The importance of technology to improve athlete’s safety

Apple Magazine

July 22, 2021

For sports fans around the world professional athletes at times can play the part of real-life superheroes. With their moves, skills, and endurance they make the impossible seem possible on a daily basis, but what fans don’t usually take into account as much as the physical wear that all this activity usually ends up accumulating for said athletes. As fans we only focus on the entertainment part of the sports world, be it to be able to bet online, to pass the time, or to let out all the emotions that pro sports can bring out in us, but what about the physical toll that all this has on our favorite stars?

While before, thinking about the real consequences behind all the titanic efforts made by athletes was something left as an afterthought, nowadays, thanks to all the technological advances that the sports industry has welcomed, there are clearer ways for athletes to be able to perform at the highest level while not risking serious physical damage. So, how has technology helped improve the safety measures taken by coaches, trainers, and athletes to be able to avoid injuries and damages?

Managing and preventing concussion damage

Professional football, while being the most popular sport in the United States and one of the most followed sports worldwide, is also one of the most injury-prone for the athletes that practice it. While the NFL has made major strides towards securing the safety of its athletes, the process and road towards finding clear and concise solutions to help the athletes have a long and prosperous career on the field have been a long and arduous one. One of the main solutions that the NFL has come up with has been the development of special helmets made for protecting players against skull fractures that could lead to brain concussions.

The official helmet producers for the NFL, Riddell developed a special helmet with a technology called HITS where the headwear is embedded with various sensors that measure the magnitude and direction of the blows that players take to their heads while playing. The information gathered by said sensors is sent wirelessly to a computer on the sidelines where the data is studied to be able to determine if the player might not have a concussion or could be in danger. This has come in very handy for coaches, trainers, and medical staff to be able to make pivotal decisions like taking a player out and even sidelining him for an extended period of time to avoid any further damage. This technology has been used by athletes in other sports disciplines like Hockey, snow sports, car and motorcycle racing as well as Lacrosse.

Computer injury prevention programs

Just like with the smart helmets used in various sports disciplines to prevent head injuries that can lead to concussions, sports technology-based companies have come up with computer-based injury prevention programs in which professional sporting teams can gather data to help their athletes manage and prevent injuries. These systems use information like biometrics and other workload impact percentage information to be able to single out either specific areas in which to focus on athletes to be able to maximize their performance and also prevent them from suffering unwanted injuries or to single out players who are most at risk on suffering injuries and with it being able to give them special treatment.

This technology, used especially by professional baseball teams works via a portable high-definition camera that is used to capture each movement made by players. Said camera links up with a computer that is able to generate real-time results. Once this data is run and analyzed by coaches and trainers, players can make changes to further prevent injuries before them ever happening.

There are even injury prevention apps

Of course in a world where almost everything can now be done through a mobile device, be it a smartphone or tablet, apps that help prevent injuries would be a thing. While there are apps that specialize in specific sports practices like golf, running, football, baseball, and others, most other apps in the market usually focus on showing athletes and amateur sports practitioners alike the best ways to practice their preferred disciplines while avoiding injuries.

These apps usually come with video demonstrations of how to practice whichever sporting disciplines the user desires to practice and allows them to focus on specific exercises for parts of the body as well as very important information and guidelines for how to perform said sports and above all how to avoid and treat sports-related injuries.

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