What is it about sports that compels us? The athleticism, teamwork, or the competitive challenge? Regardless as a community, we are always trying to do better when it comes to competitive sports, no matter what the particular game or play.
Virtual reality or VR training is revolutionary in its approach to being able to offer athletes a truly new tool in enhancing their gameplay. Let’s take a look at some different sporting venues to see how virtual reality is making an impact today and also looking towards the future of immersive technology in sports.
Football was one of the first sports where virtual reality training became a viable tool for coaches in the training of their football players. The NFL embrace virtual reality training and some of the early adopters included the New England Patriots, the San Francisco 49ers, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the New York Jets, and the Minnesota Vikings. Top tier collegian teams also embrace the technology and included the University of Arkansas, Rice, Stanford, Auburn, Vanderbilt, and Dartmouth.
From the standpoint of 360immersive, our first project was actually based on football. One of our long-term clients with Boise State football and in early 2015 we started the project utilizing virtual reality to become a tool for the recruiting coaches to go out on the road and promote joining the team to potential recruits. If you think about the advantages that virtual reality offers a coach talking to a recruit and the families of the recruits, it is significant. So the traditional way when a coach goes out to discuss joining the team and is sitting across the table from a 16 or 17-year-old and his family, they show pictures, they show videos, and they talk about the team and they talk about academics when it comes to looking at going to school at Boise State. Let me take you into a scenario that uses virtual reality suddenly that 16 or 17-year-old can actually be out on the field, can be in the locker room and part of the team can experience the thrill of having the whole stadium standing up and cheering for them out on the blue turf. It is an experience that they will remember because they could actually feel like they were part of the team and yet there in the comfort of their own living room. This type of promotion is hugely motivating especially to young adult and their family trying to determine which school they should go to and which team they should join. The use of virtual reality will undoubtedly change the face of how recruiting coaches will go out and talk to potential recruits.
During our experience in creating virtual reality content for the recruiting coaches, we worked with some of the quarterbacks and players on the idea of creating training and in this case especially for quarterbacks that would enhance the muscle memory and play interaction off the field for a better result on the field, and especially during a game. We had a tremendous result from this initial look at VR sports training, so much so that we started to look in other areas of training that eventually have taken us to the point that we are now and that is a complete focus on workplace and safety training using virtual reality.
Coming back to VR for sports training, when we were working with the Boise State players it became so evident that the technology could enhance a player's capability. If you think about it a player can only be out on the field for so many hours a week based on NCAA rules. VR sports training allows them to practice over and over again in the training room, their dorm room, or even the hotel prior to an away game the plays that will make the difference out on the field. VR sports training is not a replacement for any type of traditional training, it is an enhancement to make traditional training more meaningful, and more efficient in a team environment. The Boise State quarterbacks would actually mimic the plays when they had a set of VR goggles on in such a way that you could see that they were actually in the play on the field interacting with the other players even though they were in the middle of the training room, in this case, it was extremely poignant and a real indicator to the value of the technology for training when it comes to sports and athletics.
Another aspect is that teams that implement and utilize VR sports training are viewed as very forward-facing, the players look to these teams as making that extra effort to create a great training environment which will ultimately further their goals as a recruit an ultimate player for the team… And beyond.
Virtual reality for sports training still seems very much like science fiction to many young adults and they are exactly the type of age group and demographic to really embrace the technology and utilize it to its fullest extent. Let’s face it, student-athletes work hard to build up muscle memory which enhances their athletic prowess on the playing field. VR sports training can enhance that process by providing a tool that they can feel like they were in the play, out on the field, interacting with the other players and it can be replicated over and over again with a positive effect on the player outcome.
Virtual reality is not a replacement for getting out on the field, it enhances the live-action play and practice that a group of student-athletes go through to form a cohesive team in a competitive game. Head movements can be tracked in virtual reality and coaches can watch a quarterback for instance in a VR headset and alive monitor to see where that particular player is looking during a plate and how they react to the other players. For example, did they see the open receiver? And if not, why not? The ability to put a player in what feels to them as a live-action play out on the football field and have a coach be able to analyze their moves, their actions, and even where they are looking is extraordinary in the training industry.
So… Is VR sports training of value? Absolutely!
So. If you check the information below, you can schedule a call with us. We offer free 30 minute sessions to be able to find out what your needs are and how technology can help your organization. Also… hit our website, because there's a lot of information that you can gain just by checking our site. Thank you.
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