In sports, even the smallest advantage can make a difference between a win or a loss. Many coaches understand this idea. They need solutions to push athletes to even just 1% better than their competitors. This race to excellence has prompted sporting teams to leverage various innovations, marrying sports and technology to succeed in their chosen areas.
Bretford does a deep dive into these technologies, so you can also benefit from them. Keep reading to learn more!
The term “smart” refers to technology that can analyze data, monitor users’ environments, and perform other types of complex tasks. Smartphones are usually the first thing that comes to mind for this term, but there are other new “smart” devices used in modern sports.
A few examples of smart training equipment are basketballs with embedded sensors and soccer balls that provide real-time feedback on their location, trajectory, and other types of information. These technologies include gyroscopes, accelerometers, and other integrations that provide real-time, accurate data.
Through these smart sports balls, athletes and coaches can get feedback that shows a player’s performance, precision, and power. The devices can be used to track progress and detect the weaknesses of each individual player, allowing coaches to foster continuous improvement. The data can even be added to other types of software, such as ones that create customized training programs for athletes. With the information, the software can easily design personalized training plans for an athlete.
In most types of sports, athletes are moving too fast for any real analysis of their movements. Coaches without much experience can find it harder to monitor players’ motions, making it more difficult to spot errors and improve their plays.
Motion analysis technology helps address this issue. Paired with the study of biomechanics, motion analysis tech helps coaches and athletes understand the intricacies of the latter’s movements. High-speed cameras and 3D motion capture systems — such as the ones used in animation and CGI — are a few examples of these innovations.
With motion analysis, coaches can break down the movement of an athlete, down to the smallest details. For example, a runner would be able to see their gait cycle or determine if their symmetry is ideal. Golf players can also use biomechanics to analyze their swings. The granular details help athletes correct their form, which then reduces the chances of injury while optimizing their performance.
Artificial intelligence (AI) can be leveraged in sports as well. In particular, AI can be used for data analysis and generating actionable insights. The above examples we shared are mostly used for gathering information. The next steps are analyzing the data and understanding what it means — two tasks that may be too overwhelming for coaches.
AI can handle data analysis faster than any human can, helping coaches sift through all the information and get the full story. With this data, AI can generate training plans, predict possibilities of injury, and even create protocols for recovery.
As of now, the use of AI in sports is still in its early stages. For coaches and teams, we recommend using the innovation only as a tool and not as an all-around problem solver. Human perception and input are still necessary to spot any errors and ensure that athletes won’t be pushed past their limits.
VR and AR leverage sport media technology to create simulated realities for athletes and coaches. These technologies are no longer limited to entertainment and virtual gaming. With AR and VR, athletes can simulate real game scenarios and play without actually being in the field.
One advantage of virtual reality is that it can put athletes into high-pressure yet controlled environments. Coaches can acutely monitor how a player reacts to certain scenarios, allowing the former to evaluate the athlete’s mental and physical conditions. In a way, the simulated realities create a safe environment. Through VR, athletes can boost their mental resilience without being subjected to actual dangerous scenarios.
These small details can make a huge difference once the team is in a real-life sticky situation. The team would know how to react and gain confidence in their decisions knowing how things will most likely turn out.
Gone are the days when coaches had to use clipboards to detail strategies and plays during practice. Today, teams can take advantage of tablets, monitors, and other technologies with huge screens to show the plans in full detail.
One disadvantage of monitors is that they can be bulky to move. They also require power outlets, which aren’t usually present in the field. Thankfully, display carts can take care of these issues.
Bretford has products like the Cordless Explorer Display Cart. This innovation and similar items help coaches bring monitors to the field. Best of all, they won’t need cords since the cart has a built-in power source. This feature is more convenient, and it adds another level of safety by removing tripping hazards.
The pursuit of sporting excellence is relentless, and even the smallest margins can make all the difference. Coaches and teams now have access to an array of technologies to close the gap and come out on top. Now, it cannot be denied that sport and technology are forever intertwined. Make sure that your team doesn’t get left behind in this new era by investing in items like smart equipment, monitors, and display carts. Contact us to learn more about Bretford’s solutions.