Is Virtual Reality Training Right For Sport?

In the sports world, teams are always looking for ways to better one another. Virtual reality headsets could transform how athletes train, but are they really just an expensive gimmick?

Virtual headset

Virtual training in rugby

In rugby, the latest technology means that real life drills can be played out on a headset as a way of training. They can also help with learning quick decision-making skills on the pitch.

Chris Robshaw, the Rugby England captain, admits he does see a future in virtual sport training.

Activity monitors are now common on the pitch

Other types of technology is already changing how coaches analyse sport. Athletes wearing activity monitors can provide vast amounts of data and insights for sports experts to analyse.

This activity can include distance, speed and heart rate. Combining these statistics with other indicators gives a good picture of a players overall performance. This information can help how a player trains and highlight areas they need to work on.

Sports technology is not for everyone

Tech training however doesn’t appeal to everyone however, including me. Purists arguments that sport should remain simple without any use of technology.

Matt Le Tissier, former Premier League footballer, argues that it is the bond between a team that makes them strong, and you only get that bond by training together.

He continues, you can analyse how long a player ran for and their heart rate throughout a game, but where someone played for 10 minutes, ran 200 metres and scored the only goal of the game, it doesn’t mean a great deal.

Training virtual reality in sportA time and a place?

Personally I think virtual technology is great, but it has a time and a place, and sports training should remain based on human nature as it always has. Adding technology and headsets to training somehow makes it feel forced and artificial.

It’s always brilliant to see natural talent on the pitch, but if a player is good because of tech training using headsets, their skill suddenly doesn’t feel natural, or as impressive anymore.

What do you think?

Do you agree with using virtual technology for sports training? Leave a comment below. Like it or not, the future of technology in sport is set to stay, and we are likely to see it used more and more on the pitch.

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