The year is 2021. Long gone are the days of VHS cassettes and tube televisions, technology really has come a long way. These days we all have smartphones in our pockets that are WAY more powerful than the computers we had when we were all kids. Remember when you were a kid and your teacher, during your maths lessons, said “You won’t always have a calculator with you.” SUCK IT MR SMITH, I have a calculator on my phone AND my watch now! Anyway now I’m done sticking it to my 3rd-year mathematics teacher, these technological advancements have helped everything, from education to sport, even making things better for when you’re relaxing at home, but it’s a sport in particular that we’re going to touch on. So let’s get into it.
When I was a kid, I was very sporty, way more than I am now, the only reason I gave it up was that my mother said it was a waste of time and education was more important, I mean, Harry Kane getting £200k a week for kicking a ball around while being unable to string together a sentence would argue otherwise, anyway, I remember when I was younger training was all basic drills and long-distance running in the rain, any information was written down on a chalkboard or the managers’ clipboard.
So how has technology changed these things? Well, as a basic example, even in schools now they have actual fitness-based gyms, as opposed to just gymnasiums, my secondary school had their P.E department expanded with an actual full-blown gym, with weights, exercise bikes, treadmills, the lot.
So that’s one way it’s helped, as technology has grown and become more readily available, it’s made it more affordable at a grassroots level, so you don’t need to spend every evening out in the freezing cold getting your fitness training in. Great, that’s one way, how about taking down information or game preparation? Well, when it comes to taking down information on our own team, our coaches now have everything backed up online. Notes were taken on tablets, presentations were given on projectors, these days they even have video footage of other teams matches like a lot of schools will record their games for training purposes, or in some cases, they even stream their games! I find this absolutely incredible.
Another huge advancement is in wearable technology, while watches and fitness trackers have been a thing for a while now, there’s one product called the Adidas GMR Tag, what’s that I hear you ask? Well, it’s a tiny chip that you slot into the sole of your boot that will measure your shot power, running speed, how many kicks/passes you make, distance run on or off the pitch. What’s more, you can also link Adidas GMR to EA Sports FIFA to take your stats into the gaming world. You get weekly challenges, you can use your real-world stats to get rewards too.
I’d have never given up playing if this sort of tech was available when I was a kid. Instead, it was just, usually, one of the kids overweight washed up dads, who decided since he never made it as a player he was going to be a coach now telling me where I was going wrong and screaming at all the kids!
Adidas GMR Insole Video
Of course, technology hasn’t ONLY made it easier to play, train and track vital information for coaches and teams, it has made it so much easier for your average joe, which just happens to be me now, to watch and be a part of sports in other ways. Like I said earlier, the days of tube TVs are long gone, these days it’s pretty common for people to have 50” TVs or above, all boasting 4k resolution and HDR compatible, making it so much nicer to watch sports from the comfort of our homes.
Can’t make it home in time for the game? No worries, remember those pocket computers I said we carry around? Well those little things have got so many streaming apps it’s insane, not only that but some betting sites will also allow you to watch games through them if it’s not available on one of your many apps, providing you have credit and throw as low as a 10p bet on the game! Crazy! But not only that you’ve got plenty of apps that will help you find the best way to bet, like you can use the OddsTrader App to make sure your money is going as far as possible when you’re getting involved from home or, on the bus perhaps.
Well, that about wraps it up, are you an athlete? If so how has technology helped you grow in your role? Are you like me, someone with a keen interest in pretty much all sports, how has technology helped you either feel more involved or how has it allowed you a better experience in taking in as much sport as you can? We’d love to hear from you all!