Virtual Reality headsets have been spotted on high school, college, and professional football fields. Rather than being immersed in a video game, distracted from practice, coaches are creating custom plays on EON Sports’ virtual platform allowing their team to be fully immersed in specific plays.

Just don’t let the sight of VR face sets on the field fool you — it’s a training tool and not a real-time, augmented reality honed-edge during the game. That’s not to say it isn’t a game changer though; after all, Stanford started using VR late in the season and the team had two of its best games shortly afterwards. While this prompts the causation vs correlation debate, few will argue that enhanced training is a big factor in game outcomes.

What are quarterbacks doing while immersed in there? For one thing, they’re learning how to read defensive plays in an instant and respond to them just as fast.

«This reminds me of the 1980s when football players started lifting weights; I believe it is Nebraska that is credited with the first weight program,» says Brendan Reilly, CEO of EON Sports VR. «Once really huge, very strong football players began showing up to play, other coaches were like Whoa! Where did they come from? And they had to start weight-lifting programs too because, yes, player size and strength matters when you’re trying to win. Player size wasn’t an issue until a coach made it one though.»

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