Activity Analysis and Data Collection

Activity Analysis is vital for developing a training program as it is used to ensure that the training program follows the training principle of specificity, as in order for a training program to be effective it needs to be specific to the chosen activity. Activity analysis is extremely useful for intermittent and team sports such as netball, basketball, AFL and soccer. Activity analysis measures a number of different factors these include:

• skill requirements
• work-to-rest patterns and ratios
• distances travelled at various speeds
• movement patterns, type and direction
• energy system requirements
• muscle groups and muscle action
• team strategies
• opponents’ strengths and weaknesses
• biomechanical techniques
• the intensity of movement and the actions performed.

Methods used to analyse activity

GPS tracking devices

Usually used for elite athletes and when used with other forms of data collection can provide information on muscle groups and the likely energy system used.

Detailed Video analysis

Is an effective way to gather information about skills as well as can be frozen or slowed to provide feedback about specific movements and performance of skills.

Heart Rate Monitor

Can provide an indication of an individuals intensity.

  • Anaerobic zone is above 85% max heart rate.
  • Aerobic zone 70-85% max heart rate
  • Recovery zone which below 70% max heart rate

Lactic acid readings

The blood can be measured for the level of lactate which is directly linked to the level of hydrogen ions within the muscle. Hydrogen ions are a cause of fatigue so a high blood lactate level is likely to be linked to the individual experiencing fatigue.

Simple Observation

Is subjective data about the athletes game such as where the athlete moved to, frequency of skills they performed and muscle groups that may need strengthening.

Skills Analysis

Can provide immediate feedback on types of skills that are performed and ones that are performed well and not so well. Muscle groups can also be determined from this and as a result be targeted in a training program.

  • An example of a skills analysis may be an AFL match that looks at:
    • kicks
    • marks
    • goals
    • points
    • tackles

Muscle groups and muscle action

For a program to be specific for a given activity the muscle groups involved in actions need to be identified. This is done by observation, the observer identifies which muscle groups are used, whether the movement involves muscular strength or power, and whether flexibility about the joint is important for this movement.

Data Collection

Movement Patterns

Reveal typical movements and types of movements used in a game. This is usually used in conjunction with work to rest ratios and skills analysis to develop a program. It can also be used to identify the length of movements which may be helpful in determining the type of fitness testing needed.
An example of a movement patterns graph is shown below:


(Picture obtained from Jacaranda teext book, Live it up 2)

Work to rest ratios

Are important for determining the energy system used in a given activity as it compares time spent resting  such as standing still,walking and slow jogging are classified as rest compared to work which consists of most other types of actvities not classified as rest.

  • A work to rest of 1:1 means the aerobic system was dominant throughout the activity.
  • A work to rest of 1:3 means the anaerobic glycolysis energy system was dominant.
  • A work to rest of 1:7 or greater means the ATP-CP energy system was dominant.

For a training program to be specific to given activity it must work to improve the correct energy system this means that the work to rest ratio of the actual activity should be similar to that used in training to ensure the right energy system is being used.