I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed - Micheal Jordan
When we say maths is everywhere, it includes sports. Sports is a big deal in Nigeria and many other countries. The global sports industry is worth up to $620 billion today. It has brought different races, tribes and countries together.
Have you ever wondered how much maths is involved in playing sports?
From the timing of the whole game to the predictions, to the scores, to some calculated moves and so on. Well, if you have never thought of it, many sports enthusiasts are mathematicians at heart. Mathematics plays a large role in the efficiency of sports.
Over the years in Nigeria and the world at large, mathematics has played a very important role in sports. In throwing, jumping, gymnastics, football, diving, and so many other athletic sports, there are several mathematical elements involved, particularly when it comes to the rotation of the body.
Also, a sports commentator uses math to report the facts and to make predictions.
A study by Dr Ken Bray of the University of Bath has concluded that 30% of the best players in the world have an intuitive understanding of maths, particularly geometry, aiding their precision in passing, taking free kicks, and positioning themselves on the field.
Many teams around the world are also said to have mathematicians working for them full time. At the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, both New Zealand and Australian teams had a group of full-time mathematicians.
Many sports are quantitative and so whenever you are at a sports centre or watching sports on your electronic device, remember that some elements of maths are at work in sports games!
As you read this article, you will understand how learning maths is relevant to the sports world.
How Technology Is Used In Sports
Every sport involves one mathematical concept or the other which allow athletes to compete and be successful within their chosen sports career. Whether it is through discussing statistics or talking tactics for winning or deciding where players are going to be positioned on the pitch, or through how the game is scored or timed, there is certainly one way or the other maths is involved.
What of technology? The world today revolves around technology and so is the game of sports. Technology in sports has taken the game to a whole new level. With just a smartphone or an internet-enabled device, anyone can assess tons of sports information, including live scores and game analysis anytime, anywhere.
The world of sport is continually changing over the years, and the use of technology is just one of those areas that have made an impact on many sports in the modern day.
Technology in sports is growing rapidly. One of the most famous and recent technologies introduced in football is called “goal-line technology”. It is used to determine if a ball has crossed the goal line, to support the referee.
Many sportsmen, women and their coaches use technology to provide measurable routines and also to track their performance. In a nutshell, the use of technology makes the mathematical calculations and the quantifiable aspects of sports so much easier and faster. Advances in technology have a profound impact on the sports industry.
It has improved the analysis of sports performance by enabling coaches to greatly improve the quality of feedback to athletes. It also greatly improved the accuracy in the time measurements of sports performance.
The use of sensors placed on the body, for example, a smartwatch, can measure and track performance in real-time. Almost anything about the athlete can be measured, from breathing and heart rate to hydration, the number of steps, time spent exercising, temperature and so much more.
Data is important for coaches/trainers and so this live information and numbers can help the trainer/coaches determine what aspects each athlete needs to focus on more. Also, technology has made it possible for information and numbers for each game to be shared easily and quickly and stored over time
Technology is revolutionizing sports training by live-tracking performances, perfecting athletic movements, enhancing communication and virtually eliminating injuries.
How Maths Has Helped To Improve Athletes’ Technical Performance
“You dream. You plan. You reach. There will be obstacles. There will be doubters. There will be mistakes. But with hard work, with belief, with confidence and trust in yourself and those around you, there are no limits.”
- Michael Phelps
A famous mathematician and Arsenal fan, Professor Marcus Du Sautoy, once said, “Those players who intuitively have a good sense of geometry and calculus, they’re the ones who will have the edge.” Maths serves as a basis for athletes to constantly measure their performance in their pursuit of perfection.
Besides giving people the skills they need to look after their finances and evaluate with percentages, maths can also help people make leaps in their athletic progress!.
Therefore, it should not surprise us that sport relies heavily on algebra, geometry, multiplication tables, arithmetic, whole numbers, proportions, etc. Mathematics we learn during our early education goes a long way in shaping and helping us in the future.
It can be applied to sporting activities to break and track records. For instance, Javier Sotomayor has had a record of high jump since 1993 and nobody has managed to beat his 2.45 meters until today.
This numerical information will make all other high jumpers strive to break this record.
Analysing a team’s performance can help coaches and managers make strategic decisions based more on logic and less on the coach’s instinct.
The data collection for example on smartwatches helps both amateurs and professional athletics to track their heart rate, distance covered per day, calories burnt, exercise time, the average speed for example while running or cycling. These data help athletes track their performance and progress in each session.
This data collection also help coaches monitor and review a game to help improve athletes performance. A player statistics can be used to determine their strengths and weakness which will help improve their performance by ensuring they focus more on their weakness while maintaining and improving their strengths.
Many sports teams have a group of mathematicians or statisticians because a huge amount of data is collected and analyzed to understand opposing teams game-play, strengths and weaknesses of players to define tactics for winning and improving athletics performance and skills.
Collection Of Data in Real-Time
The sports data analytics industry globally is estimated to grow to a whopping value of $4 billion by the end of 2022, which is over 1,643,200,000,000 Naira in Nigeria.
The amount of data available in today’s world because of technological advancements is seemingly unimaginable and sports teams can use this available data to their advantage. Many coaches make use of big data sets to create winning strategies to help individual athletes and the team as a whole.
With maths, you can also use data to get precise statistics on athletes and use them to take informed actions to improve. Understanding and applying these elements aim to make training sessions more worthwhile by developing specific training regimes with an aim in mind.
This method has proven itself to be indispensable as it enables athletes to have a scientific insight into their performance and areas for improvement.
There is even a career out of data collection in real-time and it is called being a sports analyst. Their job is to analyze and interpret statistics and the data collected for a game or during a game.
Sports analytics are crucial to many teams by helping them become their best through the interpretation and analysis of statistics gained in practices and games. Sports teams are using analytics for a competitive advantage.
These data are beneficial to many in the sports industry including coaches, managers, agents, scouts, marketing professionals, medical personnel and the analytics staff.
There are t-shirts, rackets, watches and even smart helmets with integrated trackers. The GPS built into these trackers allows performances to be analysed in real-time, while a game or activity is still taking place.
Coaches can keep an eye on the level of fatigue of their players during a football match for instance. These data can trigger decisions such as switching players or adapting a game plan.
Data collection devices will help amateurs compare their performance in each of their training sessions and find what works best to help them improve. Mobile apps and fitness watches or bracelets are popular among amateur athletes looking for a way to see how they’re doing.
Mathematics will remain a huge part of everyone's lives whether we accept it or not.
It is safe to say now that sports are incomplete without applying some mathematical concepts. As technology continues to evolve, researchers will continually work to resolve problems encountered in sport.
If you need a maths tutor to teach you basic mathematical principles or you need help to improve your maths skills, then check out the various maths tutors on Supeprof Nigeria. Regardless of your location or budget, you will always have one that is right for you on our tutoring platform.
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