Our programmes offer students many opportunities to gain valuable industry experience.
Nik Kudiersky recently completed a placement as part of the elite performance team at West Ham United FC, which he hopes will provide a platform into a career in sport.
Nik spotted the role just after starting his final year and after successfully negotiating the interview process he was offered the position. With the help of UCLan staff Nik deferred his studies to join the Premier League outfit.
His placement focused on training analysis, via the use of GPS, accelerometry, and video footage. Nik learned how to use an array of high-tech equipment, and how to effectively apply analysis methods in an elite youth football environment.
Along with two other students, Nik was responsible for the collection and feedback of the time-motion data of all U18 & U21 players, as well filming all training sessions, and uploading the edited footage to an online video platform.
A key objective of the time-motion data analysis was to provide staff and players with objective feedback of each individual’s activity level throughout each pitch session. This data combined with subjective exertion feedback from the players, enabled the staff to assess the efficacy of each training session, make inter-individual comparisons and identify symptoms of overreaching.
Videoing training was an essential role, facilitating the interpretation of the time-motion data, and providing players and staff with the opportunity to analyse performance.
Soon after beginning the placement Nik became aware that the activity of each player is highly dependent on a number of contextual factors, including the chaotic and organisational behaviour of surrounding players, therefore the accompanying video footage was required to make sense of the data.
Working alongside sport scientists gave Nik a great insight into practice design, learning how to apply principles of skill acquisition and exercise physiology, to maximise productivity of each training session.
A high emphasis was placed on creating an optimal learning environment for the players both on and off the pitch.
On the pitch a game-centred, constraints-led approach was implemented to promote the retention and transferability of implicitly learnt skills.
A self-directed learning approach was encouraged off the pitch; training and match footage was made available within a couple of hours, allowing players to critically analyse their performance on a daily basis.
Working within a multi-disciplinary academy, exposed Nik to a wide variety of contemporary and practical methods in the domains of strength and conditioning, sport science, coaching science, and performance analysis.
Nik now has a much deeper understanding of the interacting elements that must be considered when designing and implementing a team development strategy, and will now be able to apply and expand on what he has learnt on his return to UCLan.