VR Sports: Transforming Sport Industry with Immersive Technologies

VR Sports: Transforming Sport Industry with Immersive Technologies

Tracy Watson

26/03/2020

8 min read

VR sport

Now, during the quarantine, all of us lack sports activities and positive emotions, but thanks to virtual reality technology, we can still be a part of sports events, as players and fans.

Virtual reality has been around for quite a while now, industries are still finding new and applications for this technology. One of the most interesting ones is in the sporting industry. It is changing the way coaches plan and approach a game and how players practice and prepare themselves for the match ahead. Today we would like to share with you some of the most innnovative VR solutions that are used in the sporting world to help make the lives of both the players and coaches a lot easier.

Virtual Reality Sports Training

Virtual reality is so advanced that when players put on a VR headset, they feel like they have been transported into an actual game setting. In other words, a baseball player can try to hit a 100 MPH fastball, run the bases, steal home plate and anything else that can be done on the baseball diamond. This allows players to get more out of practices because they are fully emerged in the experience and they can increase their knowledge of the game as well.

The benefits of sports training games include:   

  • Complete safety of the players 
  • Ability to view a play from any angle 
  • Better analysis capability  
  • Possibility to try new plays and strategy without any risk 
  • Allows fans to be part of the action

The downsides of sports virtual reality training include:   

  • There really is no substitute for the actual game experience 
  • Requires significant financial investments 
  • Takes away the social experience for fans

Virtual reality in sports can also make practices more efficient and save time and resources. For example, let’s say that a batter would like to practice hitting curveballs. In an ordinary setting, a coach or teammate would have to throw curveballs for hours each day so that the player can get better at hitting them. This means that you would have to pay the coach or anyone else throwing the pitches extra money or even hire someone just for this task alone. Virtual reality can substitute human pitchers and allow players to practices hitting for as long as they want.

Baseball is not the only sport impacted by VR, so let’s take a look at football next.

virtual reality football

Virtual Reality Football

A virtual reality football simulator can be the solution that many players and teams are looking for to solve the issue of running plays without risking injury. Since football is a high impact sport, injuries are more prevalent and can be more severe than in sports like baseball. Having said this, coaches still need to design plays and run them on the practice field to make sure they work. This is where VR can be a real asset because it is now possible to run a play without having to come in contact with anyone else.   

On a similar note, football training camps that usually take place prior to the start of the season can also be done in VR. One of the main safety risks is that the training occurs in August during times of extreme heat. It is easy for players to become dehydrated and put themselves at higher risk of injury. Nobody wants to lose their star player to injury before the season even begins, therefore VR is a viable alternative for teams across the league.

Virtual Reality Basketball Training

Using VR is a good way for coaches to help players be prepared for the mental aspect of a basketball game without affecting their physical endurance. For example, when a player tries to shoot free throws, there are all kinds of distractions from the crowd and other players that make it hard to concentrate. VR can help players practice such mental toughness by immersing them in a real game setting but without the physical aspect of throwing a basketball. This can really come in handy during the NBA playoffs or March Madness when fans become excited and the atmosphere inside arenas becomes electric.

VR sports training

Enhancing the Game for the Fans

Buying tickets to a sporting event can be expensive, especially if you are trying to get a seat close to the action. However, thanks to VR technology, you will no longer have to be at the venue itself to experience the game. The NBA is already partnering with NextVR to make the games available in virtual reality on headsets like Playstation VR, Gear VR, and others as well. This will allow fans to sit in the courtside seats, the ones usually reserved for celebrities, but without the high price tag.

VR is a Win-Win for Everybody

VR in sports offers a lot of benefits for teams, their players and fans as well. As the technology becomes more advanced, teams will start using it, even more, to gain a competitive advantage over their opponents and provide their fans with life-like experiences thus boosting the popularity of individual teams and the sport itself to a higher level.

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