Group Dynamics – UWIC Archers Basketball

Posted on 29 March 2012 by Aideen Howlin



I am a member of the Performance Analysis team involved with the UWIC Archers basketball team. The Archers PA team consists of 6 members, hence the need for consistent group dynamics.

On match day, numerous different aspects of our job must run smoothly and with 6 group members, the saying “too many cooks spoil the broth” may come to mind. However, at the beginning of the season we decided, as a group, to all get involved in every area in order to enhance our learning experience. We discussed delegating particular roles to each other but decided against this. Not every group member would be available for every game therefore prescribing a role to that person may have left the rest of the group short on days that this person is not available. As well as that, there are a number of away games during the season for which, generally, only one analyst can attend. Therefore, we felt the best decision was for each group member to be as hands on as possible with every aspect.

Match day tends to run pretty similar each week with the group members available meeting about an hour before Tip Off to collect the analysis kit and get set up, allowing time for any issues to be rectified. One major advantage of having 6 group members is that this work can be split up and carried out quicker than with a single analyst. Each basketball game has 4 quarters plus each player’s minutes on court, therefore every member has a job to do.

As a group we, generally, work well and  efficiently together. As we are all enrolled on the MSc Performance Analysis at UWIC, we all are coming here with a common goal, yet we each bring different characteristics and experiences to the table. At the beginning, as with every group of people, issues had to be aired and solved. However, our ability to do this made us more effective as a unit.

On a personal level, I believe that to fully support the needs of the UWIC Archers, a group of analysts is a must. As basketball is such a statistics driven sport, the need for analysis after every game is quite high and is necessary to establish season trends and patterns. The group dynamics must work efficiently and towards a common goal, which I feel, we have now achieved and in future years, will continue to do so.


Aideen Howlin

4 Comments For This Post

  1. Darren Lewis Says:

    Hi Aideen, enjoyed your post. At Bath we have two analysts and I completely agree with the need for synergy between the team to be as productive and effective as possible. One area that is unavoidable is consistency when it comes to coding individual player actions. It took between 4-5 months for us to nail down a consistent level of coding that needs very little manual checking but this is still something I do every week as ultimately I am responsible for this, I was just curious as to whether you have a “checking” procedure and how you divide it up. Along with checking peoples interpretation, to produce my match report means we have to adhere to a couple of rules during data entry otherwise, things get skewed! We have a neat little process that uses a “checker” to find all the little bits of information that may have been missed out during collection. The “checker” looks for things that should go hand in hand for example if we win a lineout the code should have a success description (win/lose) and a possession quality with it (set piece fail/poor quality/quality). If one is missing, the checker picks it up and it saves trawling through clips to find the missing description. Do you have anything like this within your workflow to help and what are your experiences with making sure data collection is accurate?


    Darren Lewis
    Bath Rugby

  2. Aideen Howlin Says:

    Hi Darren, thanks for your comment in reply to my post. I fully agree with you about the time it takes to get consistency among a group. We have still a number of “friendly debates” about different aspects of the game.
    We are quite lucky in one way in that we have the basketball score sheet given to us from the referees table after every game. If it is a home game, then the statistics we produce have to match this score sheet as it gets sent into England Basketball. That is the way we check our work. The score sheet has quarter by quarter breakdowns, also, so when each person takes a quarter to code then you can check against the score and foul count. However, the table has been known to make a few mistakes and that lends itself to more work for us! The score sheet has everything in chronological order so we can check if we are missing scores, fouls etc. The system you have for the checker sounds very good and time efficient. We don’t currently have anything like that in our workflow and we have to manually cross check. One drawback that we do have is that we have no method of checking instances that aren’t quantified on the score sheet e.g. turnovers, rebounds. A system like what you have described could be useful for us in this regard.
    Thanks for taking the time to comment
    Aideen Howlin

  3. Richard Whiffin Says:


    Like you i have a department of two analysts and have found similar ‘issues’ and time taken to achieve the necessary level of coding, in terms of ‘checking’ this is completed at every break of play. Our coding is split into two allowing for one to concentrate on starter plays, and the other to concentrate on phase play, this frees up the ‘starter play’ coder to act as the ‘checker’ to make sure the codes have been entered accurately.
    Any anomalies or human errors are usually found when the stats sheets are exported. it is interesting to see your type of ‘checking’ system used for accurate data collection

    Richard Whiffin
    London Irish Rugby

  4. Darren Lewis Says:

    Yeah, coding consistency is something that will only become stronger the longer you work with someone and within a coaching group. There will always be the tackles you’re never sure about that a player will pull you up on Monday morning!. I check through our descriptors during the game as well but its easy to miss something in the heat of battle! The “checker” was designed as the final “check” before the game gets transferred to a coach’s laptop with a match report as soon as a game has finished… took some figuring out thinking of all the combinations of things that couldn’t happen but was a worthwhile exercise for sure. I don’t think you’ll ever be able to eradicate human error… completely 😉

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Members Lounge LinkedIn