Scientists are improving performance in professional athletes with RFID tracking

Scientists are improving performance in professional athletes with RFID tracking

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[Image source: Wired]

Professional athletes are incredible beings, the closest we have to being super-humans really — from decades of training, sculpted physiques built for endurance and performance levels that catapult them to being the best in the world. It is a combination of physical dedication, mental discipline, and the right gene pool to allow these competitors to reach professional success and fame. But lets face it, they are still just regular people susceptible to the same injuries and risks as any other person, except at a much higher probability considering their line of work. These risks are detrimental to not just their careers as a athlete but their functionality as just a human being.

According to Statistica, the average playing length career of an NFL athlete is about 3 years. This is astonishingly short considering the countless the hours of training and career prep it took them to get them to that position. With as much money as is circulating in the NFL, it is no surprise that stakeholders are entrusting those funds into science to show exactly how their athletes/ investments are performing via data-levels. Zebra Technologies  is one of those tech agencies working with the NFL to track athletes performances, similar to how any other business firm tracks their stocks.

 [Image source: Wired]

Zebra Technologies utilizes RFID tagging to track players every movement at any given time (specifically: 25 times per second) . Basically they put 2 wireless radio-frequency tags on the shoulder pads of each player, while setting up various receivers around the stadium to track their movement. Jill blank of Zebra Technology explains,

“It’s funny because we thought it was just going to be about coaching and schematics, that it would be about match ups but it’s not … it’s all about wellness at the team level”

Screen Shot 2015-10-11 at 4.27.18 PMScreen Shot 2015-10-11 at 4.27.18 PM [Image source: Wired]

Surprisingly enough she is right, NFL is using all of this data, from running speeds to patterns in routes to examine just how much of a physical load they are putting on their bodies. These analyses are then sent back to trainers to interpret and evaluate what type of conditioning is needed to counter any potential strains or weaknesses, keeping players healthier and potentially lengthening their careers. Zebra even boasts on their blog, that fans will also have access to these insights to their favorite players along with broadcast graphics in real time.

Source and Images: Wired and Statistica