Minnesota Vikings on board with virtual reality training


Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is known for his love of games.  In fact, in the past his love for the Madden NFL Football series has allowed him to input the team’s playbook and learn much of the team’s strategy that way.

Jan 30, 2014; New York, NY, USA; University of Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater attends the Madden Bowl XX Red Carpet event at the USS Intrepid Mandatory. Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The team is going one step further with technology.  According to an article on the Detroit Free Press website, the Vikings are just one of the teams in the league that finalized a deal with STRIVR Labs, Inc. to have their training enter the virtual reality realm where they can practice without the need for other teammates or coaches around.

This would be a great technology for players to have during the offseason and even for use during the preseason and days off from football.  Former Vikings punter Chris Kluwe sees a significant advantage for those willing to adapt their training to include virtual reality:

"“If you have a tool that allows you to play better than the person who isn’t using that tool, then the athletes who take advantage of that are always going to be the ones who succeed,” Kluwe said. “That’s been the evolution of sports.”"

And, of course, Teddy Bridgewater is more than eager to test out that technology and use it to help make him a better quarterback.

"“That would be crazy to be able to play with avatars,” Bridgewater said in December. “It’d be like real life almost, except that you can’t get tackled and it won’t take a physical toll on your body.”"

With technology advancing the way it has, it is surprising that techniques like this haven’t been adopted into the NFL already.  Perhaps it was the cost associated with getting players equipped with the devices needed, but now it appears as though the virtual realm is ready to take on the National Football League.  And the Minnesota Vikings are at the forefront of the movement.

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