Managing performance in elite professional football
The commercial activity of any elite football organisation is related to the successful performance of the team in their competitive fixtures. The desire to win has created support systems in elite football organisations that specialise in sports medicine and science. The role of these individuals is to plan and implement strategies that both maximise performance and reduce the burden of injury on the team. These performance teams are frequently managed by a performance director. This position broadly focuses on the management of the high-performance support group, bringing both leadership and co-ordinated direction to the different components of a multi-disciplinary team and facilitating communication of significant performance issues to the organisations hierarchy (executives, coaches, and players). This chapter aims to provide a critical insight into both the role of the performance director in elite football as well as a discussion of the role that sports science and medicine can play in supporting performance.