A quarterback swivels his head, scanning for holes between defenders. A hitter watches a pitcher’s curveball, timing its break over the plate. They do it all without another person or a field.
Numerous athletes — from the amateur to professional level — now use virtual reality to supplement live practice. Using software such as Eon Sports VR’s Sidekiq, players can simulate full-speed games with only a headset and a smartphone.
Purdue University on Monday became the latest football program to partner with Kansas City-based Eon, planning to use virtual reality to train quarterbacks. Eon said it now works with the National Football League’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers and six college football teams.
It’s not just football. Virtual reality programs from Eon and others companies have gained traction in other sports including baseball, golf and soccer. Proponents tout the ability to practice with limited resources and minimal stress on an athlete’s body.
“They can work on their timing without going through an exhaustive workout. That’s really important when it comes to being fresh on the field,” said Eon chief executive Brendan Reilly.
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