The NFL can be slow in accepting the use of advancing technology, but there is tremendous value to be found. Two NFL teams seem to be taking a big step forward in the arena of virtual reality. On Monday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced they signed a deal to integrate virtual reality into their quarterback work. They will introduce the SIDEKIQ simulator football software, which comes from a company called EON Sports VR.
The Bucs are the second team to introduce virtual reality training. The Dallas Cowboys were the first, hooking up with STRIVR Lab last month. STRIVR Lab got their start at Stanford University, where the founders worked with head coach David Shaw to integrate the technology last year. The team found some success with it, and while their closing winning streak likely involved a variety of factors, the players found the product to be helpful in getting extra mental reps.
FOX Sports put together a great rundown of the STRIVR Lab product, and the development process with the Stanford football team. David Shaw is convinced it will be everywhere in the next three years, with five other colleges using it, and three more Power 5 schools expected to join.
The San Francisco 49ers have done quite a bit to advance their understanding of the game. The two big areas have been in medical assessment and organization of their pre-draft materials, but there is always room for more growth. This virtual reality training would seem to be an excellent way to get more reps for backups, as well as some final pre-game mental reps for Colin Kaepernick.