Sports go beyond 15,300 years. Sprinting and wrestling were depicted in the caves of Lascaux in France. Sports have been around for centuries, instilling a sportive and competitive spirit to take on everything that hit the realities of life — failure and success. Drills and other training methods help build discipline, maintain health and physical fitness. The most important piece being building team spirit.
From Olympics to FIFA World Cups, billions of people are engaged in these events. For fans, it is more than just games. It is emotion, passion, adrenaline rush and life! Always ready to do whatever it takes to show support to their team(s)! Fans travel across the globe to attend sporting events. Some even dedicate their entire life to support their favorite teams.
Football (Soccer), Basketball, Cricket, Tennis, Formula 1 and Golf are few of the most popular sports in the world, with billions of followers. Popularity here is interpreted by the global fanbase, viewership on TV, sponsorship deals, the number of professional leagues, average athlete salary, gender equality and relevance throughout the year. All the athletes and teams undergo rigorous drills and training to improve their skills. These drills range from muscle and strength training at the gym to simulated sessions to help them improve their performance. With VR’s reentry and upgrades to wearable technology, the sports industry has taken a giant leap for player training and improving the fan experience.
Players and coaches have been using game footages to assess their performance and opponents for a very long time. Though the films were limited to certain camera angles, it provided high definition videos to assess every action and movement on the field. With wearables like FirstV1sion, players and team can view a first-hand player perspective of the matches real time. When the footage is repeatedly analyzed, players can analyze their missed opportunities and judgement of specific scenarios. It also helps to understand the opposition better. If viewed in a VR headset, get ready to be dizzy!
Wearables like Apple Watch and Fitbit’s products have been a significant support for athletes to analyze individual performances. They are designed to analyze the distance covered, speed, heart rate, calories burned, steps, tracks the laps in swimming, and they can track sleep cycles too! All these data will add checkpoints for them to work on their fitness regime.
In VR, STRIVR Labs have made a name for themselves. They record VR videos from the field when players are training and during practice sessions, shot at eye level. This helps the players to review realistic training sessions through VR headsets to visualize and enable themselves to prepare competitively. This reduces excessive training on the field reducing chances of being injured and exposed to summer heat. Teams and players can increase their practice time without outdoor activities.
With these activities, a goalkeeper can judge which corner a player might target better, a point guard can dribble better between wings and identify opportunities faster, a batsman can judge the swing of the ball with the angle at which the bowler is bowling, an F1 driver can overtake better at tight corners, a tennis player can judge a topspin and play accordingly. Without a doubt, these experiences are going to boost the performance in every sports.
VR doesn’t stop with teams and players. They are a game changer for fans too! Experiencing matches in 360-degree videos are just like a stadium experience! Without traveling around the globe to see their team playing, a stadium experience inside your house is what I would call luxury for sports enthusiasts. In most cases, all it takes is a VR headset and an App. Big leagues like NBA, NFL have had the 360-degree live broadcast of matches. Fans are at the receiving end of the best experience from VR in sports events. We’ll soon get to see player stats and match stats while watching the match on VR.
VR and Wearables have already started changing the sports industry. With all the data available a player can think better and make better decisions. This is what makes them be the best in the world from being an average athlete.
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