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How 3D Visualisation Help Athletes

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3D visualisation is the process of rendering graphical content using the software. It has gained popularity over the years and has been considered an important method to produce high-quality digital content. Various industries use 3D technology to create graphical content for a high-quality digital experience. The exquisiteness of 3D visualisation is its portability as a training tool for athletes and sportsmen. It can be used during off-hours of the athlete, during recovery, or during the actual competition. It is more relevant in sports, having intervals between the segments.

3D visualisation is the act of imagining yourself doing activities that you would like to execute in real life. It is a psychological rehearsal of game scenarios, skills, new venues, or high-performance delivery. 3D Visualisation is most effective, and its impact is visible only when combined with disciplined physical training. If you are new to the concept of mental training or want to elevate your knowledge of 3D Visualisation, we are going to discuss the idea in detail below.

Here, you will learn the basics, applications, benefits, and the future of the underlying technology.

Why is 3D visualisation important in sports?

Most of the leading athletes use 3D Visualisation as part of regular training. There are examples of athletes who have used these methods to elevate their competitive edge. This not only contributed to better mental well-being but also heightened confidence. Sports coaches and psychologists started advocating the benefit of visualisation, and it gained popularity in 1980. Athletes started focusing on mental resilience to compete with new or varying rivals. As part of the training program, an athlete walks through game scenarios before the actual sporting event. This way, the brain is already wired to respond optimally regarding manoeuvres and reflexes.

For athletes who perform solo, visualisation techniques help them to look at the environment (eg: runners, javelin throw, etc.) in advance. Similarly, when you head to a new stadium, visualisation helps in getting used to the environment. This helps in focusing on the performance, and the stimulus of the new place does not act as a distraction. A lot of athletes reported less anxiety and nervousness when they went through mental training programs before the event. In the present times, you may not find a single athlete who does not incorporate visualisation techniques in their regular training regime. Let’s take an example of the Olympics or the cricket World Cup, where the stakes are very high, and you get the opportunity once in four years. Performance pressure during such events can take a toll on your mental health.

Benefits of 3D visualisation in sports

The aids of 3D visualisation have become very prominent in the field of sports. Technology is a training method that has helped many elite athletes. It improves their skill set in terms of movement and concentration, reduces the overall performance stress, and increases confidence. Without any external stimulation, underlying 3D visualisation images are produced by the athlete, which forms the basis of the training method. The additional stimulus may or may not be incorporated, and it is not limited to sensory, movement, or auditory. This is subject to the appropriate model needed to elevate the overall performance.

There is a close-knit relationship between physical and mental performance in the field of the sport. There is a wide range of facets to develop mental endurance, concentration, and instinctively reflexes. These are necessary qualities in the present times rather than excusing the circumstances. During the training, the brain is instructed to let muscles work in a specific way and a neural pattern gets created in the brain over a period.

Repeated physical training creates such patterns, and this was first propounded by Alexander Brain. Bodily exercise, when supplemented with 3D visualisation, helps the nervous system to respond better. Visualisation in a silo cannot help in creating the pattern.

It’s common for sports psychologists to train athletes in a secluded area to eradicate distractions. Mental rehearsal or honing specific techniques is the first exercise in the 3D visualisation tools. Specific manoeuvres to attain optimal execution of the step can be enhanced when physical training is coupled with visualisation tools. Mental rehearsal or honing specific techniques is the first exercise in the 3D visualisation tools.

Specific manoeuvres to attain optimal execution of the step can be enhanced when physical training is coupled with visualisation tools. A replay of a successful performance helps athletes strengthen their confidence. It is further easy for an athlete to elevate their confidence level when they can relate to the success stories of the past by doing self-talk and encouragement. This eventually helps in enhancing imminent prospects related to the sport.

3D Visualisation helps a lot during the rehabilitation phase. Encouraging images of the competition or athletic movement of the sport helps the athlete by mentally inducing the space of the athletic life.

 

Below are some key benefits of the visualisation techniques:

  • Visualisation reduces performance anxiety and decreases stress

When you engage yourself in visualisation techniques, you see yourself performing very well. You envision what could go wrong, and you fix those issues during the visualisation training. Upon successful iterations, you feel confident to handle new situations. This eventually lessens performance anxiety and stress.

  • Visualisation boosts confidence. 

When you believe in what you can do, it is the first step to doing it. Visualisation helps you be in control, puts you in the moment, and you see yourself completing your targets. Studies have shown that when you get praise and people Congratulate you, it helps in improving your self-esteem.

  • Visualisation improves your abilities. 

Our brain uses the same neurons when you visualise activity and when you perform it. So, visualising yourself getting stronger and faster and performing at the peak does more than prepare you for the event. It improves your physical abilities by elevating your endurance and strength.

  • Visualisation lessens pain & helps you heal faster.  

When physical training is coupled with mental training, the rehabilitation period post-injury is shorter. A positive attitude has been seen to help recover from chronic pains quickly.

  • Visualisation enhances motivation. 

When you see yourself completing your goals, it helps in boosting your morale. It helps you see the better side of yourself, which eventually motivates you to push through the limits and achieve your targets.

3D interactive environments for training:

Interactive simulation using 3D visualisation is the technique that helps users to work in a simulated space without the fear of making errors. Simulation can be repeated an N number of times until the athlete masters the movement or step. The very basic psychology is, when you face repeated tasks in real life, you are always prepared to react with experience and confidence. In a highly competitive and fast-paced world today, it is vital to find that edge.

Interactive 3D visualisation techniques can potentially cut training costs by increasing the quality and variety of learning skills. It offers practical and effective tools for different aspects of the training. It is also used in Augmented and virtual reality to build an environment that mimics space as human eyes do. Using 3D visualisation tools, many organisations look forward to cutting operational and transport costs. At the same time, the scope of the training experience is broadened as it provides boundless opportunities and situations for practice. The outcome of this is highly skilled and efficient athletes who commit significantly fewer errors.

3D visualisation of body motion

Functional anatomy knowledge is essential for athletic trainers. Athletes use their entire bodies to perform in the sport. Each part of the body works closely with the other for optimal performance. Any injury to one specific part has a cascading impact throughout the system. Hence, to cover this topic, we need to understand the wide range of human anatomy. To get the best out of any athlete, first, you must understand how human anatomy works and how the system is interconnected. Athletic trainers who understand the fine details of the anatomy are the ones who can help with:

Athletic coaches need to emphasise clinical anatomy. Athletic training occupation is part of the wider healthcare system, athletic coaches must have the same clinical assessment and handling skills as any other health care specialist. A trainer who lacks the basic domain knowledge cannot help their clients in locating the precise injury or damage. Now that is where 3D visualisation comes into play. It does not just help beginners learn about how human anatomy works, 3D visualisation helps in better diagnostic skills and improved clinical practises. Athletic coaches must work with living beings and not still replicas. Hence this interactive activity makes all the difference between actual understanding and conditional memorization. Athletic coaches have hands-on expertise in their job. Many individuals are attracted to this occupation due to its aesthetics.

  • Musculoskeletal anatomy 

3D interactive visualisation provides seamless learning methods in understanding the musculoskeletal system. Different learning tools and 3D visual experience helps in understanding the musculoskeletal system better. You get to understand how limbs and joints work alone or as a unit. Athletic manoeuvres are dependent on the movement of bones and muscles. Athletic coaches must understand in-depth details of the musculoskeletal system to help their clients.

  • Rotatable 3D Visualisation of Muscle Movement: 

Muscles do not function the way a naïve might expect. Movement is the result of multiple muscles working together and creating an intricate motion. Athletic coaches and trainers focus on this basic understanding of human anatomy. You can examine muscle motion from different angles with the help of 3D models. You can look at specific muscles or focus on a cluster of muscles working together as a unit.

  • 3D visualisation of the blood supply:

The blood supply in the human body forms the basis of oxygen supply and nutrients to every organ and tissue. Visualising nerves and blood vessels are not just helpful in understanding the plethora of the network, but it’s overwhelming to see the flow in 3D space. Arteries and veins carry the blood away and carry it back to the heart, respectively. Skeletal muscles help the inflow of blood around the human body. When muscles contract, associated veins are compressed. Since veins have one-way valves, it causes an increase in blood pressure momentarily.

Pain points using 3D visualisation:

Physical pain is the signal from the brain that something is not right in the body. The very basic element of athletic coaching is to figure out the root cause of the pain. Athletes are more prone to serious injuries and pain as they use their bodies in much more intense ways. It is futile to use traditional methods to identify the pain of the injury. Interactive 3D visualisation tools help you to pinpoint the pain areas and how to heal them in a very optimal way

Integrating 3D Visualisation into Remote Football Training

No wonder 3D visualisation has transformed the sports industry, and football training is prominent in the entire sector. Training of footballers is one sector where 3D visualisation has its strong imprints. Professional football teams have been using historical films to gauge their performance and analyse those improvements. However, the vantage point differs between the real-time experience of playing football to post-assessing the performance seen in 2D screens, and thus this sort of analysis is not optimal for a player. More so, with the Covid-19 pandemic, football teams are having a hard time undergoing training and thus football organisations have scrambled to adapt their teams and coaches for remote training. 3D visualisation is a “one-size-fits-all” recipe for football players, coaches, and organisations to enable smart remote football training.

STRIVR is known to make VR-enabled training videos for football players which are captured from the player’s-eyesight. So, when the football player is in real action, the videos are shot right from his eye view which enables the player to receive real-time repetitive training visuals using VR headsets. This gives them an edge for receiving realistic views of inaction videos that they face on the field. Also, the opponent’s moves are better understood using VR headsets.

The football teams are better able to analyse the opportunities and options which they had missed before by now reviewing each of the team player’s positions and actions. STRIVR has become an important part of football training for professional teams as well as student-athletes. This 3D visualisation technique has satiated all the training needs of a soccer team. The football team owners, leveraging this mechanism of remote training, are now able to better prepare the players without requiring them to be on the field, especially amidst this global pandemic. Also, they are now saved from the risk of being injured or being under the sun for long hours. Players can also enhance their practice time without breaking the protocol of fixed outdoor practice hours levied by different college football organisations.

GoArmyEdge is one such marvellous soccer training application that lets coaches fashion playback content in a two-dimensional whiteboard editor and then plays the same in a 3D environment. This sort of remote 3D visualisation training process lets the football players access to content 24/7 rather than a stipulated time of practice. ProQuickDraw is an app used by football teams to draw 2D whiteboards.

In the end, captured videos from GoArmyEdge and 2D drawings are all infused into the LearnToWin app. The latter allows for adding training points to the diagrams. The entire structure helps in training football players in unique situations as well. For the referees too, the 3D visualisation helps in training by setting a completely virtual environment and enables them to visualise a real-life football stadium. They are now able to better reduce their past errors by experiencing difficult, realistic situations. More so, the reactions and decisions of the referees are better understood in the virtual soccer stadium using 3D visualisation.

Conclusion

Sports is one such domain where technology has exhibited its wonders most aggressively and effectively. Augmented reality is seen as having a strong presence in the sports sector, and with VR leaping, sports experience has reached greater heights. The visuals are now more amplified while you watch a hockey or a football match. Starting from seeing the content to the recruitment of athletes to training the sportsmen, AR and 3D visualisation are immersive in all these, thus taking the sports industry by storm. 3D Visualisation and models are the keys.  This when used with high-quality training programs, easy to grasp concepts, can help athletes with a prolonged injury-free career.

Human Anatomy is extremely complex, and old-school methods do not help in understanding the internals. At one point anatomy and athletic coaches had a tough job in first understanding the fine details and then educating the students. The success of an athlete in the sports profession is related to the depth of the knowledge possessed by the coach. There is still a lot more scope for VR and AR to show their powers in the sports arena. Let’s wait to see more of such surprises and see sports evolve in limitless ways!

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