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How Science is Revolutionizing Sports Performance

Articles for Athletic Trainers and News Stories
Combining talent with technology is no secret among top-performing Olympic and Paralympic nations. As Australia prepares for the upcoming Olympics and Paralympics in Paris 2024, Los Angeles 2028, and Brisbane 2032, the country's sports scientists are developing cutting-edge technologies to enhance athletic performance.

Emerging digital technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and quantum sensing are at the forefront of this revolution. Athletes, teams, and coaches are increasingly using AI-assisted tools to improve performance and reduce injuries. These technologies are becoming more accessible, and soon, local clubs might benefit from AI-powered insights and officiating.

Science Changing Sports in AustraliaPersonalized training is becoming a norm, first developed for para-athletes and now extending to able-bodied sports with digital support.

Biometric trackers, often seen on footballers, provide real-time performance data that coaches use to optimize training and prevent injuries. Quantum sensors further enhance this by profiling athletes' biochemistry, offering new methods for injury prevention and drug testing.

Sports scientists are creating digital twins of athletes by combining data from wearables, cameras, and body samples.

These digital replicas allow for extensive testing in various environments to optimize nutrition, technique, and strategy. For instance, swimmers and rowers can refine their techniques through simulated trials, potentially enhancing their performance significantly.

AI also plays a crucial role in sports analytics.

Sophisticated player analytics are now a staple in major sports broadcasts, with real-time updates on player performance and tracking. On-field sensors and cameras, combined with AI, provide deeper insights into player and team performance, guiding training and coaching adjustments.

AI's benefits extend beyond elite athletes. Amateur coaches and parents can use smartphone apps to capture player vision and provide team dynamics insights.

AI officials could support volunteer umpires and referees in local competitions, offering computer-powered backup and resolving controversial decisions.

While AI brings numerous benefits, ethical considerations are paramount. The Collaborative Intelligence Future Science Platform explores human-AI collaboration, ensuring trust and proper application of AI in sports.

The Australian Sports Commission and Australian Institute of Sport are developing safeguards for using athlete data, focusing on privacy, safety, and cybersecurity.

As sports science continues to evolve, it is essential to cultivate a new generation skilled in AI and emerging technologies, ensuring the continued advancement and ethical application of these innovations in sports.

Read more from CSIRO here