In professional football there is a tendency towards the usage of digital systems that support decisions with objective data. What has changed from the past in your area of knowledge?
When I started working in football, we used to write our notes on paper and things quickly transferred to digital notes, but still very simple. Since then I’ve used various softwares with more or less extensive functions that helped me in my daily work.
How important and what are the main advantages in centralising, analysing and conserving information in a unique platform instead of single technologies?
The usage of Iterpro in the medical department has been great, improving the communication between the various members of the staff and especially between the different teams within the club, from the first team to the youth teams. Having all the data stored into one unique solution allows us to quickly access any information regarding the players, such as, injury history, chronic issues and a summary of their availability. Another important feature is that we can limit the accessibility to private information about the health status of the players to some members of the staff. There is a lot of privacy in this matter, when dealing with this kind of information.
Communication and sharing information are crucial in the daily work. Has the fact of using an intelligence system improved the communication processes between staff members and/or players and staff?
Communication is key for us, and a software like Iterpro that allows us to store all the information into one platform certainly speeds up the process. From my laptop I’m able to have a good overview of how things are going in my department and if everything is working in the right direction. I’m able to talk instantly to other physios and discuss cases with all the data needed, meaning that we save a lot of time. Looking back through injuries and players’ availability, we’re able to make better decisions and communicate them to the rest of the technical staff. Since we have started our journey with Iterpro, we’ve given our feedback to their team and the software has developed with the features we’ve requested. It’s great working with a software like Iterpro that is constantly developing and releasing new functionalities to their solution.
What improvements in margins do you think technology can still bring to the sports industry, both in the daily work of the management team, staff and players’ performance?
Working as a physio for the last 20 years I experienced a lot of changes in the field of sport medicine and science. I think objective data is great and I understand how useful collection and analysis of unbiased information, but we can’t forget that we are dealing with people who can be very different. I’m not sure where the new technology will lead us, but figures and stats are certainly advantageous in making data informed decisions. In my opinion combining objective data, individualised approach and practical experience is the best practice at the moment but have no doubt we will see a lot of changes and new developments in this area of technology.
Marcin Szostak, Head of Medical at Dundee United FC.