Nike’s Vapor Strobe Eyewear Provides Glimpse Into Future Of NFL Training
By SPORTS MEDIA WORLD
The evolution of the modern athlete is never more evident than it is on Sunday’s in the NFL. Passes are launched with the velocity of rockets, collisions met with the impact of train-wrecks. The mantra of bigger, faster, stronger, has never been more understated.
This has led to an ongoing search for new methods of improvement, innovative avenues of growth, and new ways of training for those who work tirelessly to represent the NFL’s shield. It has resulted in an elite group of football playing athletes who can seemingly all run with the speed of a sprinter, and collectively push mountains of weight off their chests for hours on end.
The integration of sport and science over the last three decades specifically has sparked this evolution of how the modern athlete is defined. The playing field has been leveled at its highest point, and professional athletes are looking for every advantage to keep pace. The potential for what can be done has been re-calibrated with regularity. A need for a new edge created through innovative technologies has never been more in demand.
Nike SPARQ’s Sensory Performance (SSP) has been developed to meet that demand. Through use of a cutting edge interactive touch screen monitor testing system, designed to evaluate and analyze data of an athlete’s sensory skills and vision abilities, Nike SPARQ is helping lead the future of football training.
“After years of tireless testing, we’ve discovered an innovative way to help increase athletic performance,” said Dr. Alan Reichow, Global Research Director of Nike SPARQ Sensory Performance and Vision. “The SSP ecosystem of testing and products allows our team to serve the athlete with a clear and actionable plan that helps them see sport better.”
By blocking or disrupting vision through use of a strobe or flicker effect, Nike’s Vapor Strobe Glasses are designed to do this by increasing reaction times and motion skills for athletes who train while wearing them. The strobe effect switches between clear and blocked vision, training the brain to anticipate what’s coming next more quickly when their eyes are blocked.
“Sensory training is at the cornerstone of how we can build better athletes,” said Paul Winsper, SPARQ Performance Director. “With SSP we’re able to integrate both sensory and physical training together. This performance philosophy has resonated with some of the top athletes, teams and clubs throughout the world.”
Green Bay Packers Wide Receiver Greg Jennings is one of those top athletes who this philosophy has resonated with so far. He has trained wearing the soon to be released Nike Vapor Strobe Glasses, and calls them a game changer.
“I catch balls for a living,” Jennings said. “What I do is eye-hand coordination, so any way that I can improve my eye-hand coordination is going to be pivotal throughout my career. The Nike SPARQ Vapor Strobes are a total game changer, a training game changer. You take vision for granted, you take catching the ball for granted but the Vapor Strobes force you to focus on the fundamentals.”
The most fundamental steps in the evolution of anything always seem to be the ones that look so obvious in retrospect. In the world of see ball, catch ball, there is nothing more fundamentally essential than an athlete’s vision. Nevertheless, this Nike Eyewear product and sensory training device is still the first of its kind.
With changes in training techniques do come adjustments, however. Jets Quarterback Mark Sanchez has also spent time training in these glasses, and does admit that they felt weird at first.
“The first time I used the Nike SPARQ Vapor Strobes they were so weird and so difficult to get used to,” Sanchez said.
With time though, he soon noticed a marked improvement as well.
“I’ve used the Vapor Strobes to throw routes and it really helps with my timing,” Sanchez went on to say. “You want to be able to throw certain routes so well that you can do it with your eyes closed. There is a landmark that you are throwing to and you can adjust in the game if you have to. But with the Strobes on, its like throwing with your eyes closed at times, so it really makes you focus and get comfortable executing with less information.”
In a sport determined by inches, any opportunity to improve can no longer be overlooked these days. Other notable Nike Football NFL endorsed athletes who have tested and trained in the Vapor Strobes include the Rams’ Steven Jackson, Cardinals’ Larry Fitzgerald, and the Lions’ Ndamukong Suh among others. The Oregon Ducks Football Team also uses the new technology.
With Nike set to take over the NFL licensing and jersey designs next season, expect the Nike SPARQ Vapor Strobes to be on every training table across the League very soon.
Photos & Video Courtesy of Nine Eighty Four for Sports Media World
Special Thanks to Nike Football