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Dr. Kirsten Spencer

Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand

Kirsten Spencer is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Sport and Recreation and leads Performance Analysis Research Group in SPRINZ. Kirsten has recently helped NZ Netball develop their Junior Coaching Plan, particularly in understanding the benefit of using modified games to aid their player development. Her research focuses on coaches, administrators and players using performance analysis as a tool to improve coaching, umpiring and player development - from analysis to creation/writing of training programmes, strength and conditioning resulting in a change in behavior i.e. improved performance. The tools of performance analysis are varied and range from recall and observation, to coding, to eye-tracking and to GPS systems. Kirsten has worked with teams in the English Premier Hockey League, NZ Netball, NZ Basketball, ITM rugby, Auckland Rugby, NZ football and NZ Rowing as well as providing support to schools and community. Kirsten has a teaching and coaching background and as a player has represented England and NZ at hockey and has coached players who have medalled at Olympics, World Cups, Commonwealth Games and Europeans.

High Performance Sports

Performance analysis is a process of systematic evaluation. It has rapidly been recognized in the sporting community for the knowledge enhancement and training support it provides. It helps coaches and athletes answer the questions of ‘how much training?’ ‘How hard and far can I push myself’, ‘How can I improve?’ and ‘What happens when I change my behaviour?’
Performance analysis helps athletes understand their technique, their energy expenditure in competition, aids the design of appropriate training programmes and reduce their likelihood of injury, allows profiling, opposition scouting and better tactical understanding. We often compare different teams, the influence of rule changes, the effect of competition level and coaching behaviours on performance. These questioning concepts integral to Performance Analysis are equally beneficial to the management boardroom.
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Watch Dr. Kirsten Spencer's Sci21 webcast, High Performance Sports