Pressure to win at the highest levels of professional sports can be smothering and all-consuming. Managers and coaches, knowing how few and fleeting their opportunities, don’t take their duties lightly. And because of that, many of them aren’t keen on taking chances.
It’s a phenomenon that proliferates throughout sports: tradition over innovation. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Coaches learn from other coaches, stifling creativity over time and leading to homogeneity in preparation – whether it’s preparation, team-building or game-planning. In sports, there’s only one thing that will get the person in charge run out of town faster than being wrong: it’s being wrong and different.
This makes natural skeptics of managers and coaches. Show them a new technology designed to save them time, improve their players’ performance and promote team success, and they’re likely to cast a wary eye, smirk, and reply with a series of questions:
Does it work?
No, does it really work?
How does it work?
How can I make it work better than anyone else?
At Sportlight, our business hinges on demonstrating to sports franchises how LiDAR technology can help performance evaluators improve assessment, interpretation, and, ultimately, outcomes. And we understand how critical it is for those personnel and an organization’s head of on-field operations to be of one mind in their approach. So to convince a manager or coach of the value of LiDAR, focus on these elements:
Accuracy. Managers and coaches are nothing if not sticklers for execution. LiDAR, then, is technology after their own hearts. Its precision surpasses that of any other technology currently in use or on the horizon in sports.
Proven results. Here’s the answer to that question “Does it really work?” Well, NASA has been using LiDAR technology for decades, and today it’s virtually ubiquitous across our daily life. Practically every coach and manager under the sun can reach into their pocket and pull out a smartphone that relies on a form of LiDAR.
Ease of use. Other technologies may require tripods, satellites, or elaborate setups. Not only do they risk wasting time and require additional investment, they can be clunky and distracting, interfering with data collection and results accuracy. LiDAR-based tech is leaner and often portable – a value-add given that a franchise can use it to evaluate player performance in games, at practice and even at club or minor-league levels.
No wearables. This is no small distinction. Players are notoriously finicky about their equipment, as well as general fit and feel, and most other tech is limited in its ability to collect data when it isn’t paired with sensors attached to a body in motion. Laser-based LiDAR requires no wearables, making it the most accurate, least intrusive athletic evaluation tech on the market.