Virtual reality first made an appearance in the 90s. This was unsuccessful as the technology was not ready but since the turn of the twenty-first century, virtual reality has been advancing at a considerable place. Sport isn’t pushing these developments, but some of the more innovative teams have started to adopt virtual reality in some ways into their team training and match reviews.
As of right now, there are and will be very few live match broadcasts because the science is still not there. However, I have little doubt that later generations will be watching the games as if they are in the front rows of the stadium, allowing them to place bets through sites like findbettingsites and eat their favourite food from the comfort of their own homes. Virtual reality can be good for replaying games and seeing them from the player’s experience, from their point of view. This has already happened with basketball where players were equipped with cameras, microphones and sensors for their physical signs. This is still very far from being introduced to football, but it is not a leap of the imagination to think that some leagues might adopt this, namely the MLS.
One criticism of virtual reality, especially in its rapport with football, is that it destroys the social side of football matches. Undoubtedly, some people enjoy the camaraderie and the songs, the relationships you build and immediately have with fellow fans and the banter and rivalry with the opposition. However, some companies have introduced a virtual experience where you could create an avatar and see others’ avatars.
Football players are aware of these developments and some even invest in these technologies. Vinecent Kompany is one such investor and having played at the highest level of football in the world, he knows that very little can give you big advantages, and virtual reality can achieve these minor improvements. VR can help players a lot with their positioning, and a difference of one meter can be the difference between catching the fastest players in the world and them going down the other end and scoring. The first meter of sprinting always goes to the one who is better prepared, mentally they desire it and have positioned themselves advantageously. VR can help train that.
VR is also very useful for individual training. When you have a squad of twenty three, work on structure and formation can only be truly beneficial if every player understands their role in the system. An individual session can bring the player up to speed without having to worry about the waste of time that this can be for the rest of the team.
VR does not just provide replays and footage; it also offers games that players can play to improve their physical performances. Some German teams have adopted new VR training sessions and it shows in their precision and neat passing. Some common tests provide a score out of 100. Most American pros are at about 72 whilst the elite in Europe can reach scores of up to 93 or even 94 for the very best.