Most top level athletes and teams are making extensive use of wearable technologies to monitor every aspects of their game; wearable devices started to appear on practice fields few years ago, and now teams are also allowed to use technology to analyze games.
Recently FIFA ruled in favor of technology used to analyze movements of players on the field during official games; this major change by the highest governing body in soccer will not only allow coaches to have a complete understanding of what happens in a game, but also it will allow fans to access real time stats while watching the game. We may be a little far from seeing live the heart rate of a player kicking a penalty in the world cup final, but starting from completed passes and meters run we will soon be able to check if our favorite player is giving everything for the win or he’s slacking out.
Beside the infinite possibilities to increase fans entertainment with new technologies, data are an important tool for coaches and teams themselves. The amount of data at coaches’ disposal today is almost overwhelming. The risk now is not to have the possibilities or the need to collect all this data but to make a good use of them. Technologies will never substitute the coach, the need for subjective decision taking and analysis will always be there, especially in sports where the variables are close to infinite and experience plays an important role.
The next step technology will take in sports to make really the difference will be in the direction of big data analysis, a concept that has been on the mouth of many in every sector form medicine to business but that is fairly new to sports. Next generation software should be able to pull stats from different sources analyzing different parts of training and games like cameras, GPS and accelerometers, and give the coach a complete report on his team or single athlete to make better decision before and during games.