Ed Lippie has been involved with Italian La Liga giant AS Roma for the past six years. In his current role of Senior Performance Consultant he is responsible for architecting the growth and direction of the club and oversees personnel recruitment. Ed’s primary objective is to make sure the bigger picture items of AS Roma, such as club infrastructure are addressed and capable of supporting the club’s long-term goals.
As part of this the Italian football team has implemented Kitman Labs Performance Intelligence Platform to help Ed and his staff make impactful decisions on the performance, health and development of AS Roma’s players. Here are Ed’s five tips for anyone looking to build a successful, long-term infrastructure within their team and how this can be enhanced through the addition of technology.
1.The combination of research and technology can help you to make impactful change
The ways in which practitioners can have the biggest impact on their organisation is by integrating research and evidence-based practices. One of the areas in which this area can improve is working with researchers to improve the quality of the research and make it more applicable to the real-life solutions that team’s face day in and day out.
Another way is by integrating technology in a more impactful way than it has been done to date. We’ve been inundated over the last five to ten years with this massive influx of technology. I think, as an industry, we’ve gone through this infatuation phase with technology. It’s only now that many practitioners are stepping back and trying to critically assess how important is the technology and how can it advance what we’re trying to do. Asking those critical questions, why, how, etc is another way in which we can deal with the change and make ourselves impactful. I think Nick Winkelman rightfully said it ‘we’re in an era when information out-cases application’. I couldn’t agree more with that sentiment and as practitioners, we need to be mindful of that in how we move forward.
2.The right technology can reduce noise and focus more on what actually matters
The right technology can focus us on what the most important pieces of research are and what the most important data is.
From my experience the best technology in sport today tends to come about when a practitioner working in sport identifies a need inside their club and then goes out and builds a product to address this need. One of failings to this point is that sports technology has been developed by tech inclined people for tech inclined people and does not dovetail with experience of coaches and older school practitioners. It’s not led closely enough by domain experts.
3.The right technology can help you build and maintain successful infrastructure
Too often, when a club invests money into a single person, as opposed to a team of people, oftentimes, there’s a significant threat to the organisation that the work goes away with the person who did the job in the first place. I can speak from experience that this is something that’s happened at Roma. We developed a series of dashboards that was worked on by a really smart professional, then for a variety of reasons, he ended up leaving the club and we didn’t have the expertise in place to pick up the ball and run where he left off.
One of the strengths of an organisation like Kitman Labs is that you’re working with a team of people and even though you may have some internal change within the clubs you’re working for, you could easily get that person up to speed based on the knowledge that people at Kitman Labs have with the organisation. Products like Kitman Labs provide institutional knowledge and help to build the most robust infrastructure possible that is there as a resource for when new people come in.
Systems, protocols, they should be designed and implemented as a protection for decision-makers. That’s what protocols really do, they standardised a way of doing something so when we’re faced with a critical decision, we can revert back to what the protocol is. It doesn’t allow us to necessarily allow them, it doesn’t allow the emotion that is sometimes attached to these decisions to overly influence the final outcome of the decision. I think, the more objective information you have available to you, the better this process works for your current generation of coaches and staff as well and projecting forward into future generations as well.
4,The success of technology relies on its adoption by technical and coaching staff.
Most coaches are former players. We need to make technology more accessible to them and present the infrastructure as means to support coaching staff. Overall it needs to be presented as support to them rather than a threat to their control.
We got into this industry to help athletes get better and maximise potential and not to spend time in front of tech: Needs to be automated and simple. Most of us our strengths do not include being tech experts
5.Technology should adapt and support your unique organisation
There are obviously going to be common denominators in sport; but there are also going to be significant differences. Recognising those differences is critically important in delivering a partnership, because that’s one of the things that you’re providing as a partnership. Again that’s one of the benefits of something like Kitman Labs, where your experts can say “Hey, this is the workflow that’s been developed by your predecessors and we can continue the same way, we can tweak it,” whatever suits the reality of a club at that moment.
I think it’s important to establish a way of doing things the process. But, I think, within that process, you need to build in some flexibility. I think, too much rigidity can give birth to a lack of open-mindedness.
Or for more information on Ed you can find him on Twitter.