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Just as digital transformation has made its way into the health field, business and various other sectors, it has found its place in sports. Now you can help your athlete or team gain a competitive edge on the court, the field or the track…leading to the digital athlete. This is possible by collecting data on athletes and analyzing it in an effective way. “Competitive advantage won’t necessarily be won by those who can collect the most data, but rather it will go to those who can make the most sense of the data and act on it in real time,” says SAP’s vice president for the sports and entertainment industry business unit, Mark Lehew.

Using digitization in sports to create digital athletes offers significant benefits to your team. How can the creation of a digital athlete translate into improved athletics and team processes?

Using Data to Your Advantage

In the competitive arena, you have to do everything ethically and legally possible to get your competitive edge. When you use it the right way, technology gives you a new way to maximize potential.

Digitization provides you with athlete insight and gives you the ability to act faster and work smarter with the information you have. A technology platform can bring together separate information about an athlete from different parts of team operations, making it more accessible. This gives you a “bigger picture” view of that athlete.

With all the data put together, you’ll be able to easily find the answers to your questions and act on the information. Digitization instantly uses the data that’s collected so you have real-time results instead of waiting for the collection, organization and analytics of the data. This could translate into a coach using team data during the game to influence results. With a platform that does the work for you, people who are less technologically savvy are able to find and use the information without an expert.

Your team will have the ability to work smarter over the way things were done in the past. You can simplify current practices and make the most out of the information you have.

Turn Data Into Results

You might be wondering how your athletes or team could gain real results from data. The digital athlete can affect many parts of your team operations. You will have the ability to scout better through in-depth information you collect about athletes around the world. Once you have chosen your athletes, technology will give you the ability to improve their performances. You can customize training with information on each athlete’s strengths and weaknesses. Also, personal data will allow you to better manage and motivate each athlete.

According to Coy Wire for CNN, technology allows teams to track an athlete’s movements during practice and games. It also gives the ability to study past plays to predict future ones, among other benefits.

A platform collects information to give coaches and managers more to work with during training sessions and even during competitions. One example is a camera on an equestrian’s helmet or on a tennis court. This sends data to a processor that translates it into useful information for coaches and managers to use during and after the competition. You can formulate better strategies, backed by solid data.

Coaching often focuses too much time on managing information, watching endless videos and creating strategies, explains Senior Baseball Columnist, Scott Miller, for CBSSports.com. Coaches then don’t have enough time to spend with players, and players are putting too much time toward watching videos instead of practicing as well. Some teams consider increasing their coaching staff to handle the duties. But digitization can solve the problem by providing the information you need without going through the videos and data yourself.

Virtual reality and gamification technologies allow you to have an idea of how plays and strategies will work before they’re carried out in person. This improves the chances of success in real time and cuts down on injuries by only using athletes when necessary. Collected data allows the team to cut down on injuries altogether by predicting them and finding ways to prevent them.

With the right platform, you’ll be able to use information from a variety of sources. Bring together medical data, salary and contract data, scouting information and videos, training videos, game data and other sources to benefit all parts of your team operations.

Not only does technology have the ability to improve your athletes and team processes, but also to create better fan engagement. It does this by offering fans all the data they want and a connected stadium. It can also provide better coverage of games, improved quality and regulations, and enhanced safety for a better game, explains Clearinghouse for Sport.

Technology lets you turn data about your athletes and team into information that’s useful. It can improve athletic performance and team operations. Are you looking for innovative ways to bring your athletes ahead in soccer, basketball, football, golf, tennis, sailing or a host of other team or individual sports? Use SAP’s S/4 HANA platform to bring together all the information you need and use it to the full potential of your athlete and your sports organization.

Find more information in SAP’s latest whitepaper on “The Digital Athlete”.

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