September 24, 2020

There have been some fantastic changes in sports today, and most of those changes come from the sophisticated technologies that have been created for an enhanced performance. Technology has allowed for significant steps to be taken to improve the way sports are experienced, how scores are kept, and for athletes, during their training.

The impact that technology has had on sport is huge, and those of you out there who enjoy putting themselves through their paces in the name of healthy competition will be grateful for the opportunities that technology gives to sports.

There isn’t just one technology that impacts sports. There are several of them. The effect that they have had has made waves and has changed the way some sports run for good. Below, we’ve got all you need to know on the top five technologies that have changed sports.

 

Video Technology

It used to be that sports was judged purely by referees and linesmen, and now several sports have incorporated in-game video technology in their games to be thorough. With video refereeing, more than one set of eyes is on the game, and when there is foul play, the video can back up the referee and their decision. Soccer and rugby use goal-line technology, which is video that is watched back to see whether a ball has made its destination or not. Decisions are then made quickly with more accuracy than without it. 

Of course, there are those who think that video technology takes the fun away from the sport, but the simple truth is that a fairer sport is one that people enjoy and appreciate. It prevents dirty play and puts all players on an even keel. As well as ensuring fairness, video technology also allows team coaches to watch games back to see how people are performing. They can look at the way an athlete is moving and playing and help them to hone their technique better. This makes for better training regimes, too. 

Lastly, video technology has been massively incorporated into many sports through the use of drones and GoPro watching. According to dronesuavreport.com, some people even use the technology of drones to go fishing! That’s a whole new way of doing that sport and it’s changing the way that people do it for good.

 

Portable Sensors

If there is one sport that is usually one of feel and arbitrary judgement, it’s cycling. The training that comes with cycling before a triathlon or another type of cycling competition is often tough, and trying to monitor the performance of cyclists wasn’t easy. However, with the introduction of portable sensors, this is changing. People could usually only train within specific heart rate zones, but this only analyzed what their personal effort was doing to their bodies. This is in place of what the effort was doing for the performance itself.

Power meters were then introduced, allowing cyclists to train according to how much power they pushed through the pedals. It’s important for cyclists to have consistency in their training, and it means that power could be achieved with the use of these power meters. Alongside this, we can see how using GPS sensors in rugby, football and soccer have all helped coaches to see where players are during a match. They can then analyze their movements and make changes to enable them to be better athletes. With the changes in technology happening all the time, these are sensors that are evolving all the time, getting smaller and impacting performance in a positive way. The future of portable sensors extends into embedding them into everyday clothing, allowing for the constant and complicated measurements to be taken and improving sports analytics further.

 

Aero and Hydrodynamics

With the rise of sports that require speed and stamina, you get elite athletes who need minimum resistance to be able to hit the best speeds. The introduction of aero and hydrodynamics has made this a possibility, from the materials that are now used to create swimwear for swimming athletes, to the way a racing car has been built with curves that minimize air resistance. Aero and hydrodynamics have changed the way that racing drivers and swimmers manage, and it goes beyond these two sports, too, with cyclists wearing helmets that are more aerodynamic than ever before. Bicycles are being created with aerodynamic handlebars, too, to truly enhance the way that it moves.

 

Drug Testing

A collection of technologies has changed every single sport in the world quite radically. Drugs and sports just do not go, and there had been (until 1999), a small amount of unmonitored drug tests across the world of sports. These drugs were used to improve performance and cheat, but since then things have changed for the better with the introduction of the World Anti Doping Agency. With their help, drug testing technology has been pushed forward to fight people using performance enhancing drugs for sports. With this change, the playing field has been significantly leveled, weeding out those who use drugs to chase fame. Some of the biggest cheats in the world have been exposed this way, proving that they have a lack of natural sports ability compared to the rest of their teams. 

Drug testing has put faith back into the sports and given other athletes – honest ones – the chance to shine and stand out for a change. The drug testing technologies now remove doubts about the abilities of certain athletes, as it proves that they are up to the task set ahead of them. With this new technology, there is a clean result with no doubt as to whether someone is good at what they’re doing naturally. 

 

Data Analytics

Data in sports is important, and it means that coaches and teams can analyze athletic performance before, during and after a game. They can look at every success and failure, no matter how small, and change the way the world is seeing them. Everything that an athlete does can be assessed and connected to every performance, rather than seen as one single goal. Coaches are interested in this technology, because if they can see even the slightest chance to improve they can take it and roll with it, allowing their athletes to do better. 

Technology affects different sports in different ways and largely, these are positive. Plenty of sports coaches and teams need technology to back them up and make their athletes into better players and sports participants. There are plenty of advantages and disadvantages to sports technology, and these include the following:

 

Advantages

There are often more positives than negatives when discussing sports technology. These positives include:

  • Technology has enhanced sports equipment massively. Wheelchairs that are ergonomically designed, skis that have been crafted for paraplegics and goal line technology in the world cup are but a few! The new equipment that can be used has enhanced the sports for a vast majority of people, and it’s important to be able to see that when deciding if it’s positive or not.
  • With technology on the field, tennis players at the start of their careers find the ball to hit easier and this increases their enjoyment. With increased success in the activity itself, people relax into it more.
  • Technology has improved comfort in a big way. We talked about aerodynamic cars and outfits, and hydrodynamic swimwear. Well, there is far more action in sports now with better comfort in the games. Athletes appreciate everything that they get for comfort.
  • People watching the game can enjoy it more! Drone cameras enable a new personal view, getting closer to the action and allowing for more home runs than ever. The internet provides live feeds an easy information on the action, too!

 

Disadvantages

As with anything, there are disadvantages to technology in sports. Let’s explore those:

  • There is an increased chance of injury when athletes can be faster or the ball travels faster than the bat. Players have better chances of hitting the ball correctly and much more accurately, which increases injuries regardless of protective wear.
  • The cost of the technology can mean for an uneven distribution between participants. Some will get more help than others, which threatens the integrity of the sports themselves.
  • Performance enhancing drugs are not legal in a lot of sports, but there is still a market for these elsewhere. This can lead to health problems as a result of the enhanced drugs making their way to market.
  • Sports technology means that there is much less of an emphasis made on motor skill development.
  • Sometimes, the technology hinders the physical side of sports. With better four-wheelers for hunters and ride carts for golfers, people tend to move less instead of more, which defeats the point of the sport in the first place.

Sports technology has changed the game, and you need to see this from the start so that you can appreciate it!

 This article is a partnered post that contains affiliate links.

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