Technology has caused a massive increase in performance over the past 40 years. David Epstein (in the video below) describes how the simple change in running surface and the use of running blocks has revolutionised the times for running events at the Olympic Games. Please take the time to watch this video.
This video provides come very clear examples and a great description of how technology has improved performance. Your learn to for Use of Technology asks you to “describe how technology has been used to improve performance”. This video mostly addresses how equipment advances in technology have caused improvements. This only leaves small levels of improvement to be attributed to training innovations or improved human genetic make-up (which probably contributes nothing).
If this learn to “describe how technology has been used to improve performance” were an exam question you would be looking to write an answer such as the one below.
Technology advances have greatly improved athletic performance. In fact, almost all of human improvements in athletic performance can be attributed in some way to advances in technology, whether this be equipment or training advancements.
Equipment advances have caused the greatest improvements in athletic performance. From simple advances such as using synthetic balls to allow better grip, or placing dimples in them for greater control through the air to the more advanced progressions such as tartan running tracks and carbon fibre for pole vaulting has allowed for greater performances in the modern day. Even advances in clothing, such as the “fast skin” swim suits have caused advances in athletic performance.
Training advances have further progressed athletic performance. The use of biomechanical analysis to correct technique in sports such as golf, tennis and cricket has helped athletes to improve technique and movement efficiency, reducing injury, but also improving consistency of performance. Other advances such as the use of VO2 max or Lactate Threshold testing have been used to create more targeted training zones and induce greater physiological adaptations. This has caused further increases in athletic performance.
Finally the addition of using goal line technologies, hawkeye, and video replays has become common place in many elite sports. Such advances have helped to ensure sporting results are more accurate and have continued to help athletes develop tactics and strategy and visualise their performances more accurately.
Technology has caused great improvements in performance, it makes us wonder if we are getting better at all athletes, or if technology is just making us look good.