The use of technology in sports is growing rapidly. In football, for instance, new devices are used for different reasons such as to help referees in decision-making and to quantify the athletes’ performance during a game, thus helping the coach to set the training program and the game strategy.
One of the most famous and recent technologies introduced in football, is called “goal line technology”. It is used to determine if a ball has crossed the goal line, in order to support the referee.
Instead, as regards the quantification of the athletes’ performance during a football match, different kind of devices have been produced in the last few years. Wearable devices that can monitor heart rate were integrated with tracking technologies that include global positioning system (GPS), accelerometer and gyroscope sensors, which are used to describe the athletes’ movement and physical demands. Therefore, these new technologies can assess the number of collisions and jumps that occur during a match. These data have become increasingly important for coaches, athletic trainers and doctors. In fact, coaches use them to provide better strategies for their team. Knowing exactly where and how their players move on the field, they can choose the best player for each position or change a player according to the opponents’ level.
Athletic trainers use these data to plan the training sessions during pre and regular season, and use technologies to provide measurable training routines, customized for each athlete. For example, some technologies have been designed to enhance both the physiological and psychological elements of the game.
Moreover, athletic trainers, team doctors and coaches can utilize heart rate and sensors data to prevent injuries when players are about to exceed their physical thresholds.
Besides, the media also love data since it gives added value to their reports.
Recently, big clubs have used data provided by these new technologies to scout potentially interesting players.
In conclusion, it can be argued that the use of new technologies is changing not only the way of training football players and playing football, but also the whole experience of living and watching the most popular sport in the world.