Once upon a time, success as an athlete was based only on a little luck, hard work, and talent. In the past few decades, however, advancements in technology have brought developments in sports science and similar fields and vast developments in sports science technology have changed the way of the sporting world. But what are sports science technologies exactly?
Sports science technological advances
The principle of sports science technologies is that they are a means by which to improve the interests or goals of a particular sport. Athletes are able to improve their training and skill in order to enhance their performance thanks to these technologies, which involve the knowledge and application of highly specialized equipment ranging from special sports gear like clothing and footwear to tennis rackets and golf clubs and to advanced computer simulations. Tools like Organic Motion’s OpenStage motion capture system are paving the way for a revolution in performance analysis for athletes.
Recently, developments in sports science technology have produced a wide variety of products geared to improving athletic performance, maintaining and observing health, and in the treatment and prevention of injuries. Athletes now have access to things like highly advanced heart rate monitors, body-fat monitors, and specialized helmets. Coaches and judges also have access to more impressive gear such as in-stadium displays, scoreboards, and enhanced broadcasting systems.
Improving performance and training
The use of sports science technology to improve performance and enhance training for new professional athletes has quickly become commonplace within the industry. There are a number of ways that these goals can be achieved. At the most fundamental level, the proper sports gear like clothing and footwear should offer properties such as flexibility, strength, durability, and resistance to moisture while simultaneously being easy to use and cost-efficient. Though footwear is more frequently considered for comfort and injury prevention, clothing can be performance enhancing. For example, specialized full body swimsuits can reduce drag on the swimmer’s body while moving through the water.
Equipment has also been improved thanks to technological advances. In tennis, the newest composite tennis rackets not only enhance ball speed, but also reduce the vibration upon impact that often leads to the painful ailment tennis elbow. Bicyclists now have access to better helmets, specialized wheels, pneumatic tires, more efficient pedals, and better brakes.
Athletic performance is often improved through practice and dedication, but these days that training can be enhanced thanks to technology. So-called smart equipment now uses computers and sensors to evaluate human performance. Technology has improved the accuracy of stress testing, cardiovascular assessment, reaction time, and simulated training programs. Motion capture analysis helps coaches analyze athletic performance by allowing instant replay and slow-motion viewing.
Where sports science technology is headed
Sports science technology has certainly come a long way over the years, and its development shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. Sports sciences will continue to evolve as scientists gain a better understanding of ergonomics and the body’s reaction to a number of physical stresses. The benefits of such technology for elite and professional athletes has already been made clear, but such technological advances also have the potential to benefit a wider community. Parents will be able to influence their children more positively, coaches will be able to better advise their players, and there are new opportunities for those who traditionally would have been left out of sports completely: disabled individuals.