Sports professionals are embracing wearable technology, and who can blame them? They work in hyper-competitive fields, where even the smallest advantage can be the difference between winning and failure.
But what about ordinary soccer players or swimmers? It turns out that there are now plenty of freely available tools that can assist enthusiastic amateurs in their quest for a better swing or a more consistent swimming stroke. Here are some of the innovations that could take your technique to the next level.
Track Your Forehands With A Tennis App
If you are a regular tennis player, you will know how technical the game can be. It’s no accident when professionals like Roger Federer get so much curve on their serves or whip on their top spin forehands. Thankfully, there is a new wave of wearable devices that can help to diagnose your technical flaws.
You can now buy trackers that fit directly onto the racket handle. Sensors in the handle then keep a record of every shot that you play, logging data such as racket speed, where the ball strikes the racket and how many different shop types have been attempted during a passage of play. All of the data is then fed into iOS and Android apps, giving the tennis player a full read-out of their game.
There are even specialist tennis watches that keep track of the score in your games, announcing it as you go. They also have the ability to hook up with apps which bring together players in the same area, helping you to find a playing partner to put you through your paces.
Improve Your All-round Soccer Performance
Wearable devices have been a part of elite soccer coaching for some time. Coaches have long been able to track exactly how far their players have run in training sessions and competitive games, but a new breed of devices can take any soccer player’s capabilities to another level.
Everyday soccer players can use wearables to see if they are really putting in as much effort as they could. For example, using fitness trackers attached to the wrist, players can chart their heart rate and a metric called the ‘body load’. If there is a mis-match between the two, it’s generally a sign that the player isn’t working as hard as they could. If amateurs want to get the most out of their games, it’s a great way to stay focused and motivated.
There are also specialist wearables for goalkeepers that can record how many dives they make and how long it takes them to recover to their position of readiness after making a save. Nothing is left to chance these days.
Take The Plunge With Swimming Wearables
Waterproof wearables will be a common sight at the pool in the future, but there are already plenty of products for swimmers to choose from.
Wrist-based trackers can chart exactly how many strokes a swimmer takes to complete every length, and there are also innovative heart rate monitors that attach themselves comfortably to the swimmer’s ear lobe. Conventional chest-strap monitors don’t really work very well in the pool, but these devices ensure that swimmers can keep tabs on their pulse throughout every session.
Other devices have in-built connectivity with apps that formulate full-blown swimming schedules. They can log the distance you’ve swum, the number of strokes and calories burned – giving an incredibly detailed picture of what you have achieved and what you need to do to improve.
Put The Style In Your Putts With Golf Wearables
Even the game of golf has embraced wearable technology in a serious way. Perhaps that’s not so surprising, given how obsessive golfers can be about their technique and their handicap.
Many of the golfing watches available at the moment focus on providing information. They can show you exactly how many yards are left to the green or bunkers around the course. Some will even suggest a club to use, but they don’t help you use it effectively.
More advanced devices fit around the waist and record every single shot, while others are designed to clip onto your golf glove. These sensors are particularly exciting for amateur golfers, being able to monitor your hand speed and the arc of your swing. You can even compare it to some of the world’s greatest pros, if you can stand the humiliation.
Capture The Moment With Skiing Wearables
At the moment, the world of Alpine wearables revolves around capturing video footage. That’s probably because skiing can generate such spectacular images and breath-taking scenery. Whenever you hit the slopes these days, it seems that every other skier has a camera attached to their goggles.
But skiing wearables offer more than pretty pictures. Skiing watches can measure your speed and how far you have descended. They can chart cross country courses, giving GPS data to ensure that you don’t get lost and they also provide real-time weather updates.
Smart goggles are the latest wave of wearables to hit the skiing world. They allow you to access information about your jumps and descents, and even help you to reunite with contacts on the slopes who are using the same technology.
Almost every sport has the potential to benefit from the wearables revolution, and ordinary sports fans are taking to the technology in a big way. Even the humblest athlete can now enjoy what was once professional-grade equipment, allowing them to improve their technique and monitor their performance. That can only be good for our health and the sports that we love.
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