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An overview towards the technologies in sport

Technology has affected sports, the use of technology is just one of those areas that have made an impact on many sports in the modern day.

Last updated: 03.07.2022
Sports Technologies | Sports Social Blog

Today’s Technology extends over a lot of different components that we are exposed to daily. Technology has affected sports, the use of technology is just one of those areas that have made an impact on many sports in the modern day. These improvements are more beneficial not just for the fan experience but for the players too.

A significant amount of technology is becoming portable and wireless and data is now often being made available in real time for coaches, trainers, and sports scientists. This has supported the transition of technology from laboratory settings to practice fields, courts, and in some cases in official sports competitions.

The use of technology in contact sports has grown a lot within performance enhancement, injury prevention, injury recovery and athletes’ health maintenance. The use of advanced high speed and high definition cameras, along with the development of biomechanical software has allowed teams to have an in-depth view of athletes’ movements. This detailed view may assist coaches to better understand a hockey athlete’s kinetic link (chain of muscular, joints and body events) during a slap-shot, or a rugby player’s penalty kick, or a soccer player’s corner kick; this information is then used to improve speed, accuracy, but also to analyse possible indicators, like the imbalance of movement which may cause injury.

In the image: Neurophysiology: the physiology of the nervous system.

Another field of sports science and technology that has evolved significantly is neurophysiology and biofeedback. With technological advances, things that were only possible to be measured in the laboratory, like muscle activation, respiratory rhythms, and neurological activity are now available during practice and games, not only as a measure and assessment tool but also as data that can be sent back to the athletes in real time. Devices like the flex comp Infiniti from Thought Technology and the Nexus-10 from MindMedia are portable and allow data transferring to be made wirelessly through Bluetooth, which could potentially train athletes to have faster reaction times, quicker decision making, more focus and much other performance-enhancing possibilities. It is now possible to measure how focused, how ready to react, and how warmed up a football player is in the line of scrimmage, or a soccer goalkeeper during a penalty kick, or a hockey player during a face-off, or a rugby player during a scrum; sport scientists and trainers are able to use this data and train their athletes to be at their peak level of performance for each circumstance. Moreover, the analysis during game-play or during practice may provide data on an athlete’s ideal ranges of motion, data on the balance between flexor and extensor muscle groups activation.

Another technological advance is the Hawk-Eye, from Hawk-Eye Innovations. It is a precise ball speed and trajectory tracker that uses cameras and advanced software - The International Tennis Federation already approved the software for tournament play in 2005. It was launched in 2012 as a soccer simulator training system that tracks the ball’s trajectory, spin and speed.

More technology has been made available for on and off the field performance enhancement, and for athletes’ health maintenance; some professional teams have followed this phenomenon and have increased investments in sports sciences. While some teams have done so in a more public way, like AC Milan from Italy, with the Milan Lab, and Real Madrid FC from Spain, with the Real Madrid TEC-Sanitas center, other teams have made investments in a more discrete and even secret fashion.

Computer Software--

There are numerous software packages that are designed for fitness and nutrition professionals to organize data and produce reports. Here are a couple of packages that come recommended by Top end Sports.

Team Beep Test - the most versatile and useful software for conducting and recording results of the bleep/beep test, with results recorded directly onto your computer.

Body Byte -A universal standalone computer software program specially developed to comprehensively organize and manage all the information associated with nutrition, training, and fitness.

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