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MDX students will help collect and analyse data at Wimbledon as part of prestigious LTA placement

Two MDX students are undertaking studentships with the Lawn Tennis Association as it aspires to be at the forefront of player development by creating a pathway for British champions

Middlesex Master’s students Joshua Monoghan-Coombs and Ellis Burden are working at Wimbledon on the LTA'a Performance Analysis function which delivers targeted and impactful video and statistical intelligence to underpin evidence-based coaching and enable more effective decision making.

During the seven-month placement the MSc Sport Performance Analysis students will support top male and female British tennis players while also undertaking bespoke analytics projects supporting the teams behind the scenes.

This includes helping to collect and analyse data for the French open, the U18 and U14 Nationals, The British Seniors at Bournemouth, The Nottingham Open and Indian Wells. They will also be working at Wimbledon, the world’s oldest tennis tournament which has been held at the All England Club in Wimbledon, London, since 1877.

"I really love sport and have always wanted to work in it but I have never had the guts to before applying for the Masters at Middlesex. I am so glad I did because I have absolutely loved it"- Ellis, MSc Sport Performance Analysis student

Josh, 24, said: “I have been helping with data collection, providing tournament support and turning it round to the players and the coaches by feeding insight around what the data says about the match.

“The LTA has millions of pieces of data which they put in to match reports, it goes in to a software which is accessible to people in the performance team and the player and the coach who can see point by point what has happened in a match. Alongside the video for each point they can see the data that accompanies it.”

The performance analysis team match reports include the breakdown of first and second serve, what sort of situations players are in whether their shots are attacking or neutral.

Players are also given analysis of their next opponents.

Josh said: “Players can look at the positives of their performance and the areas they need to improve.

“I am really glad I went for the studentship, it is an amazing opportunity with amazing facilities. I have felt very welcome within the performance department. It is extremely well structured and I have felt very supported right from the start. I have really felt like part of the team.”

Josh, who previously studied Sport Performance at the University of Bath, said he chose MDX due to the excellent placement options available.

“I wanted to do a Masters where I was going to come out with both the education and the first-hand experience too,” he said.

“Within the course they teach lots of software which you are very likely to use throughout your career. For most of my undergraduate course it was essays whereas the assignments for this course are really varied I have really enjoyed everything about it.”

Ellis (pictured right) is new to Performance Analysis in sport, having studied Computer Science at undergraduate level.

He said: “It has been really good, I have learnt such a lot and was so happy to get the place.

“When I looked at the specification of the studentship and the knowledge I would gain from it, I knew that it would be absolutely brilliant for me.

“I have worked more of the women’s side with the LTA, so gathering the data, reporting the data and then publishing it on the website or sending it off to coaches directly.

“I would love to get a full time role in Performance Analysis in sport. I really love sport and have always wanted to work in it but I have never had the guts to before applying for the Masters at Middlesex. I am so glad I did because I have absolutely loved it.”

Chris White, Performance Intelligence and Analysis Lead at the LTA, has worked with MDX Senior Lecturer in Sports Performance Analysis Dr Nimai Parmar to create the opportunity.

Chris said: "The day job for us is all about trying to support our players and coaches as effectively as we can, however alongside that we are equally passionate about the development of people and performance analysis.

"These placements, in dovetail with excellent Middlesex MSc, have been a fantastic opportunity for us to engage the next generation of analysts, providing them with an immersive experience to contribute,  learn, deliver and guide their development as analysts."

Nimai said: “We are glad to partner with the LTA to offer these studentships, this is an excellent showcase of our students working in an elite environment, which they wouldn’t normally have access to.

“The LTA has shown a great commitment to developing the students’ experiences by funding these studentships and giving them opportunities to develop as a performance analyst within their leading analysis department. They will have a  fantastic experience supporting top British tennis players whilst developing sought after analysis skills that will make them highly employable upon graduation.”

Three more MSc Sports Performance Analysis studentships will be offered by the LTA and Middlesex University, to start in September and run for the full academic year, with students receiving a full tuition fee bursary.

The exciting immersive learning opportunity will provide the successful students with an opportunity to develop their technical and non-technical skills in an applied setting, under the guidance of the LTA’s leading analysis team.

Data collected will be able to be used for research project and dissertation purposes, with an aim of producing research which has real applied value and impact to the sport.

The studentships will support the Men’s programme, Women’s programme and Doubles programme. This will include analysis for All 4 Grand Slams - Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and US Open, All ATP and WTA 1000 events and finally, UK based Grass-court events.

For more information on these studentships, go to: bit.ly/3N1U2u1. Applications are due by Friday 15th July.

To find out more about sports course at MDX click here.

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