How To Bring Fitness Tech To A Pick-Up Game

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Fitness technology is changing how many professional athletes play sports, whether it’s by collecting detailed statistics on-the-fly or regulating sleep patterns to keep up performance at its peak. For us regular guys, though, tracking workouts mostly meant counting our steps, watching our calories and mapping the odd run by GPS—that is, until some evil geniuses dropped gadgets meant specifically for basketball.

No sooner did stats-hungry athletes let out a collective gasp over digital basketballs and free throw-tracking wristbands than amateur ballers classed the devices a faux pas on the pick-up courts. Sure, if done wrong, that fancy gadget of yours can be as embarrassing as failing to set up a proper pick-n-roll. Done right, players of all levels will quickly find that these gadgets are excellent for improving the quality of their workouts. Here’s what to keep in mind if you’re planning on bringing the latest tech onto the neighbourhood court without annoying your temporary teammates.

Keep it out of sight
You’re probably keen to show off your fancy new wearable, but the best way not to annoy those in the anti-gadget camp is by not letting them know what you’re up to in the first place. Lucky for you, many fitness trackers come with the subtle form factor of a wristband or shoe insert, allowing you to stealthily track certain stats.

Forget live updates
That said, pick-up players already hate that guy who keeps texting between plays, so avoid checking your smartphone for new badges and updated stats during every turnover. Keep your focus on the game if you’d like the boys to pick you up in the future, and review the “tape” at a later time.

Stats don’t lie, but we don’t care
Record a double-double, but no one believes you? We’ve been there, but don’t whip out your tracker just to make a point. Sure, your pickup teammates can’t argue with the numbers, but pick-up basketball culture is already allergic to players who go on about box scores. Pointing to a stats tracker will all but immediately earn you an informal ban from the court.

Don’t invest too much
With so many new devices flooding the market, fitness trackers are becoming readily affordable for anyone willing to pass on a pair or two of Jordans. There are, however, pricier gadgets at your disposal—the new Apple Watch included. While water-resistant, the premium device is unlikely to stand up to a spill onto the cold, hard court of reality.

Stick to the classics

There are many aspects of the sport that will change over time as new tech emerges—and, seriously, we welcome that change. However, there’s at least one thing should always remain the same. The advent of digital basketballs from 94Fifty, Evo One and even official basketball-maker Wilson have made tracking shots readily available. The only issue is that, unless the other players are also using the device (as in Evo One’s model), you’re literally playing a different game. Stick to a regulation basketball.
 
 
 
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