How investing in modern sports technology can help you attain better results
In the twentieth century the face of sport has changed dramatically with the advent of new technology. High levels of innovative development and research saw a transformation in sports footwear, safety wear, clubs, bats, rackets and balls. Training, health and performance monitoring technology also advanced in leaps and bounds as scientific discoveries were quickly applied to the sporting arena.
Today, while the pace of technological change shows no signs of abating, the impact of technology on sport is arguably slowing down. This is because it has already enabled athletes across the board to access their optimum level of performance. Nevertheless, modern sports technology is increasingly filtering down to the ordinary sports and fitness enthusiast, where it is still capable of having a dramatic impact on their individual performance.
How technology improved records
In 1996, specially designed ultra-light Nike running shoes helped Michael Johnson set a new world record in the 200m Olympic sprint. Decades earlier, in 1963, the standard of pole vaulting increased dramatically with the advent of aluminium, fibreglass and graphite poles that were substantially lighter and had more spring than their bamboo forebears. The world record increased by two feet in three years, compared to a two inch improvement in the 18 years between 1942 and 1960.
When lighter metal and graphite models replaced wooden tennis rackets, they also gained a larger “sweet spot” with less string vibration. The lighter weight meant the face could be increased in size by 20%, equalling a 300% increase in the sweet spot; this also allowed the development of long body rackets giving greater control and reach.
In golf, both club and ball continue to evolve. The former has benefited from lighter titanium construction and weight distribution around the club head for maximum efficiency. In the latter case, the traditional golf ball with its core of tightly wound rubber bands is increasingly being replaced by a solid core ball with innovative dimpling technology, capable of being propelled for greater distances.
Advanced training methods that take full advantage of science and computerisation have perhaps had the biggest impact on professional performance and these methods are becoming increasingly available to dedicated amateurs. Practising cardiac exercise in a hypoxic chamber, where oxygen levels are reduced by about 6%, can simulate altitude training for endurance. This technology aids greatly in rehabilitation, recovery and overall fitness.
Carefully followed sports nutrition regimes and precision hydration technology can help you maintain your body at peak fitness levels.
In other sporting fields, including superyacht racing, keen participants, such as Lord Laidlaw are also taking advantage of the latest technology to aid their performances: you can read the thoughts of Lord Laidlaw on boat racing here. It is in similar sporting disciplines such as powerboat racing and Formula 1 motor racing that technology has advanced at a rapid rate transforming the sports forever.
The latest sports technology is quickly appropriated by the fitness and self-improvement industries. This can manifest in the form of scientifically controlled diets and nutrition supplements, or in the advanced running and workout machines available at your local gym. These may not help you to set world records but they will certainly give you better results in your own personal workout routine.