Technology has advanced so much recently that we feel the impacts of it in many aspects of our lives. From smart homes to self-driving cars, solar power, mobile phones and even how we interact with each other; technology impacts our lives in ways we would never have thought possible.
So, it comes as no surprise to learn that technology can be used to enhance the performance of athletes. Position tracking, data analytics, sleep monitoring, health and nutrition – these are four ways that technology is making positive impacts on the lives of athletes.
Using wearable GPS technology, researchers and coaches can track the movements of a specific player, collecting data on their performance. For example, an athlete’s heart rate, hydration, respiratory performance distance run and running speed can all be monitored and recorded. Often used in football, hockey and soccer, this data can be used to determine a player’s fitness level and contribute to the prevention of injuries.
Polytan has been at the forefront of this technology, installing the first SmarTrack system at a new hockey facility at Massey University in NZ. The system, which was originally developed to be used at the Tokyo Olympics, includes tracking devices that are worn by players and are integrated with an in-ground SmarTrack system, recording each player’s performance diagnostics via their wearable trackers. These diagnostics can then be viewed on a laptop, helping athletes to hone their skills and improve their performance in real time.
Whilst position tracking is completed for individual players, it can be used to enhance the performance of the whole team. With access to video technology, 3D modelling and virtual reality, as well as each player’s performance data, coaches can develop training programs that improve a team’s overall performance on the field.
Technology is not just limited to use on the field, it can also be used to optimise other areas of a player’s life, which in turn, impacts their sporting performance. Sleep is a good example, because the quality of an athlete’s sleep can play a significant role in their sporting performance. It’s not just the amount of sleep that can be determined, but also when they sleep and the quality of their sleep. This information can help athletes and coaches make suitable changes to enhance their sleep patterns and therefore, their performance on the field or track.
Health and nutrition
There is an extensive amount of research into using technology to enhance athletic performance via nutrition. For example, research has shown that ketones break down slowly to provide a sustained energy release to athletes over several hours. Researchers at the University of Oxford have used technology to produce an energy supplement drink that provides athletes with an alternative source of energy, increasing their metabolic efficiency, ultimately enhancing their performance and well-being.
Technology will continue to change the way we live, and with that comes more innovative and ground-breaking ways Polytan, in conjunction with APT and parent company Sport Group, can transform athlete perform.
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