E59 - Bertie Kennedy, The Cricket Performance Analyst
E59 - Bertie Kennedy, The Cricket Performance Analyst

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Bertie Kennedy is a top-level cricket analyst who has worked with numerous clubs and franchises across professional cricket, including conducting the inaugural Hundred draft for the Northern Superchargers. He consults for numerous sporting teams to help them make better data-driven decisions alongside lecturing on the MSc in Performance Analysis at the University of Gloucestershire.

We caught up with Bertie at his home in the southwest of England to talk about how his faith shapes the way he works in top-level sport.

0:58 How do your sport and faith connect
5:56 Getting in to the world of performance analysis
9:56 What does performance analysis look like now?
11:44 How do your faith and work go together?
14:11 Why is integrity important as a Christian in the workplace?
18:24 The influence of data in coaching elite players
23:26 What does the relationship between analyst and coach look like?
26:40 What soft skills do you need to be an analyst?
28:13 Treating elite players with empathy when using data
31:57 Common misconceptions about performance analysis
34:30 Outro


Transcript generated by AI. A more accurate transcript will be available shortly.

Jonny Reid: Welcome to the Christians in Sport podcast. It's great to have you. My name's Jonny Reid. I'm here with a really exciting guest, Bertie Kennedy. I'm sitting in his garden, which you might hear the birds fluttering. The sun's coming out. It's a lovely afternoon opposite his shed, which is his home office. He's a senior performance analyst at Intelligent Cricket. So we're going to chat today about what it means to be a Christian, a sports analyst.

I think that through a little bit, he works with a number of national sports teams organizations, helps them make better data driven decisions. He also lectures at the University of Gloucestershire on performance analysis, has previously worked with Yorkshire Cricket Club, the Northern Superchargers help them with the inaugural draft and he lives here in the beautiful Bradford on Avon near Bath with his wife, his child.

He also, the captain will get checked out later, captain of the first scene of Oldfield old boys rugby club. They won massive tournament on Wednesday says me good to chat about that Bertie thanks for joining us. First question we ask everyone the first question How does your sport and faith connect?

Bertie Kennedy: Yeah, I think yeah, it's been a journey. Ask me in another ten years and I’m sure I’ll say something different. But I think in my current space of life, what it allows me to do is to enjoy my sport most, to play with a smile, and to know that actually my identity isn't in it. And actually, I can.

I can take yeah, win, lose. I can enjoy the gifts that God's given me. And I can enjoy playing them and I can enjoy the sports that I've been create and I can enjoy the way that my body moves and enjoy the way that it succeeds, hopefully, or enjoy the way that it fails or and the whole thing that is wrapped up in sport, the relationships that come with it, the environments, the cultures that we're involved with it, it makes it a really enjoyable experience.

And I think also it allows you to be with the world and allows such an amazing opportunity to speak to others and to share something of the good news. And it in an environment where you're so close to one another, it's been really powerful for that and that's a real motivator as well. So lots of. Yeah, a lot of different reasons.

Jonny Reid: Well Let's go there. First of all, let's go Wednesday night. So Wednesday night. Yeah, let's go to that because we want to get to speak about being an analyst. So let's go. Wednesday, because we've been talking. We've been talking different sport. Rugby. You played rugby for many years. Yeah. You're the captain of a first in Oldfield, Old Boys rugby club.

It's the Bath Combination vase. At the Rec at Bath. Right. Professional grounds final. You said you played week on week on week to qualify recently, quarter, semi, finals. You just said it's probably your greatest sporting moment on the field in some ways one.

Bertie Kennedy: Without a doubt. Yeah.

Jonny Reid: Talk us through that then. Why? How would maybe be different now, ten years on? Why have you enjoyed have you enjoyed it more? Because maybe you understand your faith in your sport bit better now? Maybe.

Bertie Kennedy: I think the whole day was special because of the people we were doing it with and I think to have so the squad we've we've had this year, we've had we kind of had a bit of a rebuild this year. We had quite low numbers and then we've come and we've been able to achieve. We had a very clear vision at the start of the year, what we wanted to achieve and then doing it with the people we've done it with, but then also doing it in our city, looking out and seeing the support of those who were here too, who've done it all the way through was just brilliant.

And I think that's probably what will stick with me the most. But even when we were under the pump on Wednesday, it was a kind of a whole a whole mantra. The whole week was just we've got to enjoy smiles on faces. That's what we said. Smiles on faces, smiles on faces. That was the message that I was trying to drive.

And yeah, there was a point where there were smiles, weren't on faces, but now we can look back and really enjoy it. But I think it would be very interesting having this conversation had the result gone the other way. Yeah.

Jonny Reid:

Bertie Kennedy: It is very easy to say, Yeah, it was great because we won. I'd like to think I'd be able to say it was great even if we lost. And I think ultimately it might have impacted me slightly less than maybe others in the team if we'd lost. Yeah, but yeah, it was. We didn't. So we can achieve, we can enjoy the smiles on faces.

But it was, it was fantastic. Yeah.

Jonny Reid: Great. Well, then let's go that further zoom back. So I see rugby was your, your main sport growing up. One of them. Rugby. Cricket.

Bertie Kennedy: Yeah. Rugby. Cricket. It was always around availability of different stuff. All you're doing in the summers versus there seems to be the rugby season is a bit more structured, some kind of everything.

Jonny Reid: I think everything shifts and doesn't it. Yeah. So how did you first then connect your sport and faith as a young person growing up?

Bertie Kennedy: Yeah, well you'll be unsurprised. There went sports, plus someone from church back home said I knew I was sports mad. Always been sports mad and said you'd probably enjoy going there. Which I did. And it was it was transformational because I think for me, particularly because both sports were heavily sun dependent, particularly Sunday mornings, where where we did have a church, we went on a Sunday morning.

It always they were always at loggerheads. And I think that was difficult for me because I knew I knew there was nothing inherently wrong with sport, but it was always one or the other. So that was always difficult. But actually coming in, going to sports plus and seeing people other other people who were just like me, who loved sport so, so much and I could enjoy that, but also were really buzzing about their faith.

That was a big a big moment for me and actually saying that, yes, sport can be worship, small can be sport is a good thing given to us by God. And that was a real big moment. And from then on, it's always been about understanding that more how we how that plays out, I suppose in the good times and the bad times and how we can use our bodies in that in that way.

Jonny Reid: And you're now you're still in sport. You've stayed in sport. So yeah. University studied.

Bertie Kennedy: Yeah. Studied at Bath Uni did sport exercise. Yeah. Yeah. Format. Yeah. Played, played rugby at uni and then that's actually how I got into performance analysis. I went away on a placement year and my third year worked up in the north east with a with a company working with Durham Cricket and Yorkshire Cricket and then a little bit with dark money, doing a lot of video stuff.

So filming targeting was what we kind of whenever you film, you kind of add different pieces of information to different clips. So you'll clip a clip, a game up, say it's rugby, all the scrums, you clip all the scrums up and then you tag whether you won the ball, if you went and scored from it, if you played often, all those sorts of things, you'd add that information onto it after the event.

So a lot of it was to do with that. And then what we realized was, yeah, video analysis has its place in terms of looking at technique, looking at it, particularly in cricket. If we bring it round to cricket now, like where your head is over the ball, where you're like the angle of your back as a bowler from an injury perspective or like your wrist position as a spinner, all that sort of stuff we can use with video.

But what we found was that video and still is great, but it only gives a snapshot. And what we were able to see with the data that we were tagging on these video clips, we could actually use that data to explore further what more overall trends. So is someone particularly weak against a certain type of bowler, or is someone particularly strong on a certain side of the wicket with a certain shot?

We were able to delve in much deeper to a level which coaches we were dealing with hadn't really. They they always thought and they would come with their preconceived notions, but to actually have it as an objective fact.

Jonny Reid: His first say is that you've kind of you've kind of grown up in the industry as cricket has caught up with that, as he sees it with the obviously the revolution of T20 cricket. Yeah, smaller margins aren't there and lots of he's kind of one percenters. Everyone he calls them. There's loads more chat now around data and match ups and things like that.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. See Eoin Morgan famously with the kind of the numbers with the analyst kind of saying, I mean so there's loads more of that now. Is that kind of how it's felt. You kind of, you kind of at the cusp of that when you start. Yeah.

Bertie Kennedy: It was, it was right time, right place massively at the right time, right base. God's got his plan isn't he. But we, we were there. I felt we really were there at the start of this. They've called it a bit of a data revolution and we've seen in the way the guy like bigger companies have come in. You look on Sky, you see the Hawk-Eye pitch maps, all that sort of stuff has come into the game more commonly.

I'd like to think we were we were really at the forefront of it, doing stuff kind of a bit under the surface, a little bit. We we were understanding it as coaches and cricket clubs were understanding it as well. So it was quite a natural evolution of things. It wasn't we definitely hadn't formulated our ideas and we were kind of growing with it and seeing where it takes us.

So we were able to then bring that into those dressing rooms, try and impact on recruitment, on strategy, on all these great best things, which is why I wanted to get into it because unfortunately my cricket career was never going to be a pro cricketer. As much as I love it, I just kept getting bowled so it was never going to happen.

But being able to impact what's going out in the middle and saying, Oh, that was my call. Although I didn't blow the ball, I didn't hit the shot. Being able to say actually bowling him to that batsman, that was that was part of me. And actually that that took a huge amount of satisfaction. I do remember the first game we did it we Yorkshire School, I think it was 220 against Notts and it the innings panned out exactly as we would say it was planet.

We had all our people coming in at the right time where they were strong and it just clicked and we came away like, Wow, that was mega, the biggest moment of job satisfaction because it was, yeah, although I didn't do any of it on the field, it was the thinking behind it was there to go actually. Are Yeah, we, I can own a little bit of that and that was, that was really cool.

Jonny Reid: Tell us a bit about work now They said you had your placement you work with different clubs particularly. What is it like for you now? What was kind of your role then in your in your in your business, in your company?

Bertie Kennedy: So a lot of what I do is consultancy. So put it two main aspects consultancy and training. So consultancy we will offer different products, different services to different clubs. They will kind of have a bit of a menu. They'll choose what we, what we have to offer around different statistical packages or things like that. And then I'll work with the coaches of those to kind of answer that questions.

All right, so who do we sign here? What about this player? What about this player? What about their strategy? Where are we strong, where we weak? And we'll I'll kind of come in as a consultant and deliver and answer some of their questions. That's one aspect. And the other aspect is around training. So I work with a number of counties around training their analysts and that links a little bit in with my teaching.

Yeah, but I'll I'll, I'll get I'll jump on a call and we'll go through I'll train them in a way of doing analysis, which is what I've been doing and a way of helping them to get to their answers quicker so they can be better in their role. And, and the idea it was tricky. It was tricky when I was working more with Yorkshire closely because it was kind of like, well, you're not giving away some competitive advantage a little bit because all the analysts.

But now it's a real joy to do it because I see it as if if we can get all the analysts better in the country will raise that tide. Yeah. And hopefully better decisions will be being made across the board because some decisions are not made with particular due diligence. I don't think people have their reasons and that's fine.

But I think there is a level of professionalism in which cricket can be lacking sometimes and actually upskilling people to be making more objective calls can be it can be a good thing, I think.

Jonny Reid: Well, yeah, let's talk about on that. I think it's interesting to try and think through. Obviously, it's a Christians in Sport podcast. You're you're Christian, you trust in Jesus. Your your fundamental worldview will affect. Yeah in some ways we could be having this podcast on Christians in the workplace, which is great, but there’ll be nuances we’ll dive into sport.

But it was a lot if you as a as a bringing your Christian worldview to your the way you understand your work, your vocation, that is obviously the way you're wired as well. Like you say, God has made you a certain way and you're good at it. You're obviously good at what you do. How does those kind of two things come together, your faith and then your kind of vocation, your work?

Bertie Kennedy: Yeah, I think I think it is very interesting when when I was thinking about that question, a lot of my work is to provide objective views on things, and a lot of it is down to fairness. I think a lot of what I do is I you know, this, like their allies, damned lies and statistics. I think I can spin a yarn for any particular player, right?

I if I wanted to, I can you can pick and choose different bits. You can exclude certain pieces of data, exclude certain matches and come up with a random reason to exclude as much as you can. You can spin a web. You really can to, to to prove my point, if I said I think we should sign this guy, I could spin a web to make sure that could happen.

Jonny Reid: Yeah.

Bertie Kennedy: And I think for me, where it's come back with my faith is actually trying to be as objective as possible and lay plain the facts. Lay plain what I think is the truth around a player's performance I take really seriously. And so any particular model that we might bring, any particular metric we might use, a lot of the work I will do in it is around making sure there are as little bias as we can get because there and knowing that there will always be certain biases around what we do see perceive as good, what we perceive as bad or good performance, bad performance, but trying to be as objective as possible.

Because some of the stuff that I will produce and I will give to people, it has an impact. And sometimes this is making sure I try not to think about that because ultimately it's my job I'm doing these. There are not the numbers on a page, but making sure that what I'm producing is, is as as much as I can be truthful to what is what's been happening.

That's really important. I think that's where my faith comes in to go, No, no, I need to be like, I need to be just, hey, I need to be truthful. I need to be my integrity needs to be really good.

Jonny Reid: But why is integrity views a Christian so important? Cause it's come up ten times. This conversation, I.

Bertie Kennedy: Think I think is a characteristic of of God, which is hugely important to who He is. Like, he has to be integral. He is the Lord God. He is. He is judge. He is creator. He is all those things. Yeah, he is fully graceful, he's fully merciful, but he is also fully just. And actually that the integrity of the Lord, He is beyond reproach in that regard.

And to imitate his character, I think is something that we are encouraged to do. We are commanded to do. We chose to to be more like him. Yeah. And so if we can make sure that we in my work in terms of when it comes to my numbers, that I am beyond reproach, I need to be because otherwise I am not reflecting the God that I serve.

Jonny Reid: And we can only do that calm. We want to be clear on that. We can only we can only do that because of God's grace at work. Likely spare helping us to do that. Our natural instinct will be to hide. It will be to lie. It will be to manipulate the numbers, to be.

Bertie Kennedy: Like those being something, someone right comes on with a number and they go, That's not right. They counter it with some other number and you go, Yeah, yeah. But you and you argue. You have it so easily to go, No, no, no. Yeah, but you were doing this. You were doing that. No, no. My numbers is about some you need to be true.

And often by having all these numbers, it can help drive your integrity. Because if someone comes back to you and goes, Why did you do that? I can point to the numbers and go, Hang on, hang on, this wasn't me. I'm doing this based on my research and I'm doing this based on my numbers, which is hopefully more objective now.

So I find it helps me with some integrity. Yeah, but you have to have that holistic view of of what you're collecting from a data point perspective to be able to drive that. But yeah, I think being able to image God in that way, as you say, I will get it wrong on a daily basis, but in my work life, working with no one else, looking over my shoulder, looking at what I'm doing, yeah, I could be on my phone all day, but they might not know that.

But being able to make sure I can say to them, No, no, no, I, I am working for the wage that you pay me. Yeah. Is really important.

Jonny Reid: Yeah.

Bertie Kennedy: And, and is that, is that same level of integrity that I have when I come to my numbers, when I'm speaking to players to go, No, no, this is, this is as, as, as truly as I can say to you, these are the, the, the most accurate, most valid, fairest reflection of your performance that I can give. I have not tried to hide anything.

Bertie Kennedy: Yeah, I might have. If there is scientific reasons to take out some outliers as as there is in all scientific research. Yeah, I will do that. I will follow the right protocol. But I need to make sure that as I'm presenting someone, presenting a coach with a player's information or a player with their own information, I am. I am being as honest and as truthful as I can be.

And my integrity needs to be really good. Yeah. And actually, yeah, I slip up on that. But I know that with, with, with being a Christian, that is important as well. And I think bringing that through and making sure that, yeah, I can offer objective fact to people.

Jonny Reid: So how does that play out with as and we want to say we're made in the image of God all, all of us, all of our, our mind, our body are our abilities. And yet it could feel, I imagine if you're playing an elite sport, that you're isolated to become a data points. Yeah. How And you may like you say you bring up objection or not objection, objective.

That's hopefully yeah but how do you how do you keep reminding yourself but also do you have an influence in how you help coaches see the whole of the person? Yeah, because obviously, like you say, decisions are made not just based on data and that's fair and right. They'll be somebody could be a really good team mates which actually that there's a pretty a measurable in some ways.

How does that kind of play out in the world of sport?

Bertie Kennedy: It has been really we've spoken about this data revolution in cricket before and I think when we first brought it in, there was a lot of objection to it from players because they see stats as a way of bashing them over the head and going, You're not good at this, you're not good at this, you're not good at this.

And actually what we tried to do was to flip that as well and go, actually, no data. This can be for you. We can highlight where you are really good because let's be honest, if you're playing professional sport, you will be really good at what you do. Yeah, yeah. You will have something which has got you to that point, whether it's your cover drive, whether it's your power hitting, whether it's your, your slower, but whatever you've got, there's a reason you're playing professional sport.

That's not coincidence. And I think being able to highlight to players. Yeah, okay. Data can provide a way of highlighting where you're weak. Absolutely. And that's up to the player with them, with their mindset, how they take that on board. Absolutely. But actually being able to use the data to go, No, no, mate, you're really good at this.

You're you're in this role, you are really, really good. And that was a great example of that at Yorkshire, where we we looked at the numbers, we looked at different entry points into an innings, we looked at T20 and there's a particular player who was brilliant at the back end. So from over 16 on was in a T20.

He was really good, but he usually didn't always play that role because it was quite a fixed batting line up. He batted five or six and he'd come in wherever kind of fell. But whenever he got the opportunity to bat in that zone, he was really good. And we we were able to visualize that and show him. And he was up there with the best names in the world.

And from that point of view, he puffed. You could see him change in the way that he played and go, Oh no, no, I am good at this. I can have confidence in this. And from my perspective, trying to bring the the objectiveness and the kind of scientific nature of data and matched up with the people that we deal with that often, whether there can be miscommunication because you're either seen as the bloke behind the computer who's there just to bash you and tell you you're bad, or you're seen as the kind of the the kind of arm around the shoulder, kind of arm here for you kind of person.

And how we navigate that gap is really important and actually being able to give people confidence, but being making sure like I'd like to think if there were if there are people listening who are involved in a heavy data sport and most sport is heavy data now nowadays, whether it's football, rugby, how far you train your collisions, all that sort of stuff from a Christian perspective, making sure that you you don't need to be defined by your stature batting average, your batting strike rate, that that isn't what defines you.

A a on a massively holistic level. You are way more than your batting strike rate. If you play T20 cricket, you are way more than your batting average, than your bowling average and whatever. But actually that you're we can bring in we can we can nurture those those people, those those people who are they're just humans. Right? I think for me coming in, the biggest shock to a changing room environment was it was just like going into my club, changing room.

And I don't mean that in a bad way, Like there were the same characters. Okay, all these people were really good at cricket, which is totally the opposite of my Kirk Right. These guys could bat really well. They could bowl really well. They’re International superstar, some of them in that in your dressing room. They were fantastic players, but the characters and insecurities and bravado, that was all there. They were in there and they the same characters you have the storyteller the the person who kind of just sits a bit quieter. They just goes about their business, the tidy one, the messy one, all that is still there.

Yeah. And to actually for me to realize that and go, okay, now these, these people, they still need Jesus just because they're professional sports. They still need yeah, they still need to hear the gospel, but also that they're not bulletproof. And so the way that I can bring my stats to them and inform, inform coaches and I'm being able to make sure that they understand potentially reasons why they're dropped, understand reasons why they might not be getting another contract is is really important.

But I need to be have a huge amount of integrity when doing that to make sure that I'm not seen to be siding one way or the other to go, Oh, I'm always on the coach side of the coach or I'm always on the side of the player to be able to walk that line.

Jonny Reid: What's the relationship like? Have you found that with Coach? Is this on as pressure from coaches and how you advise and to make decisions we which has to have physio Fran sort of October-November is really interesting because as a physio she's occasionally she'd be over from the player to hide an injury. Yeah. Or from the coach to persuade her to go note that they're fine, they can play is a similar pressure sometimes from coaches to go I need, I need a reason to drop this character or I need a reason to select this person for whatever reason is it.

Is that complicate relation with the coach?

Bertie Kennedy: My boss was very heavy on me in my formative years in the role around making sure that we are on the side of the coaching staff, not the side of the players. Don't get too cushy with the players because they come and go. They can influence you, you get you. You can get caught up in their story too, to spin that yarn, right?

They're desperate for another contract because of something going on at home. Yeah. Can you can you spin that number a little bit? Can you tweak it up and you don't want to put yourself in that position. Yeah. So I've always been side of the coach. They will have a preconceived idea. They're the coach, right? And I've always been careful to make sure they will know more about the ins and outs of cricket than I do, because often coaches, they've played for ten, 20 years.

Whatever they will, they will always have a preconceived idea of what they want or what they think they've seen. That's probably the biggest thing. And when you go to challenge that that's where it can get difficult. Yeah, away aware that maybe where we're site where we sign players right I think we should sign this person and you go ah right did they just get a hundred last week?

Oh yeah they did. Funnily enough we think we should sign the player. Great. And you look at the date and you go, No, no, no, that player can be brilliant. And that that's always the case of these players on any given day. Yeah, they can be brilliant, they can score, they can score, they can go out to hundred striker, they can take a five or whatever.

And you give these guys too good not to be able to do that. But when it comes to due diligence, when it comes to the probability, where it comes to the the weight of evidence, that's where it's come in and often state my case. And that's where often my reputation comes with me to go. And that's where from my faith perspective is going, hang on, If I don't win this argument around who I think we should sign, ultimately the coach is going to make that call.

Yeah, but being able to bring and go, I've said my piece, I think I know and I've I've said what I think would be the right call, whoever they go with it or not, pay. That's yeah. That's why they're paid way more than me to do that. But to bring that. Yeah. That the, the, the way that the coach interacts with us is often a kind of.

Shall we do that. I think we should do. Is does the data buy that up. Yes. And often you'll be amazed how often that right as a coach. Yeah. They see so much and their intuition is so on point that often they go, Oh, I feel this is happening. Can you check the data. Mm Oh yeah it is.

Well that was like how did you spot that out there? The coach, they're brilliant. It is so often it is backing up what they think is, but when you challenge them on a decision, you need to be sure that your numbers are in order and your dogs are in a line. And but the way you go about doing that is this that's the soft skills involved.

Jonny Reid: Let's talk just talk more about those soft skills and what are kind of what makes a brilliant some people might be listening in to something go quite fancy doing that in the future. Maybe young people listening in people university What are some of the soft skills which you think because like you said, you you could be the man behind the computer.

Yes. Going here's four days ahead the facts with no, there's nothing else around that. But like we said, people are people that it's a wholeness to them as well. And you are treated with respect. What what are some of the soft skills which you'd be if you if you're speaking to when you're when you're on your lecturing course in your mate.

Maybe this comes across. Hopefully that comes across, doesn't it. What are some of those.

Bertie Kennedy: Just empathy and understanding that these people for you for you they could be a data point. Yeah, they are a name in a list which is usually don't alphabetical order. That's the way you like it. Yeah, they are. They can be a name, they can be a dot on a screen, right. They can be a data point sometimes in the wrong quadrant.

If you're looking at a scatter point, you want them to be in the top, right? Sometimes they're in the bottom left. Yeah, but understanding that these people like, yeah, they're good at cricket. Yeah. They play cricket. Yeah. They might have the job that you would love to have. Playing professional sports seems like the best job in the world, right?

But understanding that actually sometimes that data point to challenge them on that or to highlight that, that that can really hurt and actually that can be really dangerous. And so if you haven't done your due diligence, due diligence in making sure your data isn't bias, you leave yourself exposed. If you go after somebody, they'll come after you. Yeah.

And you need to make sure that that is.

Jonny Reid: Unless you're saying there's a there's a there's a real honesty and integrity in that because like we said, sports people that know they're no different to me and you in some ways are just better at sport. But at the same time, we want to say that there is a real difference between me playing for Cumnor Cricket Club second 11 on a Saturday.

Yes, I get out salary versus elite sport. There's a pressure, there's an intensity, there's a they say there's data present in the wrong way can actually affect somebody's livelihood and their career. So there's a real seriousness, which I think we need to if you're listening in and you are a competitive sports person or you you maybe wonder why Christians in sport, we particularly have a focus within the sort of elite world of sport and how we disciple and support and help people, things that are Christian identities, because there are unique pressures that than just normal humans.

And that's that's the other important angle here, isn't it? The normal people, the same insecurities and the same queries. But then there is that public pressure and also the the mass scrutiny as well. I think in my job, I or my cricket club, at least minimal scrutiny beyond the school which goes up on the website. Yeah. At the end of Yeah.

Well there's so much scrutiny isn't there, in your job. Yeah. In that.

Bertie Kennedy: Not in my job, no.

Jonny Reid: In your job. In the profession, in the cricket there isn't that. Yeah.

Bertie Kennedy: Yeah. And, and, and because again you're in that team environment as well, if you've got a string of low scores as a batsman or you haven't taken a wicket in a few innings like people know that people see that you don't need the stats to tell you that either. Like you'll know if you're performing or you're not fit.

We've all been that bad run of form haven't, and you don't need somebody else to come in and go, Oh, you haven't score very many runs. It's not. Yeah, well, well done. Like, tell me something I don't know. And that's often the, that's often the comment like, oh well genius doesn't take unless it's only that but is, is making sure that as an although we are not we are in that professional world of sport and we do deal with big highs and big lows wins and losses these these players they yeah they are they are human.

They are made in the image of God and they they need to be dealt with sensitively when it comes to the where they're good and where they're bad. Yeah. Because everybody, everybody is good in some bits and everybody is bad in some bits. Right. Yeah. Even Don Bradman. But you go out in his final innings for what was it, four or five didn't quite get that average of a hundred.

There will be positive the negatives every single person but making sure that we can highlight the good bits and make sure we can package the bad bits in a way not so that we deceive. Yeah, not so that we can flatter or not, so that we can hide stuff away to build people up with false confidence. We need to be honest with people, but making sure that they're aware of of the good and the bad and making sure that they know that ultimately, as an analyst working in a team like we want them to succeed as much as they want them to succeed, we're not here to try and get them out of a contract.

We're not here to try and do any of that. We want them to ultimately go out and do the best they can be. We're on their team. And the way that that conversation and the way that we deal tell that to the coach without blowing any confidence as we have with them. The way that we tell that to the captain or to the player or the way that we tell the player stuff, that there's often a hierarchy of data around, okay, who, where do you feed it and where does it get disseminated?

And often you go to the coach and he will feed down. Sometimes he hasn't got the the knowledge or the capacity to feed out all the pieces of information that he needs to say. He'll say, you can tell the bowling group that or whatever, but actually making sure that you don't give anybody something that the coach who actually knows them better doesn't want them to see.

Yeah, that's also Yeah.

Jonny Reid: Because the coach knows the whole person again, isn't it. Yeah. If they're a good coach they're treating them as human beings not just as.

Yeah. And as you said rightly, there are so much more to performance than numbers. Yeah. Yeah, there is. The way you are in the dressing room. There is, there are many piece pieces that will get fed in around selection or recruitment.

Jonny Reid: So many factors aren't there to why somebody could be performing. A Not as well. It may not be technique, it could be what's going on in the home life, how to understand what exactly and where do we bring that into play, where Yeah, the people are people that humans that yeah, that whole kind of wrap up. If we have many sort of elite top level athletes who listen to the sports, who listen to this and not to be an apologist for an I think you've done that really well because I think you've kind of helped see what a good analyst would look like.

But what would you kind of want them to understand about about your kind of profession? What would you want them to kind of take away and go, Oh, okay, maybe got this wrong or I don't think that's right. What would be something you'd be saying to them.

Bertie Kennedy: We want you to do Well, as an analyst working for a team, we want every single player to be as good as they can be. We take great joy when we put a plan in place and your brilliant skills execute that plan. That is a massive. We can't do that. Only you can do that as a as a professional sports player and that But that gives us tremendous joy being able to, if we can put you in the right scenarios where we've had a look and gone, you are brilliant at this.

Let's make sure you get the most opportunity to be as brilliant as you can be. That's what we want to do. Yeah, we want every player. If it's 11 in a cricket team, if it's 15 in a rugby team, we want every player to be playing in the way which makes them the best player possible. If we achieve that as analyst, that's that's the take the right and whatever way that happens, whatever it is with, with helping with a psychologist or with helping with the coach or the bowling coach.

But the way that we speak, the way that we make that happen won't just be by making sure that I bowl the legspinner in the seventh over. It won't happen just by that. No, it's a whole team effort. But as an analyst, yeah, we want you to succeed. We really, really do on your team and. And we want the club to work.

Well, now that we've gone into the job now to experience those highs with you and we want you to we don't just want to highlight where you're bad, which is often I think the portrayal of oh, there the other data guys. We want to we want to be truthful. We don't want to flatter, but we want to make sure that you know where you're at and we want to help you get better.

Ultimately, that's that's why we're there.

Jonny Reid: That's great. Well, as in, our aim hasn't been to be an apologetic for analyst in whatever it's for, but hopefully it's been helpful listening as a great understanding of of the role, what goes on. But the importance of data is so important nowadays, isn't it, in a lot of sport, But there's more to it than that. And we want to treat people as people, people as humans, that there's more than just data and that's a challenge.

If you're listening in and you are involved analysis, a challenge of some sort is to do that if you're a player being analyzed, hopefully helpful to kind of see what the motivation behind it is, but also a helpful reminder that as Bert, he said, you're not you're more than your data, you're more than your stats, your mono numbers, your we believe if you're Christian, you well, we may all be were made in the image of God.

You may be real dignity and real purpose and an identity which is given to you and which is rich and which is more than whether you can play a cover drive or not. Because ultimately all of us will not be able to do that in future because we're going to get older and you won't be able to do it because that's fine if you've got a secure identity, then you're you're rooted, you're grounded, which is great.

So thanks for unpacking that, but it's been great having you on. Thanks so much. Thanks very much.

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