Data and data integrity has become increasingly important in sports, so much so in basketball. While certain nations have already taken steps to delve into the space and are doing things to improve on the foundation they have. I recently while digging through things was not able to find close to any insight on this in Dutch Basketball, The Netherlands basketball scene. It was somewhat surprising that a country with so much investment into startups as a space. AI, Tech, and SaaS deployment, and the fact that the Dutch are pretty damn smart is surprising.
I then began thinking of what the cause could be and considered the following.
Dutch basketball may not have the same level of financial resources as other countries or leagues, making it more challenging to invest in data analytics technology and personnel. Albeit the Dutch Basketball economy aside from a few clubs is pretty concerning and while the federation has some level of focus on certain aspects of the game there is no real
Lack of expertise:
There may be a shortage of individuals with expertise in data analysis and basketball in the Netherlands, making it difficult to develop and implement data-centric strategies.
Resistance to change:
Some coaches and team executives may prefer to rely on traditional scouting and player evaluation methods, rather than embracing data analytics. There may be a perception that “old school” methods are more reliable or trustworthy.
Limited data availability:
Depending on the league or level of competition, data may be limited or incomplete, making it more challenging to conduct a comprehensive analysis.
Lack of emphasis on data in player development:
While data analytics can be used for scouting and game planning, it can also be valuable in player development. If Dutch basketball is not emphasizing the use of data in player development, it may not be seen as valuable or relevant to the overall success of the sport.
Overall, the reasons why Dutch basketball may not be more data-centric are likely multifaceted and complex. However, as data analytics continues to play a larger role in sports, it may become increasingly important for Dutch basketball to invest in data analysis and develop a more data-centric approach in order to remain competitive.
5 ways this can be overcome:
The lack of emphasis on data in player development within Dutch Basketball can limit the effectiveness of coaching and training methods, as well as the ability to identify and develop talent. Here are five potential ways to overcome this challenge:
Develop a culture of data-driven decision-making:
The first step in emphasizing data in player development is to establish a culture that values and prioritizes data-driven decision-making. This can be done through education and training, as well as by providing access to the necessary data and analytical tools.
Invest in technology and analytics personnel:
To effectively utilize data in player development, Dutch basketball clubs and the federation may need to invest in technology and analytics personnel I am not talking about JUST scouting or basketball minds here just to clarify. This could include hiring managers and data science backgrounded part-timers, investing in analytical software, and providing training for coaches, current managers in place and other personnel at clubs and within the federation.
Collaborate with academic institutions:
Academic institutions can provide valuable research and insights into the role of data in player development. Dutch basketball clubs and the federation to this point as far as I have seen again are at the threshold but not taking any major steps further which could grow the potential in terms of considerably partnering with universities or other research institutions to conduct joint research or to access existing research on the topic. It’s a space that can and should be explored better (please point me in the correct direction if there is anything that I have missed) on this matter.
Incorporate data into existing coaching methods:
To help coaches incorporate data into their coaching methods, Dutch basketball clubs and the federation could provide training on how to use data to inform coaching decisions. The initial steps of which are video analysis of games is a threshold that has been crossed but there still is a lot of guessing going on. On how to derive decisions from the analysis which needs consulting. This could include providing coaches with access to performance data, video analysis tools, and further added other resources.
Encourage experimentation and innovation:
Finally, Dutch basketball as a whole could be encouraged in experimentation and innovation in player development methods beyond the norm and to the edge of utilizing combine testing methods. This could involve trying new coaching methods, experimenting with new data analysis techniques and testing (i.e. similar to the NBA Combine testing tools and much more available in the sports tech marketplace – it does not cost much and actually is pretty effective), and encouraging coaches and players to be open to new ideas and approaches.
By adopting these strategies, Dutch basketball can begin to overcome the lack of emphasis on data in player development, helping to improve the quality of coaching and training, and identify and develop talented players.
A further step to take
If any basketball minds are interested in forming a potential think tank to discuss and see where this further could lead to by all means I am more than open to engaging and lead the way in this!