ISSN 2079-6617 (Print)
ISSN 2309-9828 (Online)
Ru | En
Russian Psychological Society
The Faculty of Psychology. Lomonosov Moscow State University.
Main RSS Search


Leonov S.V., Polikanova I.S., Bulaeva N.I., Klimenko V.A. (2020). Using virtual reality in sports practice. National Psychological Journal, [Natsional’nyy psikhologicheskiy zhurnal], (13)1, 18–30.


Background. The popularity of using virtual reality in various areas of life is growing steadily every year. The use of virtual reality in sports, including sports of the highest achievements, has both advantages and disadvantages that will be considered in this paper.

The Objective is to study main aspects of using virtual reality in sports, including the historical aspect of the method, the main current areas of using the method, the existing advantages and limitations of the method for using in sports practice, including sports of the highest achievements.

Results and conclusions of the study. It is shown using virtual reality technologies in sports has a whole range of advantages, including removing restrictions imposed by real sports: preventing sport injury; creating environmental conditions (weather, humidity, rivalry, etc.), lack of dependence on sport equipment, weather or location, and the ability to engage in hard-to-reach and expensive sports accordingly. However, there are a number of problems that make it difficult to use virtual reality in sports, in particular, using sport equipment and assessing skill transfer.

Received: 03/05/2020
Accepted: 03/16/2020
Pages: 18-30
DOI: 10.11621/npj.2020.0102

Sections: Psychology of virtual reality;

PDF: /pdf/npj-no37-2020/npj_no37_2020_018-030.pdf

Keywords: virtual reality; sport; high performance sports; artificial environments; sport psychology;

Available Online 31.03.2020


The study was supported by the Russian Science Foundation, grant number 19-78-10134.


Abdel Ghani Karkar, Somaya AlMaadeed, Rehab Salem, Mariam AbdelHady, Sara Abou-Aggour, & Hafsa Samea KinFit (2018). A Factual Aerobic Sport Game with Stimulation Support. International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning (iJET), 13(12), 50–67. doi: 10.3991/ijet.v13i12.8626

Anderson-Hanley C., Snyder A.L., Nimon J.P., & Arciero P.J. (2011). Social facilitation in virtual reality-enhanced exercise: competitiveness moderates exercise effort of older adults. Clin Interv Aging, 6, 275–280. doi:10.2147/cia.s25337

Anne A. Cuperus, & Ineke J.M. van der Ham (2016). Virtual reality replays of sports performance: Effects on memory, feeling of competence, and performance. Learning and Motivation, 56, 48–52. doi: 10.1016/j.lmot.2016.09.005

Annesi J.J., & Mazas J. (1997). Effects of virtual reality-enhanced exercise equipment on adherence and exercise-induced feeling states. Percept Motor Skill, 85, 835–844. doi:10.2466/pms.1997.85.3.835

Bideau B, Multon F, Kulpa R, Fradet L, Arnaldi B, & Delamarche P. (2004). Using virtual reality to analyze links between handball thrower kinematics and goalkeeper’s reactions. Neurosci Lett; 372(12), 119–122. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2004.09.023

Chul-Ho Bum, Tara Q. Mahoney & Chulhwan Choi (2018). A Comparative Analysis of Satisfaction and Sustainable Participation in Actual Leisure Sports and Virtual Reality Leisure Sports. Sustainability, 10(10), 347. doi: 10.3390/su10103475

Dal Monte, A. (1983). La valutazione funzionale dell’ atleta. Roma, Sansoni. Ed., Firenze.

David L. Neuman, Robyn L. Moffitt, Patrick R.Thomas, Kylie Loveday, David P. Watling, Chantal L. Lombard, Simona Antonova, & Michael A. Tremeer (2018). A systematic review of the application of interactive virtual reality to sport. Virtual Reality, 22, 183–198. doi: 10.1007/s10055-017-0320-5

Felix Hülsmann, Jan Philip Göpfert, Barbara Hammer, Stefan Kopp, & Mario Botsch (2018). Classification of motor errors to provide real-time feedback for sports coaching in virtual reality — A case study in squats and Tai Chi pushes. Computers & Graphics, 76, November, 47–59. doi: 10.1016/j. cag.2018.08.003

Frisoli, A., Ruffaldi, E., Filippeschi, A. et al. (2010). In-door skill training in rowing practice with a VR based simulator. Int J Sport Psychol, 10, 14–17.

Gokeler, Alli & Bisschop, Marsha & Myer, Gregory & Benjaminse, Anne & Dijkstra, Pieter & Burgerhof, Johannes & Otten, Egbert & van Keeken, Helco & Raay, Jos. (2014). Immersive virtual reality improves movement patterns in patients after ACL reconstruction: implications for enhanced criteria- based return-to-sport rehabilitation. Knee Surgery Sports Traumatology Arthroscopy. 24. doi: 10.1007/s00167-014-3374-x.

Ijsselsteijn W., de Kort Y., Westerink J., de Jager M., Bonants R. (2004). Fun and sports: enhancing the home fitness experience. Lect Notes Comput Sci, 3166, 46–56. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-28643-1_8

Irwin B.C., Scorniaenchi J., Kerr N.L., Eisenmann J.C., Feltz D.L. (2012). Aerobic exercise is promoted when individual performance affects the group: a test of the Kohler motivation gain effect. Ann Behav Med, 44, 151–159. doi:10.1007/s12160-012-9367-4

Jehee Lee, & Kang Hoon Lee. Precomputing Avatar Behavior From Human Motion Data. Graphical models, 68(2), 158–174. doi: 10.1016/j. gmod.2005.03.004

Petri K., Bandow N., & Witte K. (2018). Using Several Types of Virtual Characters in Sports - a Literature Survey. International Journal of Computer Science in Sport, 17(1), 1–48. doi: 10.2478/ijcss-2018-0001

Kelly, A., & Hubbard, M. (2000). Design and construction of a bobsled driver training simulator. Sports Engineering, 3, 13–25. doi: 10.1046/j.1460- 2687.2000.00037.x

Kerr-Dineen, L. (2018). This Is a Simulation. (And It’s Still Golf!). Retrieved from: (accessed 2 July 2019).

Kim Daehwan, & Кo Yong Jae (2019). The impact of virtual reality (VR) technology on sport spectators’ flow experience and satisfaction. Computers in human behavior, (95), 346–356. doi: 10.1016/j.chb.2018.12.040

Kim S.Y., Prestopnik N., & Biocca F.A. (2014). Body in the interactive game: how interface embodiment affects physical activity and health behavior change. Comput Hum Behav, 36, 376–384. doi:10.1016/j.chb.2014.03.067

Kovalev A.I., & Klimova O.A. (2017). Diagnostics of sustainability of vestibular functions in athletes with application of virtual reality technology. [Sportivnyj psiholog], 3,(46), 4–8

Kruchinina A.P., & Chertopolohov V.A. (2016). Application of virtual reality technologies in sports [Materialy vserossitskoy nauchno-prakticheskot konferentsii po voprosam sportivnoy nauki v detsko-yunosheskom sporte i sporte vysshih dostizheniy], 196–201.

Kulpa R., Bideau B., Brault S. (2013). Displacements in virtual reality for sports performance analysis. New York, NY: Springer, 299–318. doi: 10.1007/978- 1- 4419- 8432- 6 _ 13 .

Lee, H.T., & Kim, Y.S. (2018). The effect of sports VR training for improving human body composition. J Image Video Proc., 148. doi: 10.1186/s13640- 018-0387-2

Lee, K.C. (2004). Future directions for an applications of virtual reality in physical education. Korean J. Phys. Educ., 43, 337–347.

Legrand F.D., Joly P.M., Bertucci W.M., Soudain-Pineau M.A., & Marcel J. (2011). Interactive-Virtual Reality (IVR) exercise: an examination of in-task and pre-to-post exercise affective changes. J Appl Sport Psychol, 23, 65–75. doi:10.1080/10413200.2010.523754

Liang Zhang, Guido Brunnett, Katharina Petri, Marco Danneberg, Steffen Masik, Nicole Bandow, & Kerstin Witte (2018). KaraKter : An autonomously interacting Karate Kumite character for VR-based training and research. Computers & Graphics, 72, 59–69. doi: 10.1016/j.cag.2018.01.008

Menshikova G., & Krasilschikova N. (2017). Testing the interaction with a self-avatar using behavioral measures. Psychophysiology, Blackwell Publishing Inc. (United Kingdom), 54(1), S141–S141.

Menshikova G., & Tikhomandritskaya O. (2018). Gender bias when intercating with avatars. International Journal of Psychophysiology, Elsevier BV (Netherlands), 131, 116–117. doi:10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2018.07.315

Menshikova G.Ya, Saveleva O.A., & Zinchenko Yu P. (2016). Effects of interpersonal distance during interactions with avatars in virtual environments. International Journal of Psychophysiology, Elsevier BV (Netherlands), 108, 163–163. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2016.07.467

Menshikova G.Ya, Tikhomandritskaya O.A., Saveleva O.A., & Popova T.V. (2018). Gender Differences in Interactions with Avatars of Diverse Ethnic Appearances. Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 11(4), 211–222. doi: 10.11621/pir.2018.0414

Merians, A.S., Jack, D., Boian, R., Tremaine, M., Burdea, G.C., Adamovich, S.V., Recce, M., & Poizner, H. (2002) Virtual reality-augmented rehabilitation for patients following stroke. Phys Ther, 82(9), 898–915. doi: 10.1093/ptj/82.9.898

Mestre D.R., Ewald M., & Maiano C. (2011). Virtual reality and exercise: behavioral and psychological effects of visual feedback. Stud Health Technol Inf, 167, 122–127. doi:10.3233/978-1-60750-766-6-122

Murray E.G., Neumann D.L., Moffitt R.L., & Thomas P.R. (2016). The effects of the presence of others during a rowing exercise in a virtual reality environment. Psychol Sport Exerc, 22, 328–336. doi:10.1016/j.psychsport.2015.09.007

Nicolas Vignais, Richard Kulpa, Sébastien Brault, Damien Presse, & Benoit Bideau (2015). Which technology to investigate visual perception in sport: video vs. virtual reality. Human movement science, 39, 12–26. doi: 10.1016/j.humov.2014.10.006

Nunes M., Nedel L., & Roesler V. (2014). Motivating people to perform better in exergames: Competition in virtual environments. In: Proceedings of the 29th annual ACM symposium on applied computing. ACM, New York, 970–975. doi:10.1145/2554850.2555009

Petri K., Bandow N., Emmermacher P., Schrumpf R., Masik S., & Zhang L. et al. (2015). Development of a decision system for an autonomous interacting character in a virtual reality environment to study anticipation in karate kumite. In: Sport- technologie zwischen Theorie und Praxis VI. Aachen, Germany: Shaker, 150–5. ISBN 978-3-8440-3974-0

Plante T.G., Aldridge A., Bogden R., & Hanelin C. (2003). Might virtual reality promote the mood benefits of exercise? Comput Hum Behav, 19, 495–509. doi:10.1016/S0747-5632(02)00074-2

Pressman, S. Matthews, K.A. Cohen, S. Martire, L.M. Scheier, M. Baum, A. & Schulz, R. (2009). Association of enjoyable leisure activities with psychological and physical well-being. Psychosom. Med., 71, 725–732. doi:10.1097/PSY.0b013e3181ad7978

Ren-Jay Shei (2018). Competitive influences of running applications on training habits. The Physician and sportsmedicine, 46(4), 414–415. doi:10.1080/ 00913847.2018.1483696

Rozhencov V.V., & Afon’shin V.E. (2013). Tactical training in game sports using virtual reality. [Programmnye sistemy i vychislitel’nye metody], 3, 272–276.

Ruffaldi E., Filippeschi A., Varlet M., Hoffmann C., & Bardy B. (2012). Design and evaluation of a multimodal virtual reality platform for rowing training. In: Bergamasco M, Bardy B, Gopher D, (eds). Skill training in multimodal virtual environments. CRC Press/Taylor & Francis, Ltd., 173–86. 10.1201/ b12704-16

Saveleva O.A., Zacharkin D.V., & Menshikova G.Ya. (2016). Body and eye movements during interactions with avatars in virtual environments. Perception, Sage (London, England), 45(S2), 62–63.

Schupak, A. (2018). Simulated Golf, Real Results: Off-Course Participation Helps Drive Engagement. National Golf Foundation. Retrieved from: https:// (accessed 15 July 2019).

Sherman W.R., & Craig A.B. (2002). Understanding virtual reality: interface, application, and design. Elsevier, San Francisco

Shi, Y., & Peng, Q. (2018). A VR-based user interface for the upper limb rehabilitation. In Procedia CIRP, 78, 115–120, doi: 10.1016/j.procir.2018.08.311

Slater M. (2009). Place illusion and plausibility can lead to realistic behaviour in immersive virtual environments. Philos T R Soc B, 364, 3549–3557. doi:10.1098/rstb.2009.0138

Snyder A.L., Anderson-Hanley C., & Arciero P.J. (2012). Virtual and live social facilitation while exergaming: competitiveness moderates exercise intensity. J Sport Exerc Psychol, 34, 252–259. doi: 10.1123/jsep.34.2.252

Stefan C. Michalski, Ancret Szpak, & Tobias Loetscher (2019). Using Virtual Environments to Improve Real-World Motor Skills in Sports: A Systematic Review. Frontiers in psychology, 10, 1–9. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02159

Velichkovskiy B.B. (2014). Psychological factors of the appearance of a sense of presence in virtual environments. National Psychological Journal, 15( 3), 31–38. doi: 10.11621/npj.2014.0304

Velichkovskiy B.B. (2015). Features of cognitive control as a factor of presence in a virtual environment. [Sovremennoe sostoyanie i perspektivy razvitiya psihologii truda i organizacionnoj psihologii: Sbornik materialov mezhdunarodnoj nauchno-prakticheskoj konferencii (Moskva, 15–16 oktyabrya 2015 goda)]. Moscow, Izdatel’stvo Institut psikhologii RAN, 447–449.

Velichkovsky B.B., Gusev A.N., Vinogradova V.F., Arbekova O.A. (2016) Cognitive control and a sense of presence in virtual environments. Eksperimental’naâ psihologiâ [Experimental Psychology (Russia)], 9(1), 5–20. doi:10.17759/exppsy.2016090102. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)

Velichkovsky Boris B., Gusev Alexey N., Kremlev Alexander E., & Grigorovich Sergey S. (2017). Cognitive Control Influences the Sense of Presence in Virtual Environments with Different Immersion Levels. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 10324, 3–16. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-60922-5_1

Vignais N., Kulpa R., Craig C., Bideau B. (2010). Virtual thrower versus real goalkeeper: the influence of different visual conditions on performance. Presence Teleop-erators Virtual Environ., 19(4), 281–90. doi: 10.1162/PRES_a_00003

Vogt T., Herpers R., Scherfgen D., Stru¨der H.K., & Schneider S. (2015). Neuroelective adaptations to cognitive processing in virtual environments: an exercise-related approach. Exp Brain Res, 233, 1321–1329. doi:10.1007/s00221-015-4208-x

Walls, J., Bertrand, L., & Gale, T.J. et al. (1998). Assessment of upwind dinghy sailing performance using a virtual reality dinghy simulator. J Science Med Sport, 1, 61–72. doi: 10.1016/S1440-2440(98)80014-5

Yanrong Yang (2018). The innovation of college physical training based on computer virtual reality technology. Journal of Discrete Mathematical Sciences & Cryptography, 21(6), 1275–1280. doi:10.1080/09720529.2018.1526400

Zinchenko YU. P., Men’shikova G. YA., Bayakovskiy YU. M., Chernorizov A. M., & Voyskunskiy A. E. (2010). Virtual reality technologies: methodological aspects, achievements and prospects. National Psychological Journal, 2(4), 64–71.

For citing this article:

Leonov S.V., Polikanova I.S., Bulaeva N.I., Klimenko V.A. (2020). Using virtual reality in sports practice. National Psychological Journal, [Natsional’nyy psikhologicheskiy zhurnal], (13)1, 18–30.

About Editorial Board Volumes Authors For Authors Indexing Contacts

National Psychological Journal, 2006 - 2020