The future of sports success will be centred around utilising quality sports science solutions. Sports science, is the use of data science and analytics by sports personnel to ensure data-focused sports success.
Most NBA fans who watched the 2020 Orlando Bubble NBA games will dismiss sports science because not only were the Houston Rockets bested by the Los Angeles Lakers in the PlayOffs(who by the way beat them using their own small-ball system), but the team also lost their GM Daryl Morey a big fan of sports science who is now with the Sixers. The Houston Rockets were one of the early teams to fully embrace sports science. Other teams include the Philadelphia 76ers behind enthusiastic data scientist & former basketball player Ivana Seric (A Doctor of Philosophy Mathematical Sciences btw) as well as the Los Angeles Lakers.
Videos like The NBA Data Scientist, How data transformed the NBA | The Economist as well as Rajiv Maheswaran’s The Math Behind Basketball’s Wildest Moves | Rajiv Maheswaran | TED Talks can help give a quick dive into the world of sports science.
To put it all into perspective;-
I believe there is a way traditional basketball and sports science can merge without compromising one or the other. In fact, the problem is not that sports science affects sports success. Rather, properly utilizing sports analytics can enforce the success of sports personnel, organisations and businesses.
Now players like Lebron James (who has one of the best IQs in the game on top of his athletic abilities and skill), retired Ivana Seric & Shane Battier are some of the few players who found success in sports sciences as basketball players.
In the Major League Baseball(MBL) where the whole concept of using analytics to find success in sports probably started, is Billy Beane who called his decision to sign with the Mets instead of going to Stanford as the “only decision he would ever make in his life about money.” eventually got a job with the Oakland Athletics as an advance scout then Assistant GM, later GM and then Executive Vice President.
In a slight spin, the movie Moneyball, tells a story of a general manager who challenged the system by defying conventional wisdom, when forced to rebuild his small-market team on a limited budget.
When I started taking a keen interest in sports analytics, I realised just how inefficient my favourite athletes were. This also showed me all my failings as an athlete(during the time I was very active) when I thought I was excelling.
Basketball shouldn’t replace how traditional basketball is played but rather boost how it can be played better and more efficiently. Combining analytics with traditional opened minded basketball intuitive coaches, GMs, scouts, & agents to mention but a few who have a good feel of the game can be the recipe for long-term success.
Sports science, can help eliminate;
- Unnecessary spending by sports business organisations or personnel.
- Reckless and unnecessary movements by athletes.
- Bad decisions within a professional sports organisation or even a sports business.
To say, “data science is not important in sports” is to say, “traditional winning of sports games in this day and age can succeed without Data science.“