By Sana Gilani
Throughout time, technology has gradually advanced each and every day, finding ways to make life easier for people. Impacting everything around the world in significant ways. So, what does that mean for professional sports? Many sports leagues are taking advantage of the opportunities technology has to offer for athletes. Sports leagues are hoping to boost the performance of their athletes to help them reach their maximum potential. One way to accomplish this goal is to exploit the advantages and advancements that technology offers.
Professional sports have improved athletic performance and ability through gadgets that collect and analyze data during a workout or match. For example, Hexoskin has developed a smart shirt that measures one’s heart rate, vo2 max, activity level, and more. This shirt uses sensors located around the body to track movement and speed in order to give feedback to the athlete. With this feedback given, athletes can break down their strengths and weaknesses in order to improve their play.
One gadget that has been remarkably useful for soccer players is the DribbleUp Smart Ball. This soccer ball connects to the user’s mobile phone and includes interactive shooting drills with ball control and sensors. This ball tracks speed and strength to show the athlete if they are gradually improving drill after drill. By using this smart ball, users become more dependent on the technology it offers, causing a decrease in the use of a normal soccer ball.
Technology in sports has many perks. However, there are always a few disadvantages that come as well. As technology becomes incorporated into the tools professional athletes use while practicing and performing, the expectation of how well one can perform at a sport changes as well. While these athletes show an improvement in their skill set and ability, the standard for an above average athlete to go pro becomes higher. This causes a toll on players that have been working hard to reach their goals of going pro, but are not fortunate enough to gain access to the advanced tools professional athletes use now. As expectations of them as a player increase, they are required to find a way to maximize their performance without technology. This can cause a possibility to overwork oneself and ruin one’s chances of going pro. With that being said, we must be mindful of the differences in opportunities professional athletes have from others who put in an effort to get to where these pros are today.
Technology is growing every single day and impacting sports heavily. It is being assimilated into the athletic environment, as well as the fan base environment. Fan engagement technology during games will become a vital element to increase fan experience. Leagues are looking to make the processes that come with performing, as well as entertaining, less time consuming, more interactive, increasingly engaging, and more fun. This gives people the ability to take in the all the benefits sports has to offer whether it is for the athlete base or the fan base. Simultaneously, it is extremely important to remember to always preserve what sports brings to people’s lives: the feel of escape from everyday life, sense of being a part of a team (either athlete or fan perspective) and overall happiness.
Sports, Health, and Fitness Technology is here to stay and advancing rapidly. What is developed for the professional athlete eventually will come down to the amateur athlete or the weekend warrior. You can see gadgets like heart rate monitors, FitBits, GPS tracking apps, and many more being used by the public. Embrace technology, don’t fear it. Utilize it to make a better team or you.