Research Topic

Observational Methodology in Sport: Performance Key Elements

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About this Research Topic

Sport success has gained media and research attention lately and sports performance key elements have been put under the microscope: we are assisting to a massive proliferation of research works aiming to understand the variables that define certain performance aspects impacting positively on sport success ...

Sport success has gained media and research attention lately and sports performance key elements have been put under the microscope: we are assisting to a massive proliferation of research works aiming to understand the variables that define certain performance aspects impacting positively on sport success achievement.

The identification of successful sports’ patterns has been addressed through the analysis of different play situations and different involved variables. To achieve this aim, the analysis of the games has assumed a transcendental role in sports.

In the sports’ field, the most effective and objective instruments to collect relevant sports data relies on observation and on play analysis. These instruments are progressively affirming and represent useful tools translating into specific sport-linked information, allowing to a better and relevant perception of the events occurring during a sports’ game.

In many occasions, observation is the only way to study a phenomenon without misrepresenting it. As regards sports’ performance , observation is carried out during the play context, since the scientific method adopts this particular strategy to come up with a quantification of the spontaneous behavior. Spontaneous behavior is what occurs in non prepared situations, the observation will be achieved once an ordered series of stages are fulfilled.

This is the only scientific methodology allowing a direct data collection from participants while competing , without elicitation of the response, purely based on the direct capture of the perceivable information. To do so, the observation is normally based on recording sessions, conventionally adopted as means to easily access the information.

Sports’ performance has a multidimensional character and may be grouped into two large investigation areas. On one hand, we study the analytical factors related to the conditional aspects, on the other hand, we take in consideration the competition’s performance factors. This requires further analysis, needing to be contextualized in its environment. As regards the competition performance factors’ analysis, referring to the technical and tactical-strategic elements, allows to better reflect situational sports’ nature and provide a better understanding of the game action development.

This Research Topic will focus on the analysis of performance in situational sports, taking into account that we are analyzing complex dynamic systems and that play actions in them have a stochastic character. Therefore, analysis will be descriptive, multivariate and predictive.

With this Research Topic, we intend to collect observational methodology works, analyzing situational sports and categorizing them on the basis of the technical and tactical-strategic perspective, trying to identify the performance factors of each sport modality and planning to design more effective play models. Finally, we would like to collect cutting-edge research studies on performance sports, focusing on data analysis novelties, to achieve the aforementioned objective.

We welcome all researchers aiming to analyze the technical and tactical-strategic performance factors in situational sports adopting the observational methodology to submit their manuscripts, as well as the researchers suggesting new tailored data analysis techniques.


Keywords: Performance analysis, observational methodology, performance indicator, technical tactical and strategic behavior


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