There were a lot of positives despite not achieving our desired goals: Odisha FC’s performance analyst Meet Mandavia
At the elite level, the performance analyst has become a critical part of the coaching team and provides the head coach with key information about upcoming opponents, and often provides information during a match situation or at half-time about areas of the team and the opposition team that can help change the game.
One of the key strengths of any elite performance analyst is the ability to translate a colossal amount of data into meaningful information that is simple for coaches to understand and can be used effectively to help improve the team.
Performance analysts also have to be clear, concise, and objective, and remove any emotion they may have for their own team from the analysis they provide. The analysts often work with individual players to support their development and explain how they can deliver the level of performance demanded by the coach.
Odisha FC's performance analyst for Hero ISL 2021-22, Meet Mandavia in an interview with Sportskeeda shared about his journey and the sudden surge of the demand for analysts at clubs in Indian football.
He said, "While I was doing my engineering, I realized I did not want to proceed further along the same line. Hence, I got into football coaching. I think I got really late on deciding whether I wanted to play football. So, I did my first coaching license, the AIFF D License, and got into coaching. I started working in a local academy. During the lockdown, unfortunately, we were not able to operate. I did not intend on sitting idle and wanted to do anything related to football since I was committed to it,“ said Mandavia.
Odisha FC have done relatively well in Hero ISL 2021-22 as compared to their previous season. On asking what Odisha FC did differently this season, he said, ”We started off very well. We had ambition; we had a goal. We wanted to make it to the top four. Unfortunately, some results didn’t go our way. In the end, it was a little disappointing. But what I am really proud of is that not even a single day I had the feeling that the team isn’t doing enough. Everybody was committed to the project and the goal. Sometimes things work out and sometimes they don’t.”
“Of course, we need to analyze and find a solution. But at no point was I disappointed to be part of the team. Everybody worked hard, especially the commitment from the players was phenomenal right from day one to the very last day. We did not achieve the goals we set out to achieve. But there were a lot of positives. Some of the wins, especially the one against Bengaluru FC. Things like this were very positive for us,” he averred.
Analysts have become an integral part of the coaching staff. There are subdivisions to an analyst's job - opposition analysis, set-piece analysis, own team's analysis, training session analysis, etc.