Sports tech advancing training & increasing safety:
In an age where young children are being introduced to technology earlier than ever before, some parents are concerned about their kids being overly reliant on a digital world. Smartphones and social media have dramatically altered how youth communicate with one another and the prevalence of streaming video and video games have further increased the amount of screen time most youth get compared to older generations.
Thankfully, sports are still as popular as ever before and have also become more accessible to others due to the natural inclusiveness. And while many parents may deride technology for how it affects children, what many don't realize is that some tech innovations truly promote healthy physical habits. The truth is that the sports industry as a whole has benefited greatly from many tech innovations. The innovations being made and used in youth sports are making sports safer and often more efficient.
The following are four of the most interesting sports tech advancements that could affect youth sports and training:
1) Wearable Technology
Wearable tech, such as FitBit bracelets, help analyze physical movement and provide instant feedback on performance. Whether it’s walking, riding a bike, or heart rate check-ins, wearable tech is growing fast in popularity for the general public. For athletes, the applications of wearable tech are even more important since these can help improve reaction times or help migrate activity data into software that will help further evaluate results.
2) Concussion Detecting Helmets
With the topic of concussions getting more attention than ever before, parents have justifiably expressed their concern. In response to this, high-tech helmets have been developed to include electronic sensors that monitor impact. The sensors are placed inside the helmet or the mouth guard, and wirelessly transmit the data into another device that analyses it to predict chances of a concussion. These types of sports tech advancements will make it easier for coaches and trainers to track and treat medical issues.
3) "Smart" Balls
Another exciting innovation to come about in sports is within the balls used for play. In what have been called "smart" balls, balls used during practice in sports such as soccer and basketball, are connected to the internet to digitally track indicators such as spin, speed, force and trajectory. Being able to track this can be invaluable to young athletes that are dedicated to improving their performance. The ability to analyze skills can help a young athlete understand the areas they need greater help in and will allow you to focus your training strategies.
4) Advanced Fabrics
A few years ago, Michael Phelps got a bit of controversy for wearing Speedo's LZR Racer swimsuit. At the time the concept of advanced fabrics was new but after it became clear that the new swimsuit fabric was giving him an unfair advantage due to reduced skin drag against the water, they banned the suits entirely. Of course Phelps isn't the kind of athlete that needs that advantage, but that was nearly decade ago. Today, technologically advanced fabrics are becoming more commonplace and more affordable for athletes of all ages and expertise.
The pace of these advancements will continue to increase as professional sports leagues, such as the NBA and NFL, further embrace technology on the court and field. Much of the advancement in professional sports has been focused on creating a better viewing experience for home audiences, such as drone cameras and virtual reality, but in the locker rooms most teams are already embracing performance enhancing tech for personal skill advancement, as well as safety. There is little reason to think youth sports won't follow their lead.
If you would like to learn more about how technology is changing youth sports, please visit our blog daily and don't hesitate to contact us today to request a free demonstration of our own sports management software innovations.