Don’t let the dirty towels fool you. Today’s sports-training facilities have evolved past the sweat factories of yesterday and into command centers where data on every swing, kick and shot are analyzed to make even the best athletes better. Now average Joes can elevate their game with Bluetooth, microchips and good old-fashioned sweat.
Kick Like Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo’s “knuckleball” kick baffles goalies and physicists. The miCoach Smart Ball by Adidas ($299) aims to bring out your inner knuckleball, tighten your shooting and sharpen your long pass. The Bluetooth-enabled ball uses an iPhone app to record your performance data, including kick velocity and trajectory, and offers tutorials designed to replace your sorry toe kick with a power shot.
Shoot Like Derrick Rose
Your three-pointer is better than you think. Wilson’s Smart Basketball ($TBD) can prove it. A built-in sensor detects made and missed shots and records distance and position, while a Bluetooth app maps your shooting percentages to show where you’re hot and where you’re not.
Serve Like Serena Williams
Tennis starts with the serve. Clip Zepp Labs’ sensor ($150) to the end of your racket handle and see a 3-D rendering of your serve on your smartphone or tablet. The evaluation includes such statistics as racket speed, spin and backswing time, as well as an outline of where you made contact on the racket. Overlay two serves or compare your swing with a pro’s to see how far you have to go.
Swing Like Tiger Woods
Let technology save you from the sand trap. Swingbyte’s golf sensor ($169) clips to any club and relays analysis to any Android or iOS device. View a 360-degree rendering of your swing, along with stats from swing speed to the amount of clubface that connected with the ball. Pair it with your Google Glass and see the information immediately on your walk to the green.
This article originally appeared in the September 2014 issue of Playboy.