A couple of weeks ago, we announced on our social media that we would be launching an Intro to Analytics for Football Professionals course here at our offices in Bath, England.
The idea behind the course is that analytics and data use is becoming more and more important in both the team and media spaces and there are currently a dearth of good places to learn this information from scratch. Coaches need this info. Analysts need this info. Pundits need this info (please jesus, let the pundits realise this). Future coaches and analysts need this info! Thus it makes sense for us to develop teaching material to fill the gap. There's a bit of risk here, because developing a full day of course materials is about a 6-week project for a single analyst, and honestly, we don't know if we're right. What if no one actually wants to attend this course?
On the other hand, it makes a ton of sense for us to teach it. We have been pioneers in this space since 2013, we have our own data for students to leverage, our own cutting edge analytics platform to use during courses, and have actually worked inside of football for teams both very small, and very very large. We also feel like there will be a shortage of qualified analysts for teams to hire as more transition from no data analysis to heavy data analysis, and we need to help pick up the slack.
The initial course offering of thirty slots filled in five days.
Okay then, demand question (mostly) settled.
We also received a flood of questions about when we would offer more courses and where we would offer them (London, Germany, Spain, the U.S., Australia, online)? Baby steps!
After about ten days of trying to find venues that made sense, we have now locked down space to host two fresh classes in London in June.
Along with the Introductory course we previously announced, we will also begin teaching a new course focused on Set Piece Design and Analysis.
First we broke Denmark. Now we're going to help all of you break the rest of football.
Our Set Pieces offering is a practical course designed for football/soccer coaches and analysts to learn how to get the most out of this undervalued phase of the game. In one day, we will present the building blocks for the success we have had executing set pieces at the professional level.
I don't believe there is anything else like it.
Given how many people ask me on a weekly basis if I can give them more info on how to improve their set pieces, and how many professional clubs have already expressed an interest in this new course, I suspect demand here will be high and spaces will fill quickly.
If the London courses fill quickly, we will begin looking for space to run additional Introduction and Set Piece courses outside the U.K. We will potentially do a U.S. tour this summer in major cities, plus Barcelona and Madrid (en espanol), and somewhere in central Germany, but everything depends on whether there is enough interest in these London courses to expand. You guys seem excited, but as usual, I could be wrong.
Alongside the next set of courses we announce, we will also build a new page on our website to better keep track of our education schedule.
Those of you who listen to our podcast also know that I teased the concept of building a Data-Based Recruitment course that we may do a few times a year, and it's possible we will do something very high end on data infrastructure, data visualisation, and programming somewhere down the road.
Football is in a significant period of change right now, and I'm genuinely happy StatsBomb is at the forefront of that change, while teaching people skills they will need to succeed in the future. Given the feedback we've had about our education initiative thus far, you guys are happy we're here too.