Over the past week I have shared with you my thoughts on the Form and Function of the Nike Hyperdunk+. Today I give you my final thoughts pertaining to the Philosophy of the Nike+ System that is implemented into the shoe.
Earlier in the summer I touched on what the Nike+ System has to offer to the game of basketball and where I could see it going in the coming years in my article, “Experiencing Sport.” The article focused on two main themes, the global connection the system can provide and how the shoe can be monitored to improve the lifespan of the product. While I still think those ideas are possible, I must say that since experiencing the product first hand my thoughts have progressed on the system.
The system will do wonders for the individual athlete. No longer do you need a trainer that is keeping track of your fitness times or telling you where you are lacking because it is right there on your mobile device. This element of the system works perfect for someone like me, the mid-to-average basketball player who turns 28 this year. I played basketball nearly everyday as a youth from elementary school through high school but I didn’t play any organized basketball through college. After college my goal has always been to be competitive on the court as basketball shifted from being about winning to being about staying fit. For me to track how much I am running compared to walking, how many steps I am taking and ultimately how many Fuel points I am burning is a perfect way to help me maintain a healthy lifestyle. However for the youth of this world, the real youth (not 20 something’s trying to think they are still playing Division 2 ball at a local YMCA) the benefits of the system are far greater.
Right now there is some ten-year-old basketball player that is living his summer life on the court. He is dedicating his every moment to improving his ball handling skills, jump shot and defense. His competitive edge and desire to win sets him out from the rest of his age group. Now think about this, what happens if he gets a pair of the Nike Hyperdunk+? He already has an innate desire to push himself to succeed, if you give him a shoe where he can set milestones; his life could completely change. He goes from progressing at a moderate time to excelling in what could be a much shorter timetable. Which in return, could take that player from being a good consistent performer through his school years to having the potential to being a professional player.
I believe the Nike+ system for basketball is less about tracking your game and more about motivating you to improve your game. For the youth, the system provides an opportunity to see daily improvement. Say that ten-year-old from the previous paragraph’s vertical jump height is 20 inches at the beginning of the summer but he wants it to be 25 by the end of the summer. He now has the tools to track himself as he pushes his body to reach his goal. Maybe once he is 14 he wants to improve his 25, what’s stopping him from going to 30? How about 35 when he is 18? What about 40 when he is 22? And so on. To improve that vertical he’s not just jumping over and over again, he is hitting the gym; which in return transitions him into a physical phenomenon that dominates the court and is more than just someone who can jump.
The amount of growth a young athlete can have with this system is going to be on such a rapid path that it will help spawn mature players at a much younger age. I really believe that this system is the beginning of a much larger path for many young athletes. Everybody has a vision for what they want to be in life, the key thing to obtain that vision is setting goals. Taking your vision and making it a reality one goal at a time is what this system provides for you. If the system is used properly it will create healthy leaders.
The key thing to all of this is how the consumers respond to it. Nike+ Running has a huge following and at one point during its early existence it was the largest social media site on the planet. This summer we will see if the basketball experience can take full effect as we track Lebron James through the Olympics as he will be wearing the Nike+ system. As an adult, I don’t really care about this because my career path is chosen; but you can be damn sure that ten-year-old will be enamored by it. If Nike+ Basketball is accepted the way its running counterpart was it will forever change the sport.