We treat athletes as if they are real-life superheroes that overcome physical challenges to achieve greatness in their respective sports. Today's athletes are physically faster, stronger and more agile than the generation before, but something is wrong. Some recent news includes the NBA expanding its mental health programme for its players and the NFL changing its rules and procedures to better protect its stars from concussions. The focus of any individual or team sport is to maximise player performance. In our sports culture, we are obsessed with team and player statistics using traditional measures in each sport.
Last week at Teradata Universe 2019, we sponsored a roundtable on Next-gen Concepts for Player Performance and Wellness. Participants included experts in professional sports, brain health, cardiovascular health and Artificial Intelligence (AI). With increasing cultural awareness around the role of brain health in maintaining player performance and reducing player risk in professional sports, leaders from industry, academia, professional sports and start-ups discussed the latest methods in measuring indicators of physical health and mental wellness using Teradata Vantage, as well as new sensors, including EEG headsets provided by Wavi Performance.
Simple mental tests may be able to identify people who are likely to reach the top of their sport. That's according to researchers who showed that elite athletes who play team sports aren't just stronger and faster than the rest of us – some of their cognitive skills are better, too. Young soccer players, competing at the top level in Sweden, performed better than the general population on tests of so-called "executive function". And the better their results, the more goals they scored. Executive function isn't a measure of intelligence – it describes unconscious mental abilities like our working memory, which is involved in manipulating transient information to help us make decisions, and attentional control, which is our ability to choose what to pay attention to and what to ignore.
On the second day of the Rio Olympics, American swimmer Michael Phelps won his 19th gold medal (he would go on to win four more), becoming the world's most decorated Olympic athlete. The next day, Phelps revealed that he also has what may be the world's best game face. While waiting for a semifinal race, with rival Chad le Clos shimmying and tossing out karate moves in front of him, Phelps sat slouched in a folding chair, wearing headphones and a hood down over his face. Looking strikingly like Emperor Palpatine in "Star Wars," Phelps scowled like someone trying to lift a double-decker bus with his mind, his jaw twitching. If you've somehow missed it, you should probably just watch it for yourself.
The Internet of Things (IoT) has the power to impact every aspect of your life. The IoT is delving deeper and revolutionizing the way you interact with sports. Athletes, sports fans and venues alike are seeking the benefits of connected technologies. Through the IoT, get ready to surpass your expectations. For the athlete, IoT and Sports brings a competitive and comprehensive edge to the table.