Many of us are now using tech to train. Apps are able to read body stats and monitor progress and watches and shoes are now give readings using smart technology. However, modern athletes have taken all this technology one step further in order to improve performance and develop almost robot-like precision. Here are just some of the inspirational technologies currently dominating the sports world.
Whilst some apps claim to measure performance through such factors as motion and temperature, modern athletes are now using full body electromyography technology to measure each and every individual muscle in an attempt to improve performance. This can be achieved by placing sensors on bare skin or by embedding clothing such as jerseys with sensors. Using this technology, trainers and coaches are able to read an athlete’s performance metrics and not only improve technique but also prevent injuries by studying when an athlete may be straining a certain muscle or treading more heavily on one leg. There’s nothing worse than getting injured before a big competition, and such technology could now be preventing it.
Companies such as tDCS have been developing special brain monitoring and stimulation devices that can not only read the amount of oxygen circulating around someone’s brain but electronically ‘massage’ it to help reduce stress. Such brain stimulation technology has already seen use in the 2016 Rio Olympics and is now reaching a wider market. It’s certainly less natural than herbal substitutes, but sports events worldwide have all deemed it legal – making a gadget worth investing in!
One next-gen training method used by professional basketball player Stephen Curry is strobe glasses. These military-grade goggles create a strobing effect that produces blanks in the visual space, requiring him to react based on partial information. By having to play practically visually-impaired, Curry is then cognitively and physically prepared for anything when it comes to playing without the goggles – a trick would explain his phenomenal shooting record, averaging more than 30 points a game. This is an unusual instance of using technology to impair oneself during training – much the same way that some runner may train with weights attached to their ankles so that when they compete they feel much lighter and are able to push themselves even further.
Virtual reality has already transformed training exercises for aircraft pilots, the military and surgeons, allowing them to realistically practice tasks that might otherwise be dangerous in real-life – getting them as close to the actual event without actually doing it. This has seen a growing implication in the sports world, with pieces of tech such as StriVR being adopted by American Football players in order to create realistic 360 training videos. This allows players to get into the zone of the game – crowd and all – before actually walking into the arena so that they can mentally prepare themselves more. It can also enable players to practice certain complex scenarios that might be hard to imitate in real life, but may well happen by chance during a real game.