Technology not only plays a role in the personal lives of the average consumer, but it’s also a vital part careers of professional athletes, both on and off the field. We recently caught up with Proteas and IPL cricket star Dale Steyn at the Oakley X-Over Challenge presented by Seartec, proud distributor of Sharp, to find out how technology influences the speed-bowler’s day-to-day life.
The 32-year-old record holder, who is an active Twitter user and self-proclaimed social media-lover, revealed that technology has given him an easily accessible and convenient avenue in which to interact with his fans, and also to have a bit of banter, because why not.
“Technology has definitely influenced my career in many ways,” said Steyn. “Social media is one of the key areas in which it has, allowing you to connect more personally with your fans or people watching sports, and presenting yourself the way you’d want rather than people making an assumption about you.”
“For example, people could assume someone is very aggressive due to their playing style on the field, but social media gives those athletes an avenue to show that there’s more to that person off the field too.”
While Steyn sees the personal benefits of social media, he also understands the platform it gives fans who want to touch base with the international star, and knows that he has a responsibility to provide them with that outlet.
“For me it’s a great way to connect with people and take questions or thoughts from their side; I know when I was 13, I would’ve loved to have had that access to someone like Allan Donald, so it’s a great way for fans who do want to interact with me to get in contact.”
With regards to his actual on-field performances, Steyn emphasises that technology brings an edge to his and his teammates’ training that is continually evolving as the sphere of sports technology does.
“Video analysis plays a pivotal role – we do a lot of analysis on the opposition as well as ourselves as professionals. Especially with cricket being such a technical sport, it gives us a closer-look at the fine details of what we’re doing wrong or right, and how to correct those issues,” added Steyn. “Technology is the best way for us to get insight into our opponents.”
And if you thought Steyn’s competitive edge was exclusive to the pitch, you’d be wrong. He also informed us that he is quite a challenging gamer, despite not playing very often.
“I play a little bit of Playstation in my downtime. I’m a lot better than my teammates. I’ve got the wool over AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis in FIFA, and they’re the big gamers. Somehow I just manage to beat them even after not playing for 3 years.”
We’ve reached out to AB and Faf for comment on that.