I have been thinking about writing on this particular topic since 2004 but never seem to get around to find the time to sit down, brain storm and write.
Papua New Guineans are mad about sports, in particular Rugby and Soccer, the two most popular sporting codes in PNG. Unfortunately the performance of our national teams does not reflect our enthusiasm and the zeal we ordinary people have for sports. Lately I have been surfing PNG discussion sites like vortexpng, pngscape, masalai blog and waipii, to name a few and have found that national identity and sports seem to pop up as a common denominator that can unite a very diverse country like PNG. Flipping the coin over, and what do you get? OUR DIVERSITY IS OUR IDENTITY! Our weakest point is in-fact is our strength! I will probably write about that in a later post but back to what this post is about – Statistics And Sports In PNG.
Many have commented on better training facilities, tougher competitions, a disciplined and professional approach to sporting codes by coaches and players, and there are many factors. But I want to focus on team sports, down to the club level and talk about STATISTICS. Sports nowadays involves a lot of science, from psychology, performance enhancing drugs (both legal and illegal) to studying player profiles to enhance individual performance and ultimately the team’s. The basic thing which require all these to be done is recording and analysing statistics. You can see how your team fared in a season by recording proper statistics and analysing them later. This will tell you your strong areas, weak areas, where you need to focus your training on, which players to concentrate on and much much more.
I am not a qualified coach nor do I have coaching experience. But I love sports and want to see better results. What I am good at is recording and analyzing statistics using powerful analytical software and interpret what the statistics are saying. One thing that I know for sure is numbers do not lie. So what am I saying here? I am saying sporting clubs in PNG need to engage someone, who works with the club administrators and coaches to design a data collecting system for players and the team which collectively forms the team’s and player statistics. This can be used to monitor the team and individual performance through out a given season. That person can than analyse the statistics and inform the coaches accordingly so that training (both physical and psychological) is targeted appropriately.
My experience has been that in all the clubs that I have been a part of, both soccer and rugby, those clubs did not keep club and player statistics. Now with NSL and the SP cup it’s probably being done anyway. But wouldn’t it be good if amature clubs start analyzing their team’s performancing by recording and analzying their team’s statistics?