It seems like almost every day we see another company embracing the uses of virtual reality to help them grow, from the tech industry to entertainment companies and now even sports. According to Tom Haberstroh from ESPN, studies have been done at Stanford – for football players – that show significant improvements in their decision-making abilities on the field. The Washington Wizards look to be the first team in the NBA to take part in the action of virtual reality.
Imagine being able to rehearse multiple scenarios on the court while not actually being on the court. Or maybe you’re an injured player, trying to get back into the groove of being out there while trying to minimize the risk of aggravating injuries. As Haberstroh said, VR can help with “training the mind as much as the body.”
What the Wizards coaching staff says it appreciates the most about this technology is its ability to keep players focused and truly immersed in the action of watching film. Instead of just putting a video up on the projector, players can see everything from an eye-level point of view and dissect the tiny details. Players, like Kelly Oubre, say they’ve already been able to benefit from VR.
“I could see my mechanics, and what I needed to do right.” Oubre says.
His free throw percentage saw an increase from 50.7 last season to 53.4 this year. When John Wall tested it out, he told Tom, “I really thought I was gonna die.” He was placed in a simulation that made his mind think that he was balancing on a plank trying to avoid falling down into a pit.
There are high hopes for VR to live up to in the NBA, but the Wizards are excited to be ahead of the game to help improve their players’ performance. It’s exciting to see how individuals can push the boundaries of how virtual reality can be utilized in different fields. Can VR really help teams and individuals improve their game, or is it just a temporary trend?