By far the most popular section of thevideoanalyts.com is the Jobs section. Students & Analysts are continually seeking advice on how to get a career as a Performance Analyst. So I wanted to share some of my advice on what is needed to start the process.
Experience Experience Experience
A lot of people seem to consider academic qualifications as a passport to a job. The real world of sport is a lot more competitive than that. It is important to understand that when you enter the jobs market you are competing with every other graduate that has completed a course similar to yours, not just in the last year, but probably in the last 3 or 4 years.
I think you should break your experience/qualifications into 3 sections.
- Academic Qualifications
- Analysis Experience
- Sports Qualification
Academic qualifications are an important part of up skilling yourself, and later in life, whether you are in sport or not, having at least an undergraduate degree will allow you explore more opportunities of further education.
PA jobs can be few and far between so it is worth considering how specialized you want to get in this area. It might be worth considering a more general MSc in the Sports Science field rather than specifically concentrating on Performance Analysis.
Analysis experience offers you the biggest chance to stand out from the hundreds of other people looking for similar jobs. In talking to Performance Analysts the world over, most of them at one stage have had to work for free or have started at a very low level before getting into analysis.
Of all the job adverts I get and Analysts I speak to there is no substitute for real experience. Whatever your plans for a career in Performance Analysis it is imperative that you get experience in the role.
You don’t have to reach the top of the coaching pyramid in your sport but the analysts role is so integral to the game that it’s important that you are up-skilled in the qualifications of the sport. You need to understand the terminology and coaching principles that underpin your sport.
Miscellaneous courses like up-skilling in Excel, specific software training and even professional body courses are all important. Don’t be fooled that the role of a Performance Analyst is simply about whatever software the team use and thats it. There are IT skills that you will need to bring beyond the basics; Wireless networks, VPN’s, Smartboards and much much more.
Applying for the Job
A standard resume is given 45 seconds of attention.
You have to remember that applying for a job is competition. You are in competition with all the other applicants. You also work in a cutting edge IT industry. You need to be creative and stand out from the crowd.
Getting out the same old CV is fine but
- How many other people are doing exactly the same thing?
- How many emails does that analyst get in a day?
- What makes your CV different?
The above example is ingenious and here are 3 things I think would make you stand out from the crowd.
You are applying for a job as a video/Performance Analyst. Chances are the guy going to hire you likes looking at videos. Why not use your mobile phone to make a quick video introducing yourself and why you think you’re right for the job, then upload it to YouTube.
Facebook, LinkedIn, Forums; these are great ways to meet fellow coaches & PA’s. The great advantage of these methods is you get over the ‘cold call’ aspect of those random emails you were sending outbefore. At least now you have a chance to slowly introduce yourself.
To really separate yourself from the rest why not have a mini website/blog. It’s free and can take about 5 mins to set up (wordpress.com). You might feel you have nothing to say, but you will find things and sometimes it’s about being able to show an employer you made the effort.
If you don’t feel up to starting something yourself, websites (this one included) and coaching forums are always looking for contributors, so don’t be afraid to contact them with an article idea or even better one already finished and see will they publish it. Then make sure to include links to the articles in any CV you do.
Remember that it is a competitive market out there and you need to find ways to separate yourself from the pack. An academic qualification is only one part of the process, understanding your sport, understanding technology and having a track record of experience are all vital to winning the jobs race.
Work Hard & Get Lucky
Above all else, be willing to work hard and in the right circumstances for free.
If Performance Analysis is something you are determined to do stick at it until you have exhausted all possibilities.
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