An article in the November 10, 2014 issue of the New Yorker shared some competitive athletes’ secrets of success.
Athletes don’t merely work harder than they once did; now they are working smarter using science and technology to enhance the way they train and perform. It isn’t enough to eat right and put in the hours, you need to have the best PhDs, athletic trainers, stretch coaches, swing coaches, acupuncturists, massage therapists, holistic nutritionists, movement specialists, and psychologists on board as well.
Today’s athletes emphasize sport-specific training over generalized conditioning. There is an increasing use of biometric sensors. Equipped with heart-rate monitors, GPS, and gyroscopes to measure not just performance (how fast a player is accelerating), but also fatigue level. Since many studies show that getting more sleep leads to better performance, teams are worrying about that, too. The NBA’s Dallas Mavericks have equipped players with ReadiBand monitors to measure how much and how well they’re sleeping. Sleep deprivation can increase injury and decrease speed, agility and accuracy.
Golfers are hooked up to sensors to determine the efficiency of the golf swing, making sure that they are using the correct sequence to swing a golf club.
Today’s athletes spend the off-season working on their game in different training environments and sports, making sacrifices, and trying to do what their competition won’t.