Oculus Rift is often associated with gaming, however, the virtual reality technology is now being used to train football players off the field.
Quarterbacks and coaches alike spend hours a week watching footage of football games to find areas of weakness and ways to improve their game.
Virtual reality is being used to help quarterbacks and other players in real-world training using Oculus Rift goggles and software created by STRIVR Labs, according to a new article out by The San Diego Union-Tribune.
Football players are often observers when watching footage on tablet computers and televisions. Then they go out on the field and practice what they’ve learned from the film.
This software allows the players to actually relive the play from their vantage point and allows them to save time by combining both the watching of film and the practicing of what they’ve learned, all without putting extra wear and tear on their bodies.
Players wear the Oculus Rift goggles and turn their heads to see any player they need to on the team, just like they do on a practice field. Once the ball is snapped, the player can see all the movements of his offense and the defense and make decisions based on who’s open and who’s not.
It’s not any team you see through the goggles, or any random play. It is the team’s players, in team colors and insignia, reliving the same plays they’ve witnessed before, just like films of games the players watch afterwards. Only now, they can practice those plays as they are watching them.
This technology, created by Derek Belch (a former Stanford kicker), was first used at Stanford, but has since shown interest from both college and NFL teams. Matter of fact, it started as a way to train the quarterback, but after Seattle Seahawks’ coach Pete Carroll experienced it, he then told Belch it could be used for both offensive and defensive positions.
Currently, college programs at Stanford, Vanderbilt, Clemson, Auburn, Arkansas and Dartmouth are using this virtual reality software during spring training going on now, and a handful of NFL teams could be users as early as this summer.
➤ Virtual reality QB trainer a ‘game changer’ [The San Diego Union-Tribune]
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