Virtual reality headsets are just now hitting the market for consumers, and they could soon change the way professional and amateur athletes train and prepare to compete. The Tampa Bay Rays have embraced VR technology as a way for batters to familiarize themselves with opposing pitchers before meeting in the real world.
The Rays have set up a VR batting room, where batters face detailed replicas of pitches they might see in a game. Young players may be entering a game with no real-world experience against a particular pitcher, but VR allows batters to get in reps and have a better chance to perform in the game.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, the Rays and Pirates are both using VR as a preparation tool. The Rays' system was created by EON Sports, which demoed its technology at CES earlier this year.
Via the Tampa Bay Times:
"It's pretty awesome," said outfielder Steven Souza Jr., one of the early adopters. "I think anytime you can see a pitcher before you actually get in there, it's unbelievable. It's like standing in the bullpen. And how many times do you honestly get to do that for the opposing team?"