We love to keep up with the technological trends and developments in the game. Our new favourite toy emerging in the market is the mobile virtual player (MVP)! Type this into your YouTube search bar and you will find a number of videos where players are incorporating this into their training.

What is it?

It is the first upright mobile training equipment on the market that is motorised and controlled with a remote. It is designed to mimic the size, weight, height and speed of an opponent, while simulating human motion. It is your artificial training partner!

What can I use it for?

Aimed at alleviating the fatigue and impact associated with player-on-player training.

• Tackling
• Blocking
• Pursuing
• Evading
• Throwing (at a moving target)

Other useful features:

• Once a player hits the target, it immediately stops movement.
• A long range controller so that coaches can manoeuvre the device from a distance.
• Switch between turf and grass mode to get optimal performance on each.
• Long battery life that extends beyond one practice.
• Different models come with arms placed in specific positions for life-like situations where players need to take the ball away from the ball carrier in a tackle.

While it is obvious how one player could benefit from owning one of these and practicing in their spare time, imagine the benefits to having a few MVP’s in a team training session? Coaches could work on one aspect with the whole team or divide the team up and have an MVP working on a specific set of group skills.

While these are not yet available in South Africa, they are available online ranging from the basic MVP (about R1 600) to the top end model (about R11 000). Let’s hope this technology grows and becomes more accessible in South Africa – we think it’s pretty cool.