The presence of technology in sports has been around for a number of years. It continues to grow and evolve, contributing to a better experience for all participants. Technological advancements may be geared toward officials, coaches, fans, or athletes themselves. It is changing the way they prepare for battle, recover from injury, ensure accuracy, and how they improve upon the viewing experience/engagement.
To narrow our focus, I will dive deeper into the benefits of technology, specifically to coaches and athletes.
From my experience, you can guarantee a coach to say one of the following, close to a million times in a career.
“It is what it is.”
“Stats don’t lie.”
“Preparation is key to winning.”
“Understanding your opponent is critical to our success.”
So much of a coach’s job falls into preparing their team for competition.
Data Analytics give coaches the ability to know their teams, AND their opponents intimately. What are our tendencies? What are our opponent’s tendencies? Weaknesses? Strengths? All of these things can be monitored, recorded, and reviewed using data analytics. Once a coach knows what he/she is working with, they can allocate time and preparation appropriately.
Video Technology is extremely important to a coach’s ability to do their job successfully. At a certain level, the ability to capture and dissect a player’s form, decision-making, and over-all performance can make all the difference in winning and losing. “Why are they getting uncontested shots off from the elbow every possession?”
From reviewing video, maybe you learn that your post player is late to recover from help-side defense. These questions rely heavily on video technology for answers. “Why is Bob missing left every time?” Maybe you learn that his right foot is too far in front of his left, therefore causing disruption in the way he is squared to the basket. Video technology provides the “why” behind so many of a coach’s questions.
One could argue the most important person in sports is the athlete. After all, they are the ones putting on the performance. How technology integrates with athletes is limitless. From optimizing preparation & recovery, to avoiding injury, to rehabilitating & navigating injury and more.
A player’s health and well-being are crucial pieces to a long-lasting career. Having information at one’s fingertips allows athletes to achieve optimal conditioning. It also helps to develop a better and deeper understanding of how to maximize their performance and strengths.
Wearable technology has been around for a few decades, but limitations are continually pushed. While growth and innovation lead the industry toward new trends and ways in which athletes can track themselves. An example of wearable technology is a device to track steps and measure fitness. Of course, athletes often have the ability to use wearable technology in much higher-level applications.
Certain wearable technology provides information specific to muscular stress. This allows trainers to precisely measure an athlete’s performance. Training staff for teams in the MLS often use wearables. They monitor muscular output during training sessions while athletes are recovering from injury. This allows trainers to identify problems in workouts and correct them quickly. This translates to pushing hard, but not too hard. This is the KEY to recovering quickly and safely from injury.
Athletes of all realms are turning to virtual reality solutions to improve their mental game. This is arguably just as, if not more, important than the physical. For example, several NFL and college football teams use virtual reality tools to provide additional training for players outside of scheduled, on-field sessions.
Most positions at the collegiate and professional levels depend on split-second, accurate, decision-making skills. These skills are honed through thousands of repetitions in practice. Virtual Reality brings the playing field indoors. It multiples the repetitive input that cultivates the ability to make these split-second decisions.
What benefits will technology bring sports in the future? The playbook is wide open.
Want to know how Zunesis’ team can help your team get to the next level? Contact us today.