Ice hockey training facilities could be transformed with the launch of the world’s first virtual-reality (VR) technology that enables players to simulate drills, game situations and improve reactions.
Sense Arena, which has developed its training software for use with VR headsets, will debut its state-of-the-art technology at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January 2019.
The system has had input from a number of professional experts including Boston Bruins’ star David Pastrnak and former NHL player Jan Ludvig, and offers more than 50 drills focusing on the development of speed of reaction, decision making, anticipation, intelligence and multitasking – all without a player having to suit up and hit the ice. It also enables players and coaches to view diagnostics from individual training and compare with benchmarks against other members of the team.
“The brain is the most important muscle in an athlete’s body. Every command to our bodies starts in the brain. Improving cognitive functions of players is going to be the new game-changer. VR gives you the benefit to work on speed of reaction, decision making, reading of the game, etc,” said Bob Tetiva, founder and CEO of Sense Arena.
The ability to offer digital training and testing allows for a greater number of repetitive drills within a training session compared with that on the ice, as well as freeing up space and reducing running costs for individual training within an ice hockey rink.
“The technology and the reality of the environment are just amazing and so far we’ve only seen half of what Sense Arena can be further developed into,” said Boston Bruins’ Pastrnak.