Wednesday, November 11, 2015

How to Become the Next Lionel Messi...Without Stepping on the Field
It's every aspiring athlete's dream - to become the next Lionel Messi, Michael Jordan or Peyton Manning. Sadly, however, many sports fanatics simply don't have the time, energy, resources or natural abilities to make it to the ultimate level. But what if the youngsters of tomorrow didn't have to attend elite training programs starting at age 5, win thousands of dollars in scholarships and connect with the "right players" for a real shot at making the pros? 

Virtual reality technologies could be the sport training solution of the future. Given the rapid development of VR in the last five years alone, hopeful athletes 15 years from now could undergo complete and comprehensive training programs that adequately prepare them for the ultimate levels of play - without ever stepping onto a court, pitch or field. 

Some companies have already begun making advancements in such applications. A company called STRIVR Labs currently works with National Football League, National Basketball Association, Women's National Basketball Association and National Hockey League teams to help these athletes better prepare for game day situations. This technology, however, is only a supplement to current training practices, serving to boost players' understandings of particular plays and training sessions. 

What if VR training was taken one step further? We imagine a sporting world in which players won't ever have to leave home to attain peak fitness levels or play in the most competitive sports arenas. Fully-immersive VR experiences could adequately prepare the best of the best for increasingly difficult physical and mental challenges, honing abilities only achieved in partnership with legendary coaches and personal trainers today. Such athletes could also use their bodies in games or tournaments to compete through online VR avatars, expending the same amount of energy as they would on the field against international rivals, but without leaving the comfort of their basements. The potential for next-level athletic development, without requiring the perfect mix of natural ability, strong positioning and luck, is limitless.

Do you think such advancements could be made in the next 15 years? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!