The industrial revolution had a major impact on our society today. Beginning in the 1750s there were many new inventions involving technology and mechanics that led to a whole new evolution of things. Machines like the analytical machine and something acted as the beginning stepping stones to a new era. Where both of these machines did not involve electricity, mechanisms of the steam engine began as the gateway to the revolution of computers and technology. This gateway opened the doors to vitalize data analytics to improve and enhance the performance of athletes as well as their teams. Technology is something we all use on a day to day basis to make life easier. It finds its way helping in every aspect of life. It not only helps in time efficiency but also in things some wouldn’t expect like in athletics. Technology has come a very long way and is used in many sports to improve athlete’s performance. Not only does it help with athletes performance but also aid in eliminating injuries, enhancing communication, as well as being beneficial in proper marketing.
Tracking performance is one of the major benefits of introducing technology into athletics. They are able to track performance through the use of monitors. Monitors can be used for a variety of different things. According to Ohio University’s Athletic Administration, “Almost anything about the athlete can be measured, from breathing and heart rate, to hydration and temperature” (Ohio University, 2022). This exhibits the wide variety of performance related things that technology and monitors are capable of measuring. Although there is such a grand use for computers in athletics, they all have one common goal. Athletes and teams use technology as a way to analyze their performance with the goal of becoming better. As noted in Darin Write’s article from Samford University, ”many teams are developing entire departments just to analyze statistics, in order to become the best program in the league” (White, 2018). Seeing how teams are now dedicating separate departments to focus on performance confirms the importance of technology use in athletic programs.
One major use of technology in sports is the use of data analytics. As mentioned briefly earlier, many teams will use computers to track their performance with the goal of getting better. The more common term for this is through use of data analytics. In Samford University’s article White mentions how “Many teams use a program called SAS to manage and understand their data” (White, 2018). As it becomes so popular there are many new programs that make it easier for teams of all kinds to use athletic monitors. In particular there is the SAS program that is used widely amongst professional and semi professional teams. According to Evan Vellios, a journalist from the National Library of Medicine, ”These technologies can capture both real time heart rates and also provide analytic data on net heart rate, heart rate variability, and heart rate trends. This information can help understand the various components of physical activity including frequency, intensity, and duration” (Vellios, 2020). As noted here, these monitors track heart rhythms through data analytics to help athletes find specific aspects in their training to work on and improve. Vellios goes on to mention how heart rate monitors “used in collaboration with data analytics that can enhance training responses, customized exercise programs, and athlete preparation” (Vellios, 2020). Heart rate monitors along with other tracking devices all share the same common denominator. What these devices have in common is by providing an easier way to find imperfections in athletic performances that athletes can see and work on during their training in efforts of getting better. In Vellios’s specific example, he mentions how heart rate monitors show athletes specifically what they should begin training depending on their goals through examination of their heart rhythms.
Not only are performance tracking devices used to help athletes and teams reach a higher level of performance, but they also help in preventing injuries. Injury prevention has become widely popular in athletics as society has researched and learned of the detrimental effects that certain injuries have. One common and very serious injury that can be prevented is CTE. CTE which stands for Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, is a serious condition resulting in untreated concussions that lead to a chronic illness that ends in irreversible damage to the brain and in some cases death. One way athletes are able to combat this is through the use of technology and data analytics. In White’s article he mentions one example of how, “NFL players wearing devices in their helmets to receive data to help minimize injury” (White, 2018). These monitors in the helmets analyze vigorous movements, and in this case, watch for hard hits to help prevent concussions or second impact syndrome (which is a result of a repeating concussion without treatment). This is one way physicians and engineers have helped to take measures in creating a device that helps the cause of eliminating injury. For less serious purposes, these devices also help in tracking an athlete’s physical condition. According to Ohio University’s article on athletic performance, monitors can help determine the physical peak-ness of each individual. “When coaches and trainers can define individual practice for optimum results, they are preventing fatigue and self-created injuries” (Ohio University, 2022). This is vital in creating specific workouts for each athlete to improve performance without causing injury.
There are various different products that have been created that help to not only prevent but also treat injuries. As noted by Vellios these include, “Technologies currently being applied to the treatment of the overhead athlete include kinesiotaping, heart rate monitors, accelerometers/gyroscopes, dynamometers/force plates, camera-based monitoring systems (optical motion analysis), and inertial sensor monitoring units.” (Vellios, 2020). These are several examples of methods created to help treat patients with injury through the use of technology and engineer work. This shows yet another important example of how important data analytics is in helping athletes.
Data analytics have helped athletes improve their performance, eliminate injuries, but they also serve in enhancing communication along a large platform. One way trainers enhance communication is noted by Ohio University. It states how, “Trainers can keep track of athletes by checking their daily diet via My Fitness Pal, and athletes will have personal accountability to their training” (Ohio University, 2022). Programs like this help trainers to help treat each individual athlete and make sure they can perform at the best of their abilities. This article goes on to say how, “Observing movements like this is groundbreaking, and allows trainers to help athletes perfect their movements.” (Ohio University, 2022). To reiterate, these programs help athletes reach their potential without pushing completely past their limits and causing injury. These programs allow a passage of communication from athlete to trainer.
There are ways in which this communication can be spread farther than between athletes and trainers but to a large community. Many people use film and cameras as a way to analyze and improve performance. This is common within teams as well as amateur individuals watching other content not within their realm. In other words watching a sports game or program found on tv or hudl. Hudl is one program that examines athletic film and breaks down certain movements and scenes to help correct and train a team. These videos can be seen by anyone who is a part of a program, meaning team members or opposing team members. Ohio University’s article notes how “Countless hours of workouts and game plays can be found by anyone and shared just as quickly through YouTube” (Ohio University, 2022). This is an example of how any person can have access to this, creating a large community of watchers.
Data analytics also has a large purpose in marketing. Ever wonder how managers know how much to charge fans at games? Or how many tickets are they allowed to sell? It is very common for managers to collect and sift through data in order to find these answers. Olsofka, a doctor and journalist at Samford University, mentioned “When ticket sales and attendance are down from the previous seasons, it is the sports analyst job to communicate the numbers and changes from previous seasons”(Olsofka, 2018). Managers will analyze viewer data after each game and season and find new data to compare with the old to come to an end result for ticket sales. Olsofka goes on to say that, “This is just one example of the data that is collected and analyzed to help increase fan experience and attendance from year to year.” (Olsofka, 2018). This is one way data analytics aids in the marketing aspect in sports.
Technology has become a very important factor in sports. There are many ways that data analytics have helped tremendously in the development of the sport industry. These analytics aid in tracking and perfecting performance, eliminating injuries, enhancing communication, as well as beneficial in proper marketing. Society and technology has come a long way to help make our everyday lives easier and more efficient. This has lead to ground-breaking improvements to sports and athletes.
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White, Darin W. “Why Is Data Analytics so Important in Sports?” Samford University,
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www.samford.edu/sports-analytics/fans/2018/Why-is-Data-Analytics-So-Important-in-Sports. Accessed 24 Oct. 2022.
Vellios, Evan E., et al. “Technology Used in the Prevention and Treatment of Shoulder and
Elbow Injuries in the Overhead Athlete.” National Library of Medicine, PubMed Central, 13 Aug. 2020. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7340695/. Accessed 24 Oct. 2022.