Application of Technology in Schools to Nurture Young Athletes in India
Last year, Srinivasa Gowda created a record by covering a 100 metre-track in just 9.55 seconds and earned the title of “Indian Usain Bolt”. This year he has created a new record breaking his previous one and completing 100 metres in just 8.96 seconds in “Soorya Chandra Jodukere” Kambala organized at Venoor-Permuda in Belthangady taluk on 20th March 2021. This single incident is enough to suggest that what he did previous year wasn’t just a fluke. Therefore, India doesn’t lack athlete potentials, but lack the resources and ability to reach out to them and train them at school level. You might argue that we just gave one example and pretend that the case would be same for the whole nation. But records are made and broken only if athletes are put under competitive scenarios. The evidence for the previous statement lies in the fact that “Bajgoli Nishanth Shetty” broke Gowda’s record last year by covering 100 metres in 9.52 seconds at Venoor Kambala.
In India, the Physical Education teachers in school are given the responsibility to nurture and guide the potential athletes of the nation. But in many Indian schools, Physical Education is not taken seriously and many a times they do not even have a qualified Physical Education teacher. In few cases, Physical Education teachers are also not able to realise the potential of these young athletes. For example, a student lacking speed but having stamina can be a potential athlete for marathons, a student displaying impeccable hand-eye coordination can be better suited for racket games, etc. In this article, we have analysed two different ways in which schools could use Sports Analytics and Performance tracking to identify student-athlete and nurture them at the grassroot level.
Finding the Right Talent:
Since, Physical Education teachers lack the bandwidth to provide individual attention taking into account the huge student population and teacher to student ratio in India, an integration of technology in performance tracking and usage of data science to identify young sporting potential can pave way to a fruitful future of Indian Sports. Technology can help identify students’ speed, stamina, agility, hand-eye coordination, decision-making skills, etc. to infer the sports-fit for a young athlete and even the position of the athlete in which he can contribute the maximum for his/her team, i.e., defender or mid-fielder or forward with respect to games like hockey and football.
Today many performance-tracking technologies exist in the market which are expensive. But soon cheaper technologies with similar features would come into the market that would do the same work of 3-Dimentional performance tracking of athletes, improvisation in their training and overall performance by measuring important data like player maximum speed, number of sprints, maximum acceleration, heat-map, work rate, etc. These statistics can diagnose potential performance problems in players, reduce injury risk, and help reduce decision-errors of players playing team games.
To make India a Sporting nation, it is essential to identify athletes at an early stage and consecutively start their training. This objective can be effectively and economically be attained through the application of technology.