In recent years we have witnessed a genuine upgrade of sports in general due to the increased technologization of the industry. Experts have become more reliable on data offered by advanced software and devices. This helps not only to monitor and record but also to analyze and increase game performance. Sports psychology has also welcomed technology for diagnosis and training, and as a means to develop the cognitive abilities of athletes.
Scouting platforms offer complex data about specific players and the game in general, which allows for a better insight into how players react under certain conditions. Virtual reality helps users train in near live-game conditions. Finally, technologies focused on visual and auditory stimuli help shed light on human performance while also helping to improve it.
Scouting platforms offer a complex set of information that helps specialists better understand how athletes react to specific conditions. These often incorporate access to a statistical web portal.
The live video stream runs through an AI-powered analysis tool, which offers live interpretations and links raw data to specific graphs. Sports psychologists or trainers can rely on data about a player’s stats, game metrics, and even the interaction between different players. What is more, everything can be recorded for further analysis.
For example, the AJNA scouting tool provides a camera setup and software that offers a high-resolution panoramic view of the field. Also, it allows the user to select specific players and access their stats. Here is a short list with some of the information it makes available:
- Ball tracking
- Ball speed
- Athlete movement
- Player density on the field
Training in real sport situations proves to be a difficult task in sports. However, virtual reality can be a way around that problem. The parameters set through the system bring the athlete closer to real conditions. As technology continues to evolve, so does virtual reality become increasingly realistic. This means that users are more likely to react to these stimuli like they would in real life.
Trainers have somewhat of a world-building capabilities in VR, they can set particular situations to test athletes’ physical and mental responses in different conditions. One does normally not enjoy this level of control over the environment in real life.
What is more, the VR experience must not be a solitary one. Players can interact with each other in certain settings. Therefore, this type of training goes beyond personal development and can help strengthen teamwork.
Eye-tracking has become a commonly used technique in sports psychology. It relies on the athlete looking at 2D or even 3D images or sets of data. Their response and eye movement are tracked by a system and recorded. Specialists can then map out a pattern for their gaze.
This exercise can be achieved either in laboratory conditions through specific equipment or in the real world, usually through the help of a head-and-eye camera. This can be attached to the athlete. For those who wear helmets, that is a good spot to place it.
Vision is the predominant sense for most people. This is crucial in sports as well, and various training techniques heavily rely on it. However, visuals should not be the only focus of training, or it will most certainly lead to a deficit in performance.
In sports, sound also plays an important role, especially since specific auditory stimuli connect to specific movements. Thus, sound acts as a feedback mechanism, signaling when an action was successful or when it has failed. Elite sports have ventured into the realm of sonification. Experts rely on acoustic information to help monitor movement and realign strategies based on observations.
The sound was also successfully used in the study and observation of tactical training. For example, sonification of group behavior was applied to tactical training cycles in handball. The sound was used to indicate correct and deviating group actions during a play. Not only did it signal which of the players have deviated, but it could also estimate the extent of the digression.
A Leap Into The Future
Advances in the realm of technology led to significant progress in all sectors of activity. Athlete performance has leaped into the future on account of the merger of sports with high-end software and devices. What is more, sports psychology has shed more light on how the human body and mind operate and how to increase their performance.