Uses of Computers in Sports
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Today, very few jobs do not use a computer in some form or fashion. While sports are mainly a physically demanding profession, they too use computers each and every day. The devices are used in a variety of ways to help push sporting organizations towards their goal of success.
Storing and Watching Video
Video preparation is a major component of professional sports. Many athletes review game tape to study someone's performance at critical parts of a competition. A boxer can review his next opponent’s fights to learn weaknesses to exploit, or a football coach can review game tape to see how to improve his offense’s passing attack. Computers also allow sports professionals to store a large amount of video footage in one place. Rather than having multiple discs or cassettes of film, the same information can be stored on a single jump drive or laptop. Easier access to these videos is another benefit of using computers in sports.
Statistical Data Storage
Statistics are an important part of sports. Fans, sports agents, coaches, and players all want to know exactly how well they performed at any given moment. Keeping track of that data is another way that computers can be used in sports. For example, a team manager can create a spreadsheet database that holds all the current stats for his team throughout the season. At the end of the year that information can be used to decide which players the team will keep during contract negotiations and who has become expendable. Sports media outlets can also use computer applications in the same manner when developing in-depth stories about the performance of specific players and teams.
Safety is an important aspect in professional sports today. News stories are often released about the study of concussions on football and hockey athletes. To help minimize those injuries equipment developers have used computers to develop safer equipment. For example, helmet company Riddell designed a new football helmet for the National Football League during the 2010 season after a number of players were injured by concussions. They used a variety of technological programs to design a helmet that would be able to absorb the constant impact and limit damage to the head and neck area. The same type of research is being done for such sports as hockey and auto racing to better improve the safety of the athletes.
Sports media outlets use computers everyday in their jobs. Writers use computers to complete research on their stories, while video editors use various applications to create vignettes and film pieces about their subjects. Larger sports media outlets such as ESPN have used computer technology to create applications such as their “ESPN Axis” field view. This program rotates the field of view at any moment to give a different visual perception of the action at the time. Computers play a major part in how well media outlets cover their respective sports.
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