Technological development in football the last 30 years, football has developed dramatically. Improvements have been made not only in terms of footwear, footballs, goal keeping gloves and other general equipment, but also in terms of training methods and the attitude towards the professional game (i.e. drugs in sport and dieting in particular). Training and attitude over the last 30 years, most training methods have become much more specific to the sport, so sports players can become specialized at one particular activity.
Describing the benefits of technological developments in football and the design of football equipment such as advanced features and benefits of football boots which are, light weight and are made of such materials as kangaroo leather. Most top level players have sock-liners which fit with the contours of foot to provide extra comfort and strategically placed traction blades provide maximum grip. Football boots help with a players grip, acceleration and turning ability. Footballs have had technological advancements such as having air retention system, being high density and having a high abrasion surface which provides extra durability. The match balls played with in the premiership is precision engineered to exact standards to ensure that it is produced to within 3g of its ideal weight and to an exact circumference of 68.5cm. The benefits of the newer footballs are the increased swerve that the ball offers and a better accuracy of passing.
The football boots worn by British teams’ right up to the fifties weighed around 550 grams, and the heaviest part was the steel toe cap. Today, football boots weigh a mere 150 to 175 grams and fit snugly around the foot like a second skin. With just 100 grams less on each foot, a player taking around 10,000 steps during a 90 minute match needs to move approximately two tons less weight during the game. But having these technological developments in football equipment really affect the level of standard we compete at in today’s sporting environment or have branding companies such as Addidas, Nike and Reebok just used this so called advance to get us buying their new equipment.
What I’m hoping to find out is what, if any, has the development of footballing equipment such as football boots and footballs played in refining and advancing a performance or weather the equipment used 10 years ago was adequate enough to play with in today’s game with affecting performance.
To carry this research out I have devised an experiment using the most up-to-date sporting equipment and the equivalent from 10 years ago, to find out weather the advance of technological development can really improve a performance. I will analyze a competitive situation in a 5-a-side match where agility, accuracy, power and balance are needed; one team will have the developed equipment and the other the standard equipment. I will statistically record the whole game when it comes to shots on and off target, possession of the ball, first players to the ball and overall performance. To make the test valid the teams will swap equipment at half time.
From analyzing my research I found startling evidence, I found that there was hardly any difference, if any between the two types of equipment. Looking at my finding the developed equipment had marginal advantages on its predecessors. What is did find was that the team with the advanced equipment didn’t seem to work as hard to keep up with the pace of the game the competing team had to work much harder to compete at the same level as their competition. This may be a huge factor as the level of football progresses when it comes to marginal factor that make a team successful advances in technology make the difference.
From analyzing the game is the amount of injury the team with the new developed boots suffered. One individual who wore the equipment could feel the brunt of the challenge much more than the thicker material from the older boots, also one of the players suffered knee injury in the advanced boots. This issue caused me consider whether this new technological advanced in equipment can really refining a players performance or damage it. The function of the football boot is basic it provides some means of attachment to the playing surface whilst encasing the foot for protection, however this causes the player to go in one direction and to leave his foot behind and now with the development of football boots grip has become even more robust with grip causing serious injury if fixed to the surface. No shoe can ever guarantee full protection against injuries, because there exists a conflict between the function of the shoe and the interests of the human body. But with the continuous development of boots this issue may be discarded in the favour of the best boots on the market rather than enhancing an individual performance.
Statistically speaking when comparing the two type of equipment the developed boots were more consistent so when discussing on refining a performance the technological development of football equipment can help to make progression at your level by offering you an easy way of improving, by that I mean you can still improve and refine your performance without buying the latest equipment but from analyzing new and old technologies the transition will be much harder.
How I feel about the development of football equipment with refining a performance with regards to the lack of protection given by modern football boots, and the repercussion in terms of player injuries, there seems little to suggest that the major manufacturers are going to give up their quest for the lightest football boot for a more protective one. The proliferation of big money sponsorship deals, namely Nike Ronaldinho, Adidas with David Beckham and Reebok with Thierry Henry, has become a huge factor that drives the success and sales of a football boot maker, but is viewed as at a cost of injury and stagnation in football boot research and development. All we can predict for the future is integration with sensor technology, lighter and more powerful football boots and more outlandish designs and styles rather than the simple quest on improving an individual.