we’ve found a more ‘top down’ control structure where the ‘video guy’ (regardless of title and particularly in the bigger leagues) is dying to be able to do real analysis but is largely relegated to a ‘cut-these-clips-for-me’ role. This is not the case at every club, but there is a clear trend.

      My suggestions for how to go from video editor to true analyst: Make your job 90% validating what the coach is saying and 10% raising questions. The 90% is editor. The 10% is analyst. When presenting the 10%, tread lightly. Ask questions rather than give recommendations. Have conversations privately with the coach and ask him what he thinks rather than telling him what you think. Direct the coach’s attention toward something but let him make the conclusion. Do not ‘educate the coach'; instead, bring things to his attention. Make sure to spend 90% of your time proving your coach right (even if he’s only right 80% of the time); otherwise, he will be too busy arguing with you and trying to maintain his authority to value the 10%.

      Over time, the coach will come to value the 10% more and more until it’s the majority of your job.

      • thevideoanalyst

        Hi Mark,

        Thanks for your very valuable comments. I am going to do a follow up post on this and I will use some of the points you have made.

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  • Ros

    Very nice article…

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  • Jolulobe

    Excelente articulo y excelente pagina….
    Excellent article and excellent web..

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