EON Sports VR Kickstarter Campaign Features Coach Mike Ditka, Steve Clarkson And Smartphones
If you are interested in spending a little of over $100 dollars to be able to learn football in a virtual reality setting from NFL and youth football coaching experts like Mike Ditka, Terry Shea and Steve Clarkson, EON Sports has a new crowdfunding sports technology business opportunity that promises to fulfill your training needs using a cost-effective headset and your smartphone. Since the Sports Techie community blog last spoke to the Brendan Reilly, founder of EON Sports, the world’s leading interactive 3D software provider for sports performance training, about his startup and VR products, the company has raised additional angel funds, teamed up with these football icons, and launched the new Kickstarter campaign this week in hopes of funding a new interactive training experience that will provide customized virtual reality coaching experiences powered by a user’s smartphone. I also spoke to Coach Clarkson about his perspective of EON Sports VR as a coaching tool and for youth training.
The EON Sports team is located in Kansas City, MO and consists of 8 sales people strategically scattered across the United States, 3 developers and 2 Interns, and let’s not forget the jack-of-all-trades, Reilly. He feels a new coaching and training revolution is upon us and that is virtual reality.
The launch is the first-of-its-kind allowing athletes to experience the game in a virtual setting on their smartphone as if they were on the field in a real live game – coached by some of the most well-known and respected names in the coaching industry. The technology allows the athlete to see the game from a position specific viewpoint and forces the athlete to react and interact with the scenarios and gameplay around him.
Utilizing more than a century of expertise and football knowledge, EON Sports combines its technology with its powerful football simulation software, SIDEKIQ, to create the first of its kind training experience in virtual reality. An athlete is placed in virtual reality gameplay and experiences the simulation via the DIVE Sport, an innovative product created by EON Sports and Shoogee (makers of the Durovis DIVE VR Headset).
Think back to the 1970 and 1980 eras when weight lifting was considered more of a fad than a critical component to sport. The trend of using strength and conditioning to improve college football performance was pioneered by schools such as the University of Nebraska. Coaches and trainers, in both high school and college back then did not want to rise up at 6 AM in order to have their players lift because that was simply too early in the morning. But in what is essentially a copycats mentality, folks noticed when the Cornhuskers dominated the decade with beefy lineman as is common in today’s game and jumped aboard. Brendon feels the same circumstance is happening with VR. Many younger coaches know about it yet the old school vanguard doesn’t want deal with it until it becomes a standard, and then it will be all aboard the bandwagon time because everyone is doing it. The reality is, there is no need to wait any longer.
The proven ability to provide X’s and O’s knowledge using EON Sports tech solutions is considered revolutionary. To be able to install a system, playbook and terminology in order to assess individuals, diagnose strengths and weaknesses, while in a safe and proven environment, is truly priceless.
The mobile designed software gives the user personalized, one-on-one training provided by legendary coaches like Hall of Famer Mike Ditka on the defensive side, former NFL offensive coordinator Terry Shea, NFL quarterback coach Steve Clarkson and former Texas small college coach Steve Mohr, instructing QB and offensive scenarios, in addition there is a special teams first down playbook to complete the immersive training experience set.
EON Sports Training Experience – Virtual Reality Football Training
- Mike Ditka’s Defensive Training Experience – For Linebackers, Safeties, Defensive Lineman, and Cornerbacks who want to get better.
- Steve Clarkson’s Training Experience – For Quarterbacks who want to get better.
- Terry Shea’s Training Experience – For Quarterbacks who want to get better.
- First Down Playbook’s Special Teams Training Experience – For Athletes, Punt Returners or Kickoff Specialists who want to get better.
- Steve Mohr’s Offensive Training Experience – Perfect for Running Backs, Offensive Lineman, Wide Receivers, or Tight Ends.
EON Sports Kickstarter- Mike Ditka, Terry Shea, Steve Clarkson + More
“When you are in the simulation you feel as if literally, you are standing on the field in a video game. Except in this video game Mike Ditka is telling you how to be a great linebacker — and then you have to actually DO what he says,” said EON Sports founder Brendan Reilly. “Teaming up with the game’s top coaches has enabled us to bring the technology to life and create a truly unique experience while athletes get better one rep at a time. The fact that you can now do all of this with just your smartphone is awe-inspiring.”
Sports Techie Q&A. Quarterback Guru: Steve Clarkson
Steve Clarkson, who ESPN calls the “most powerful quarterback coach in all of football,” and has worked with Ben Roethlisberger, Jake Locker, Matt Barkley, Terrelle Pryor, EJ Manuel, Nick Foles, and more, says “The biggest thing about this technology, is that it brings a realism to the aspect of quarterback training that has never been done before. I’ve been trying for years to take what happens in a game and bring it to life and it’s been impossible until now. Unlike film, this takes a virtual stance of what a quarterback is going through.”
60 Minutes Morley Safer interviewed the “QB Guru” who said the new norm for youth quarterbacks to be able to earn a college scholarship and a rare chance at a NFL career, starts with a tutor like him, training as young as 8 or 9 years old. Twenty five of Clarkson’s students have made the NFL, college recruiters are signing his best and youngest prodigies to coveted letters of intent.
After watching the 60 minutes interview and the Thursday Night Football piece on CBS a few weeks ago, I wanted to know more about his thoughts on VR and youth football training. His response hit home with me both as a former high school and college athlete, and now the parent of a toddler. Steve shared his story about playing as a kid and teenager at Wilson high school in Los Angeles, when training 12-months of the year meant playing 3 or 4 seasonal sports, each about 3 to 4 months long. Kids now train according to whatever the market bears, in other words with the onset of off-season 7-on-7 and combines, training for football is literally a year-round experience. A 10-year old trains as a quarterback 10 months or more because that is what the competition is doing and they love what they are doing.
I asked Clarkson about his feelings about EON Sports VR. He said, “Athletes have the ability to see a point-of-view (POV) and perspectives that’s different than they get from watching film. Learning X & O’s combined with the physical reps, there is nothing like it.” He added, “It allows quarterbacks the ability to see things before hand. From the very experienced to the very beginners, they can all see a play unfolding making it as unique as an arm chair QBs view. Its (EA Sports) Madden crossed with the Nintendo Wii, the characters, thought process and the defense are real, and can be seen with a 360 degree view.”
I closed out our Q&A with a question about the future of VR. Clarkson said, “Madden type games were the beginning, the systems are built in, real plays go against real defenses, the real likeness is what EON Sports brings to the table.”
I shared with Steve my past experiences with the revolutionary Gridiron 2000 in 1997/98 and the Seattle Seahawks, and the rest of the NFL, college and high school, and youth football markets we influenced with this Windows 95 expert system for game planning. So when I told him I understand the value of getting backup QB reps while exposing all players to injury free training, he responded, “Play without the pain,” by using EON Sports VR.
Reilly commented it took him 20-30 takes to film his Kickstarter video segments, but he said, “Coach Ditka stepped off the plane, and literally did his recording in one take.” Brendan shared with me that Ditka kept saying he wished he could show this VR system to (Cowboys) coach Landry. Ditka believes this is a revolutionary coaching tool.
“If Coach Landry, Coach Lombardi and Coach Halas had this tool, it would have been so much easier to teach and for the players to understand,” said NFL Hall of Fame inductee and current ESPN host Mike Ditka. “This is going to revolutionize how you teach football — I don’t care what level you are. To see actually what is going on, it’s going to make you understand the game better. The advantage of understanding what the opposition is doing, is unbelievable.”
Terry Shea, who has spent a career training quarterbacks such as Robert Griffin III, Sam Bradford, Matthew Stafford and more, claims the EON Sports virtual reality coaching tool is a game changer in the industry. “This technology has the potential to revolutionize how you train a quarterback. I think it just allows so much more opportunity for repetitions. And that is the key to success in football.”
Veteran NFL and NCAA coach Charlie Coiner is another key coaching asset at your disposal.
I asked Reilly how he got all these coaches involved and he said, “Via word of mouth.”
Watch how this product is revolutionizing the virtual teaching marketplace on Kickstarter here.
Kickstarter is a crowdfunding platform. You can help EON Sports raise $50,000 by pre-ordering via a pledge. As a backer, you select the pledge amount and earn the corresponding reward. No one pays unless the entire funding total is raised in the allotted time frame.
Rewards for your pledge start at $5 for a personal note from Reilly to a $10K interactive VR theater loaded with all the training experiences installed at your school, training facility or home mancave. Most rewards cost $39 and get you a VR training experience of your choice until they are all sold.
Costs for a custom VR theater for high school and universities run from $10,000 to $36,000 and up.
Each Training Experience will include:
- Tutorial and coaching drills– top level coaches will teach and coach you on the secrets of your position and how to be a better player.
- Interactive gameplay (like playing Xbox or PS4 Madden video games…except here your decisions matter.) Only advance if you are able to prove you know the material. *Note*- You will need a bluetooth controller to interact.
Sports Techie, A coach relies on practice, game film, and his or her coaching wisdom, to improve their players’ decision making, performance skills and team synchronicity, but why stop there when you can augment each step with virtual reality training.
The world of training has been touched by sports technology just like virtually every sport a person, animal or robot plays. Reilly says to watch for other sports such as baseball and soccer soon.
You can use an IOS or Android device, or a gaming console. Developed by coaches and athletes, DIVE Sport by EON Sports is your Kickstarter pledge away from reality.
See y’all later in Seattle and here in Atlanta.
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