Q&A: Performance Analyst Gary Seery


Q&A: Performance Analyst Gary Seery

The importance of performance analysis in coaching continues to grow and Gary Seery reckons it can benefit coaches at all levels, if used correctly.
26th Jun 2020

Having served as Analyst for the Republic of Ireland Women's Senior Team and Men's Under-21 Team, Seery will now join Stephen Kenny's backroom staff with the Men's Senior Team as they kickstart their campaign in September 2020.

The Clare native will work alongside FAI Head of Performance Analysis Ger Dunne - just like they did at EURO 2016 - and his expertise will be of great benefit to the team as they look to use performance analysis to get any extra edge possible.

We caught up with the UEFA A Licence holder to discuss his role and how other coaches can use performance analysis...

In your view, what are the most important aspects of performance analysis?
The most important aspect of performance analysis is  having a good relationship (trust) with the Head Coach and Coaches. You need to be on the same wavelength when it comes to games and training and know exactly what the Head Coach may look for in reviewing the game at half-time or immediately after a game. You need to have a good work ethic and not get carried away with the game.
How has performance analysis changed from when you first started using it?
When I first started in performance analysis it was basic fairly basic. I started with Wexford Youths back in 2011, and all I really had to do was record the game, give it to the manager, and he would watch back. When I went in with the Ireland Women’s National Team, it was a little different. I had to record all training sessions, all games, all opposition games and then break the games down into the four functions of the game (Attacking - Transition to Defend – Defending – Transition to Attack). I would also clip training for the team, unit and individual reviews with the coach.
Is performance analysis used more in the build-up to the games rather than on match-day itself?
Yes I suppose it is. A lot of preparation goes into each game now and we, the analysts and coaching staff, would look back at probably the last 10 games of the opposition. We watch each game and break into the four functions, and prepare clips for the presentation in the staff meetings and then for the team meetings. We would also look back at our players' recent games for their clubs.
How can Grassroots coaches make the most of performance analysis?
The top coaches in the world can only recall about 40% of a game, and a players' early actions - either positive or negative - can influence the coaches' outlook on each individual. So it is important to be able to review games if possible. So if coaches can record each game and upload it to a database such as Hudl, so players and coaches can review, this would aid the development and have a more accurate review of the game, which would help prepare future sessions for either a reactive or proactive session.
What should a Grassroots coach be aiming to get from performance analysis?
A clear review of the game. Don’t use this a stick to beat the players! If everything you pick out for review is negative, you will lose the players. So I would suggest picking one negative and two positives to keep analysis sessions down to maybe 20 minutes max. Always think, maybe like your sessions, would I enjoy this?

Make sure to watch the Coach Education Webinar on Performance Analysis on Saturday, June 27 on the FAI TV YouTube Channel