Sun,10 September 2023
In a bid to bolster England's national women's football team, the Lionesses, ahead of the upcoming FIFA Women's World Cup, Google Cloud has stepped in to provide data-driven support, assisting coaches in making informed decisions and translating data into valuable insights.
With the tournament closely following a domestic season and the Lionesses' previous success at the UEFA Women's EURO, it becomes essential to tailor individualized training programs that cater to each player's unique physical and mental needs.
To achieve this, the Performance Insights team, initiated by The FA's Physical Performance, Medicine, and Nutrition department in 2020, has been working relentlessly to develop tools that enable coaching staff to make well-informed decisions promptly.
Collaborating with Google Cloud, a long-standing partner of The FA, the team has gained access to cutting-edge technologies that have transformed their approach to player analysis and preparation.
"In the preparation window for the World Cup in Australia, the team is in full flight, using the cloud to generate detailed reports about each player's individual needs straight after each training session," said Paola Olivari, Director, Data and Analytics, Google Cloud, in a blog post. "This has empowered the national coaching staff to make faster, data-driven decisions, providing the Lionesses with the best chance of success in Australia."
Data Insights: The Power of Google Cloud and The FA
The foundation of the insightful reports lies in a vast pool of data collected from multiple sources. The first source encompasses detailed "match event" data, encompassing every pass, tackle, shot, and goal, which is meticulously tagged to each player in the squad. Over a tournament, this database accumulates a staggering 220,000 data points.
The second source of data comes from training sessions, where each player wears GPS trackers, resulting in approximately 1.3 million lines of squad data per session.
The third source consists of event data gathered from the players' clubs, enabling the team to analyze each Lioness's exposure throughout the season in terms of game volume and intensity, and subsequently comparing it with tournament expectations.
Lastly, self-reported wellness data, capturing around 20 data points per player per day during international windows, along with another 30 per player per day derived from other data sources, adds to the comprehensive data repository.
To transform this abundance of data into actionable insights, the Lionesses rely on BigQuery, Google Cloud's enterprise data warehouse. Serving as both storage and analytics layer, BigQuery swiftly processes data and presents it as accessible visual reports within minutes.
These reports serve as crucial decision-making tools for coaching staff, facilitating individual player support, and maximizing physical and mental improvements during the limited downtime between games. Furthermore, BigQuery's capabilities enable coaches to comprehend each player's readiness at a glance and offer detailed information about the unique demands of each position.
As England's Lionesses gear up for the FIFA Women's World Cup with the aid of Google Cloud's data-driven support, the intersection of technology and sports demonstrates how advanced analytics can positively impact the performance of athletes on the world stage.