Practice Makes Perfect
As a lifelong Hoosier, I have a deep love for one of Indiana’s greatest traditions: basketball. I cannot remember a time in my life when I did not own a Wilson NCAA regulation genuine leather rock. Many a summer day was spent on my backyard court in South Bend, IN honing my corner jump shot, refining the technique of my layup, memorizing the feel of a perfect free throw and brazenly attempting a variety of trick shots. As the tried but true cliché proclaims: practice makes perfect.
Having been raised in such a basketball-centric environment, I was genuinely shocked to learn there were people in this world that had never heard of the critically acclaimed film Hoosiers. In the film, the great (albeit fictional) coach Norman Dale says: “if you put your effort and concentration into playing to your potential, to be the best you can be…in my book we are going to be winners.”
Wilson Sporting Goods discovered that the best way to concentrate on “playing to your potential” is to give you the data to understand your overall performance, weaknesses and strengths. The Wilson X is a connected basketball that analyzes a player’s made or missed shots, without relying on any additional sensors on your net or rim.
The basketball connects with an app on your mobile device, allowing you to record your performance over the course of a practice session. The app gives real time updates on your performance that you can stream through Bluetooth headphones or speakers while you play. Additionally, the app supports a few games or challenges that help hone play under pressure. Based on the personalized data readings, you can select specific shots that you want to work on, tracking your improvement over time.
Wilson X has an exceptional charge life, which is key for dedicated players. According to Wilson, you can shoot this ball 300 times a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year before it would even start to die.
Perhaps most importantly to basketball purists, there are no external dongles, ports, etc. on the surface of the Wilson X. By all external appearances, the Wilson X is a normal basketball. Users have not reported any perceptible difference in weight, balance or feel.
Now there are a few features of the Wilson X that are not ideal. For starters: it is designed only for shots seven feet or more away from the hoop, meaning it will not record layups or dunks. Given that few players struggle with the layup, this is only a minor setback. The Wilson X also only promises around 97% accuracy in its reading, meaning that the data you get back can be taken with a grain of salt.
Connected pieces of sports equipment are changing the way we train. With tools like Wilson X, athletes can truly train harder and smarter.
Missed our other installments of the IoT summer fitness series? Skim them below.
Clare Maher is the Product Marketing Manager at ClearObject. A graduate of Saint Mary’s College (#gobelles), Clare can usually be found yelling at the screen during a Notre Dame game, quoting any film ever made or touring the Indy restaurant scene.