We know them as sports trackers, while some might call them
wearable tech, but whatever name they go by, it’s certain that this innovative
technology is changing the face of sports. Now, before we go any further, for
the non-sports fans out there, let’s just explain what wearable technology is
and what it’s got to do with sports.
Wearable technology is the use of smart electronic devices
which are placed within clothing or that can be worn on the body. They can even
be implanted in the body, but for the most part, they are accessories that we
wear. They include smart glasses, health monitors, and fitness trackers and
have any number of incredible
If you have ever watched a behind the scenes video of a
professional sports team at their training ground, you will have noticed that
most of the players wear what can only be described as a sports bra of sorts.
This is, in fact, a sports tracker that allows the player
to track data from the training sessions. This data can then be used to gain
insights into the areas where a player needs to improve their performance. It’s
extremely useful data and gives both the coaching staff and the athlete a
verifiable data point that they can use as a marker in the athlete’s training
Liverpool, who are the current
favourites for the Premier League title, are one such team that has adopted
a tech approach to their training analytics. They use wearable tech in all of
their training sessions and provide feedback to the players on their
performance in each session. And as the current champions of Europe, it’s
obviously had a positive effect on their results.
But it’s not just in terms of performance levels that
sports trackers can help professional athletes. When injury strikes and an
athlete starts their recovery program, being able to accurately monitor
training sessions ensures that they won’t overdo it and risk aggravating their
There’s also an argument that tracking an athlete’s
performance during a game or training sessions allows for better recovery. The
idea behind this is that athlete’s may expend more energy during one session
than they do in another. The more intense the training or match-play, the more
recovery time required to avoid fatigue-based injuries.
The typical sports tracker worn by clubs like Liverpool is also known as a compression shirt. These can measure six vital points of data, including heart rate, breathing rate, and heart rate variability. These measurements can then, in turn, help to determine a variety of other non-vital, but highly valuable metrics such as jump height and speed.
As you can imagine, professional athletes are often in
absolute peak physical condition, but despite this there has been an alarming
rise in the number of deaths on the
sports field. With considerable pressure to perform at peak levels at all
times, athletes are pushing their bodies beyond the limitations of what is
humanly possible. And all too often this has a negative impact on their overall
health. Yes, they may be achieving short-term results, much to the pleasure of
their fans and sponsors, but it’s impossible to keep up such levels of
unsustainable performance without affecting your health.
Sports trackers allow the medical department at
professional clubs (and even amateur ones) to quickly identify the warning
signs that an athlete may be overextending themselves. Shortness of breath,
irregular heart rate patterns, or significant and unexpected drops in
performance levels could all be indicators of a serious health issue. The
ability to recognize and then take preemptive measures to protect the safety of
the athlete is invaluable. After all, sports should never be a matter of life
worth the investment?
For athletes who push themselves to the very limits of
their physical abilities, a sports tracker is an essential piece of kit. Not
just for monitoring performance levels but more for the potential to quickly
identify possible health issues.
This makes them an absolute must for professional teams and
individuals. That’s why they are seen so often in open training sessions. For
professional clubs and teams, an athlete is an investment and if a relatively
inexpensive compression shirt offers the potential to protect that investment
then it really is a no-brainer.
Add to that the potential for improved training regimes
with fitter athletes that then go on to achieve better results, then there
really is only one question left to ask. Are there any professional athletes
who aren’t using them right now?