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SPEX301 Performance Analysis

2021 information for papers will be published in early September. 

An overview of emerging theories, skills and techniques for analysing individual as well as group/team performance.

A mixed analytical approach, using qualitative and quantitative methods, to evaluating and improving performance in sport and exercise.

This paper takes an in-depth look at the patterns of motion that arise in sport performance. Building on some of the knowledge gained in 100- and 200-level, movement and coordination patterns, at the biomechanical level, will be covered in greater detail. Analytical tools such as angle-angle diagrams, phase planes, relative phase and neural networks will be explored, with an emphasis on their qualitative interpretation. Students will be introduced to sports performance analysis and, specifically, to notating core elements of sports matches, methods for recording match events and the technology used to track player movements.

Time will also be spent considering current theoretical backgrounds related to coordination at the biomechanical level, as well as at higher levels (i.e. coordination between individuals). Combined with skills gained from other papers in the programme, some students may go on to work as performance or technique analysts for individuals or local sports clubs while others may continue on to postgraduate research in biomechanics.

Paper title Performance Analysis
Paper code SPEX301
Subject Sport, Physical Education and Exercise
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period Second Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,080.30
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $5,061.45

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SPEX 201 or PHSE 202
PHSE 302, PHSE 502
Schedule C

Suitable for students interested in sports biomechanics, performance analysis, sport coaching or sports science consultancy.


Teaching staff

Course Coordinator: Dr Peter Lamb

Paper Structure

The paper is broadly divided into two main categories: sports biomechanics and performance analysis. Under sports biomechanics, biomechanical principles and performance models will be reviewed, and new approaches to investigating coordination and movement variability will be introduced. Topics covered within performance analysis include notational analysis, key performance indicators and player tracking technology.

Teaching Arrangements

The paper consists of two 50-minute lectures per week and a total of three 3-hour labs. 

Three laboratory assignments contribute to 25% of the overall mark; another 25% comes from an extended report; and the final exam is worth 50% of the overall mark.


Bartlett, R., & Bussey, M. (2012). Sports biomechanics: Reducing injury risk and improving sports performance. London: Routledge.

O'Donoghue, P. (2015). An introduction to performance analysis of sport. London: Routledge.

Bartlett, R. (2014). Introduction to sports biomechanics: Analysing human movement patterns. London: Routledge.

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Communication, Critical thinking, Information literacy, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

Students who complete this paper will be able to:

  • Think in-depth about the patterns of movement that underlie successful sports performance
  • Qualitatively and quantitatively assess sports performance
  • Generate reports for expert audiences, such as coaches, sporting bodies or academic journals

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Second Semester

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Monday 11:00-11:50 28-34, 36-41
Wednesday 11:00-11:50 28-34, 36-41


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
A1 Tuesday 14:00-16:50 30, 32, 36, 38-41
A2 Tuesday 14:00-16:50 31, 33, 37-41
A3 Thursday 14:00-16:50 30, 32, 36, 38-41
A4 Thursday 14:00-16:50 31, 33, 37-41