Strategies for Maintaining the Coach–Analyst Relationship Within Professional Football Utilizing the COMPASS Model: The Performance Analyst’s Perspective

Bateman, M., Jones, G.

This study delved into the relationships between elite professional football analysts and their respective coaches, filling a gap in research that often focuses solely on the coach-athlete relationship. Using the COMPASS Framework, which encompasses Conflict, Openness, Motivation, Preventative Strategies, Assurance, Support, and Social Networks, semi-structured interviews were conducted with six analysts.

Results demonstrated the applicability of the COMPASS Model to this particular dyad, with content analysis revealing 16 higher-order themes and 29 lower-order themes across the model. The study found that all aspects of the model contributed to maintaining a positive relationship. Notably, having an open and honest relationship, where analysts felt comfortable providing their opinions, was considered the most crucial attribute. Additionally, understanding and supporting the coach’s needs for successful coaching practice was highly rated.

However, when analysts failed to meet the coach’s expectations, conflicts arose, indicating a relationship dynamic largely dictated by the coach. The study underscores the importance of setting clear expectations and hierarchies within the coaching and support team to minimize internal conflicts that could impact the quality of service provided to athletes. Overall, these findings highlight the need for effective communication and mutual understanding between coaches and support staff to optimize performance outcomes.

View this research