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Performance analysis in team sports: Advances from an Ecological Dynamics approach

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Capacity to produce data for performance analysis in sports has been enhanced in the last decade with substantial technological advances. However, current performance analysis methods have been criticised for the lack of a viable theoretical framework to assist on the development of fundamental principles that regulate performance achievement. Our aim in this paper is to discuss ecological dynamics as an explanatory framework for improving analysis and understanding of competitive performance behaviours. We argue that integration of ideas from ecological dynamics into previous approaches to performance analysis advances current understanding of how sport performance emerges from continuous interactions between individual players and teams. Exemplar data from previous studies in association football are presented to illustrate this novel perspective on performance analysis. Limitations of current ecological dynamics research and challenges for future research are discussed in order to improve the meaningfulness of information presented to coaches and managers.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2013

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