The father-son team, Doug and Cody Nelson, are looking to help lacrosse goalies hone their blocking skills by using virtual reality with a paired simulation and app. Virtual Goalie was developed by the ambitious high school goalie and his father, a high school lacrosse coach and past college-level player.
After realizing once a week private goalie lessons weren’t enough practice to see results on tricky bouncers, Doug asked Cody if he could create a lacrosse field for VR. As a well-rounded lacrosse player trained in attack position who transitioned to goalie and is a 5-year programmer, Cody obliged, creating a lacrosse field in less than 2 days!
In a SportTechie article, Cody explains how computer programming and lacrosse are passions they’re both driven by, “I have been programming and working with computers for five years now” and that “I first picked up a stick when I was three, I played my first game a couple of years after that.” Doug, who works in IT and is a hard working lacrosse coach and past player said, “I’ve been a coach for 17 years, and Cody has been on the field with me since before he could walk.”
Standing in front of the goal, the goalie has a player that will appear and take shots on them. Using the crosshairs to look at a player on the field and using the Oculus Touch joystick to get centered or where the goal arc is at, players shots will be targeted like they would in a game. Using the buttons, goalies can set up a queue of the types of shots or drills they want to practice and when they want to activate the shot.
What Virtual Goalie Can Do For Lacrosse Players
The duo’s Virtual Goalie website explains what the goalie sim can do for student-athletes and for lacrosse players at every level. “After refining the system, we decided that every goalie could benefit from taking hundreds of extra shots, from active coaching feedback, and real data that documents their strengths and weaknesses.”
Using a lacrosse sim can help athletes at the high school, collegiate levels and beyond improve their blocking abilities. Instead of having repetitive physical practices where goalies take body hits and sometimes injuries, jumping into Virtual Goalie can help prepare players and boost skill sets like positioning, speeding up reaction times, and how to block with mental practice.
With the rise in mainstream acceptance of VR sports simulations like STRIVR, a virtual reality football training sim that helps major league players practice offensive and defensive plays, hopefully, the office who’s considering the Nelson’s Virtual Goalie patent will take this into consideration and grant them that patent. If the patent is granted, it would be really helpful if they developed and extended their sim to all the other lacrosse positions.
Game Saving Data
Newton’s Third Law of Motion can be summarized as for every action there is an equal or opposite reaction. The same idea goes for athletics and data — for every action you take there is going to be a positive or negative outcome. So, why not start improving your blocking strategy by training yourself based on real data.
The Virtual Goalie app can be downloaded from the Google Play Store, the Apple App Store, and for PC use. The app will allow you to create and customize your own drills and courses and will give you performance-based data. Look how you stack up against yourself, by viewing statistics in one place instead of guessing or using paper. Send that data to coaches to help improve success on the field.
Virtual Goalie At LAXCON
If you’re a lacrosse player, goalie, or are interested in VR sports sims, the Nelson’s can be found at LAXCON 2018 at booth #567 on January 19-21 in Baltimore, Maryland. See what the Virtual Goalie demo is all about and give them some constructive feedback. This father and son team is impressive, ambitious, and we hope they get their patent.