You may notice football players wearing strange tank top vests during training, in pregame warm-ups or even under their shirts during games. Some fans and amateur players may have questioned what these clothing items are and why players wear them.
The simple answer is, the vests are sports wearables, and they collect a large number of data for teams to dissect on each player.
Think of a sports wearable like a smart watch or fitness tracker, but with very accurate capabilities. Players can have a number of metrics tracked by a sports wearable. Items like heart rate, distance covered, and amount of calories burned during a game can be tracked. But these are just some of the simplest items that can be collected.
Players of all levels, as along as they can afford it, can purchase a sports wearable that can give them data about their game. Some of these wearables can be placed inside a player’s socks and linked to a smartphone while others can be strapped to the body.
3 Types of sports wearables
One of the most unique sports devices is the OptimEye wearable. The OptimEye is used by goalkeepers and it can measure items such as dives and a number of other movements that goalkeepers make. For goalkeepers that take their trade seriously and want to develop further, the OptimEye could be a device worth buying. It also could be an item a football club purchases to help develop their goalkeepers.
While Optim Eye is more position specific, the Viper Pod is one that is being used by a variety of sports leagues around the world. From the NBA to Spain’s La Liga, the Viper Pod gives real-time data on player movements and positioning on the pitch. This allows coaches to give specific and detailed instruction to the players
One final device that could change the way young players develop is the SockIt. The sports wearable is worn on the football boot and it gives players feedback on striking the ball. Often, young players pass and shoot the ball with the wrong part of the foot. The censors on the SockIt light up to give immediate feedback on whether a player has kicked the ball with their toes (wrong) or the top of the foot (correct). SockIt is being marketed to players between the ages of five and 12 to help them develop.
In all, there are a variety of sports wearables for football players. Many of them are being used by football clubs big and small, amateur and professional. It is an area that is giving us even more information on the game we love.