Reflection on the Sense Arena Implementation at HTT
When we were assigned the Innovation project during the DLL program, I had no idea what project I was going to choose. I searched high and low for something that wasn’t in the normal range of traditional education. Then, I thought about mixing my love for coaching hockey and education to see if there is something out there that could change the world when it comes to training ice hockey players. The Sense Arena Virtual Reality Hockey Training System is futuristic immersive platform that is now available for both home and commercial use. My plan is to incorporate SA into my Hat Trick Training Academy organization that I have setup in Northwest Florida. Having the SA will allow hockey players to train while they are not training on the limited ice that is available in the region.
Where Am I?
To say that I have made it far into the implementation of the SA into HTT is to say that the long journey is over. However, it is quite the opposite. HTT is a 501c3 organization that is funded by grants and donations. Being that I have been pre occupied with the DLL program, work, teacher certifications and coaching ice hockey, I have found little time to dedicate to filling out applications for grants and donations. What I have done in this time is speak to the individuals who have helped and designed SA as well as professionals that use with their own training and training of athletes they coach. These conversations, emails and chats have opened up another world of what and where SA can and will do in the future, only fueling my desire and want to get SA into HTT as soon as I can get enough capital/donations/grants to purchase and maintain the SA for a year.
Learning at Hat Trick Training Academy
What is Sense Arena?
Working on the innovation project has been a journey and will continue to be a journey. Honestly, working on the innovation project has taught me how to and given me the confidence to reach out and ask questions about subjects I might not know about. It has shown and helped me to realize how easy it is to ask for help. It also has taught me how not to be afraid to go after something if you believe in it. This, I know will help me out in everything I do in the future. Even if it has nothing to do with implementing anything in my career or organization. And what I mean by this is that anything that might come up with significance, I will do the same style of research and ground work needed to make sure that information will benefit our users, students and clients.
What worked? What didn’t? Lesson learned?
Looking back on the whole venture, I learned a lot of positive and not positive things. One of the biggest things is to not doubt myself and what I know. At first, I didn’t think SA would be a worth wild venture outside of my hockey coach’s mindset. Low and behold it was accepted and embraced by not only professors and colleagues (who have little to zero hockey experience) but talking with the public about it too. All had the same reaction, “It’s virtual reality? And it does what?” The great thing is that now people are seeing this stuff and they are asking for my opinion on it. By no means have I become an expert in the VR field, but it is kind of nice that people are starting to venture out into looking into the VR option of training.
How Will I Promote the Sense Arena?
Promoting the Sense Arena will be a challenge. The first challenge is, it is hockey specific. It is not commercial VR game but a training tool. The users of the SA will be hocky players and goalies. Therefor this limits the majority use to a few individuals in the region. I will have to market it outside the region and let people know that there is a SA on the north part of the Gulf Coast. As of right now the closest SA is in New England, however I expect that to change pretty soon. When promoting to the non-hockey cliental it will have to be in the full immersion aspect of the SA itself. People who have never experienced VR to this aspect could use the SA just to see what full immersion VR is like. It will be great to do studies with SA and the athletes. This information can be used to further the zero limitations the SA has.
It’s hard to put into words how much I have learned from this project. At first it seemed like a daunting task. Then it seemed like a ridiculous idea. Then, it started to come into focus. Finally, it is a dream that will come true. There is so much within the words and the lines of all this text that can’t tell the story about this journey. I do know that next time I do a task like this, I will take a more detailed journal and share it with more people both in my inner circle and those around the circle. You never know who has the ability to help.