If it seems that we’re living in an era of extraordinary athletes, we might have to link it to the rise of performance analysis in sports.
Athletes of every discipline have always gone through exhaustive training sessions. These include a recap of their movements, if they play individual sports, or of their play-by-play, if they are part of a team. The goal is always to improve performance, but this can’t happen if it isn’t measured.
That’s when the concept of performance analysis comes in. Before today’s technological advancements came through, such analysis depended on taking notes with pen and paper. These were later transferred to whiteboards. It was a very basic solution that delivered what was needed: observations that were then analyzed and turned into strategic changes in training or other factors.
After the 2000s, when handheld devices linked to the internet and sophisticated programs became massively available, the way to measure performance transformed completely. GPS tracking, kinetic measurements, tracking sensors, statistical modeling, and other resources became the norm.
Today, athletes and their trainers have a broad range of data inputs to analyze, both qualitative and quantitative. The currently most advanced resource for performance analysis is remote and on-site multi-angle live streaming. This is a state-of-the-art technology that allows cooperative precision analysis; that is, having up to 8 camera angles in a single feed that show a synchronized view and makes analysis both in-depth and easier.
With this type of technology, all stakeholders involved in sports –players, trainers, medics, even owners, and journalists– can analyze a player, a play, a team, or an entire match. If the goal is to improve performance, it makes sense that these innovations will be the reason why we’ll keep seeing record-breaking sports performances for a while.