In the 2023/24 season, Real Madrid star and French international, Aurélien Tchouaméni, prepared for a LaLiga game against Osasuna by training in virtual reality (VR).
Due to injuries to Eder Militao and David Alaba, coupled with the suspension of Nacho Fernandez, Real Madrid Head Coach, Carlo Ancelotti, decided Tchouameni, typically a central midfielder, would play as a makeshift centre-back in this fixture.
Speaking ahead of the Osasuna match, Ancelotti was quoted as saying: “We have tested Tchouameni in these two days of training and he has a defensive attitude – he is good in duels and heading.”
Tchouameni trained in VR to prepare against Osasuna
But in addition to putting in the work on the training pitch to learn his new position, Tchouameni also continued his preparations at home by training in VR.
As per a video shared by Tchouameni himself on TikTok, the Real Madrid player revealed how he used a VR headset, from the comfort of his own living room, to prepare for the LaLiga clash.
Some of the benefits the French international would have gained from training in VR were being able to familiarise himself in positions a centre-back usually finds themself in.
By playing virtual game scenarios, Tchouameni was able to immerse himself into the eyes of a centre-back and begin to understand this new viewpoint on the pitch.
All of the players' preparations evidently proved beneficial, as Real Madrid ran out 4-0 winners. Ancelloti even commented post-match that: “Tchouameni played very well for the first time as a centre-back.”
The 23-year old recovered possession four times and won six of his nine duels, more than any other player, throughout the 90 minutes. Tchouameni also won four of his five aerial duels up against Ante Budimir in the Osasuna frontline.
According to Managing Madrid, a Real Madrid fan website and owner of the largest Real Madrid Podcast in the world, Tchouameni says that VR helps him to develop his spatial awareness, anticipation, and reaction time.
He also says that it makes training more fun and engaging, as he can challenge himself with different levels of difficulty and feedback. He believes that VR gives him an edge over his rivals, as he can prepare for any situation that might occur on the pitch.
Be Your Best
One way in which professional, and aspiring, footballers can train in virtual reality is by using Be Your Best.
Be Your Best is football training in virtual reality used by professional players and clubs across the world. Clubs such as Borussia Dortmund, Wolverhampton Wanderers and FC Copenhagen and players like Martin Ødegaard have all looked to gain an edge by using Be Your Best.
The Arsenal captain trained with Be Your Best when recovering from injury. The Norwegian star said of his experience: “Really fun, but hard work. No physical load. Thank you Be Your Best for helping me train my vision and decision making during my injury period.”
Be Your Best has two main training modes, developed to improve footballers performances on the pitch - Scenarios and Matchplay.
Scenarios allow users to play through professional game scenarios from the perspective of one player. Matchplay replicates the experience of a real life game, giving users complete control over their actions and decisions.
The ultimate purpose of this VR football app is to improve footballers vision, decision making and cognitive skills. Benefits include:
- Backed by Studies: players have been shown to have an average 28% increase in their scan rate after 9 weeks of training with Be Your Best
- Train While Injured: with no physical load, Be Your Best allows players to keep improving even when injured
- Train Anytime, Anywhere: players can improve their game from the comfort of their own home and on a schedule that suits them
- Trusted By The Pros: used by thousands of pro players across the world, including the Premier League, Champions League and MLS
- Trusted By Top Clubs: some of the best clubs in the world are training with Be Your Best to help further develop their first-team and academy players cognitive skills
If you are interested in improving your on-field performances, you can start training with Be Your Best today. Here’s everything you need to know.