VR sports training appears to be on the rise as major organizations begin to see the benefits.
Sense Arena, a VR training platform popular among professional sports teams, is now the official VR training tool of USA Hockey. In an official announcement made last month, the company revealed that it has signed a multi-year deal with the national ice hockey organization to train players as well as create new training drills.
As part of the partnership, the Sense Arena logo was featured on Team USA helmets during the IIHF Under-18 Men’s World Championship this past month in Switzerland. Sense Arena users can also now train with other players in USA Hockey jerseys.
“We’re excited to welcome Sense Arena to our growing list of corporate partners,” said Pat Kelleher, executive director of USA Hockey in an official release. “It’s terrific to be engaged with an innovative company like Sense Arena which is focused on utilizing technology to help players become better athletes and reach their full potential.”
Sense Arena is powered by Meta Quest 2 and is compatible with standard hockey equipment, allowing players to interact with a variety of effective training programs using their own sticks. Thanks to Quest 2’s standalone functionality, players can train virtually anywhere they’d like, whether it be an off-ice training facility or a hotel room during away games.
“Sense Arena is passionate about growing the game of hockey and we share USA Hockey’s mission of helping shape the next generation of hockey players,” added Sense Arena CEO Bob Tetiva. “I’m thrilled that our partnership will allow us to introduce the vast benefits of cognitive VR training to hockey players of all ages across America.”
We had the chance to try out the program back in 2021 when Sense Arena announced that it was partnering with the professional NHL franchise the LA Kings. During my brief demo, I participated in a wide range of drills using an actual hockey stick. This included playing keep-away with the AI to shooting on a guarded net. At the end of each drill, I was presented with a detailed breakdown of my performance, including my reaction time and overall accuracy.
“As someone who spent my youth developing under the USA Hockey model, I have seen firsthand how the organization helps players grow the skills necessary to be the best they can be,” said Andrew Alberts, former NHL defenseman and U.S. Men’s National Team member and director of hockey player development at Sense Arena. “It’s an honor to help bring our cognitive training tool to such a prestigious organization.”
For more information about Sense Arena visit hockey.sensearena.com.
Feature Image Credit: Monika Majer/RvS.Media for Sense Arena)