Why I Don’t Talk About Software

It might seem strange that on a Performance Analysis website there is almost no mention of Performance Analysis software. It’s not an accident. There have been times when I have come across a story that might be interesting, but if it could be seen as an endorsement or promotion of a product – I bin it.  When I started this site back in 2008 I purposely choose not to talk about software.  There are a few reasons for this.

First and foremost I wanted to offer a platform for analysts around the world to learn and share ideas without feeling like they were constantly being sold something or that any advice was slanted in a particular way. I genuinely believe the site is much the better for being product free. Only where appropriate have I mentioned particular products.

Secondly it is very difficult to offer advice on which software is ‘best’. Most people become an expert in one particular software and have no need to learn another one.  Who’s to say that if they set their mind to it with other software wouldn’t be the preferred choice? Most people get to a point when they are comfortable with what they have and don’t really need to learn something new. As I have not become an expert in everything on the market I don’t like to comment publicly.

Finally, and the reason for writing this rant post, is that I think it’s unfair when people pretending to be ‘Independent’ are promoting or offering advice on which software is best or only discussing one product. Some of these people might be doing it because they genuinely believe they are right or maybe their buddies with somebody, but I know in a few cases where they have a vested interest in promoting the product they are talking about while at them same time claiming to be an independent source. Its unfortunate but perhaps inevitable. My advice is gather as much information as you can, don’t just buy something because X team use it (they might have been paid to say that) and lastly check who is telling you ‘this’ software is the best.



  • http://gscperformanceanalysis.blogspot.co.uk/ Graham

    You make some good and interesting points here but i would say that something that up and coming analysts may find useful is opinions on fre pa software as not everybody has access to the ‘mainstream’ software found in universities and sports clubs/teams. There are numerous free alternatives out there with some being better and more useful in certain situations and for different needs that others (ie tagging vs info export for example) and some information regarding this would i think be useful for some people.

    To finish, yes i do think people promoting brands for personal gain is dishonest but honestly reviewing softwares as a student or for students/budding pa’s could provide important information to those who need it.

  • http://dtsvideo.com/support Pete

    Though I am the training/support manager for one of those products, I will say that unless the coach and coaching staff is asking the right questions, any product becomes a simple editor not a tool for performance analysis. The software is a tool to arrive at the answer to those questions – some do it easier than others; some are more expensive than others. But any video analysis still begins with the coach and coaching staff knowing their team and then asking questions and seeking information based on that team.

  • Fair Vs Unfair

    From my point of view its almost impossible to keep out of the “promotion” or mention a software when you are doing this kind of websites, there are lots of situations where its a good idea to mention one brand or another and this don’t make you less independent.

    In general, end users are not stupid and if you keep mentioning BRAND X instead BRAND Y everybody knows there is some kind of interest on that…

    We all know the main brands, Sporstec, Dartfish, Prozone, Nacsport..bla, bla, bla.. because we all read a lot about PA but is the end user (reader) who rich a conclusion. Dont mention any brand, for good or for bad, makes me feel the lack of taste in this kind of websites. Its like talk about driving and drivers without talk about cars..

    I think is 100% fair about that’s your option but i also think its quite hard to keep in a side without in a , direct or indirect way, mention one of the brands, products or services.

    Anyway..good post.

  • Gaffer

    What are some websites where I can get some tips on software…

  • http://sportsrelations.com.au Mark Upton


    Another benefit of the approach you have taken is that it removes the “IT” element from discussions, allowing your posts to focus more on how PA is used to enhance the coaching process (which is the end-game). I would think this makes your content highly valuable to both analysts AND coaches.

    Unfortunately in AFL, PA is just seen by coaches as “IT” and analysts regarded as IT specialists. Coaches go to them to get a printer working or record some video of training. Rarely do they actually form a trusting coach-analyst relationship, with both parties poorer for it.

  • Jorge Ashton

    Very interesting rant Rob, especially in your position as a distributor for Dartfish: http://www.dartfish.com/en/buy-video-software/ireland/index.htm

  • Lanny

    Favorited – Why I Don