Ground breaking work being done out of a UK based company is set to change the way we look at human performance forever. By measuring brain waves and mapping them against performances on the field, elite sport is on the verge of measuring the unmeasurable concepts such as form, mindset and psychological well-being of athletes.
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At what point does the integrity of competition become tarnished by the intrusion of science? Elite sport’s mission is to push the boundaries of human performance, but if those boundaries are bridged by variables beyond the realm of physical ability, does sport lose its purpose? With the help of world renowned sports scientist Ross Tucker, CONQA addresses these important questions.
Rather than look back on the year that was, CONQA Sport is casting an eye on 2017 and calling on the powers that be to make some changes to improve the games we love. In the cutthroat world of top level sport, stagnation is suicide and so, along with some of the leading figures in the industry, we have compiled a 2017 wish list for a happy and elite new year.
Gianni Infantino, the newly appointed president of FIFA, has said he wants soccer to consider video replay trials “sooner rather than later”. The beautiful game has lagged behind with the implementation of this technology, and while it will be broadly welcomed, it should take a few lessons from cricket and rugby to make sure the trials and subsequent implementation goes smoothly.
In the closing stages of the Rugby World Cup quarter-final between Australia and Scotland, it appeared, against all odds, that the brave Scots were on their way to be the Northern Hemisphere's only representative in the semi-finals. It was not to be. Minutes later, South African referee Craig Joubert awarded Australia a penalty that Bernard Foley duly kicked over to give the Wallabies a dramatic victory. Since then the rugby world has been divided into those who are calling for Joubert's head and those staunchly defending the ref.What is not up for debate is that the sport needs a good long hard look in the mirror as this could have easily been avoided if players had the power to review a decision.
Every day, scientific breakthroughs change the world we live in and the only way to stay ahead of the competition is to stay ahead of the ever steepening curve. Elite sport is a cutthroat and competitive environment where only the best survive. As a result, sports technology is proving to be the difference in many close contests. CONQA Sport speaks to Mounir Zok, the Senior Sports Technologist at the Unites States Olympic Committee (USOC), and finds out that it is still the human element that ensures success in a world hurtling towards to the future.