HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Sports are steeped in traditions, like rolling Toomer’s Corner or singing “Rammer Jammer.”
While those pastimes will never be touched, technology is leaving its mark all over athletics, transforming the games both on and off the field of play.
Data-driven analytics help to resurrect professional teams, such as the Golden State Warriors or the Oakland Athletics. Tech is also impacting how athletes study and train.
“Their football IQ is just so much further advanced than it was ten years ago,” said football coach David O’Connor.
Countless programs utilize wearable GPS tracking devices to monitor a player’s stamina and health. Whether you agree with it, technology is interfering with officiating, too.
Today’s athletes are faster, stronger and safer than ever before thanks to improved playing surfaces and upgraded equipment, like smart helmets.
“There’s no price tag on safety for us,” said football coach Robert Washington. “We’re not really big on a price tag. It’s about putting our kids in the best situation and making sure they’re safe.”
These innovations are even creating new ways to compete, such as esports.
Joshua Bryant/E-Sport Athlete — “There’s a lot of work that goes in preparing for each team because everyone plays completely differently and there’s a ton of different play styles you can play,” said esport athlete Joshua Bryant.
To prove the sport reaching an elite level of competition, esport athletes can now earn college scholarships for playing video games.
Joshua Buchanan/E-Sports Head Coach — “It’s like a regular sport,” said esports athlete River Daunhauer. “You compete for the top, and if you aren’t, you work towards it.”