In the modern era of advanced technology, there are now ways in which sports teams can manipulate the latest kit to try and get the upper hand over their rivals. The NFL has made use of off-field enhancements to the extent that now they are almost a necessity in the game.
Wearable technology is totally changing the game in a lot of sports now, perhaps most notably in the NFL. It is used to enhance training, tactics, plans, and preparations, and the teams that aren’t using it are at risk of being unable to compete with their rivals. Coaches can monitor players’ stats accurately, and this helps them make a number of key decisions. They now have accurate data about areas that need improvement, and information such as where particular players would fit best. Fans also get to enjoy these detailed stats, as they are reported in the post-match notes. The data includes the amount of yards run by each player, tackles, and interceptions.
The technology proved infallible in the English Premier League as well, as the latest champions used data tracking to monitor players’ fitness. Leicester City had the fewest injuries of any of the competing teams throughout the campaign, and there is no doubt this helped them to claim the title. Technology for preparations off the pitch is clearly beneficial, but as yet there doesn’t seem to be as much technical assistance in scouting for new players. Soon, though, this could be about to change.
The NFL draft has recently taken place, and the current methods used for selections are the same that have been tried and tested for years. At the moment there is very little assistance from new technology. The Dallas Cowboys approached the draft in an aggressive fashion this season and, in the early Superbowl odds, they are at 25/1 to win as of late May. They bagged Ezekiel Elliott in the first round of picks, who they are hoping will be able to run great distances, helping out Tony Romo and the defence in the process. What surprised many was the risk that the Cowboys took with their second pick. They went for Jaylon Smith, even though the player has nerve damage that will keep him off the field throughout 2016.
The Cowboys have decided to update their draft technology for 2017, perhaps due to their recent history of somewhat dubious drafts. They will become one of the first teams to go 100% digital. By getting ahead of the curve in this respect, it may give them better chances of pulling in the best players in the next draft, after receiving a bit of a mixed bag this season. Who knows whether new technology will be able to beat the minds of people who have been participating in such scouting processes for years, but it may act as an aid.
With technology now playing such a huge part in all aspects of sport, it can only serve to enhance the games even further for the players, the clubs, and the viewers. The teams that don’t embrace this necessity may get left behind.