All the work of the past provides us in tennis with a foundation for implementing new technology and tools. Ignoring this past work encourages empty usage of technology to simply appear on the forefront of the industry. By considering and learning from the innovations of the past, those in tennis can create the optimal technological future. Today four main types of innovators seemingly exist in the space of tennis technology.
The first group are tech companies that make sweeping decisions in boardrooms. Overall tennis is a tiny market for these companies, and as such tennis receives little consideration. Without an on-court connection to tennis and understanding of practical processes, these companies struggle to effectively create technology tools for tennis players.
Another group consists of great individual business people who have identified the demand for cutting edge technology in the tennis market. Despite the demand for innovation from clients, the specific uses of this technology are difficult to determine due to tennis’ complicated nature. Without clear applications for new technology, these business-driven people tend to create and use technology only as a means for making a coach or program appear cutting edge.
Next are the older group of coaches skeptical of new technology. Twenty years ago, many of them invested in Dartfish, considered the first big tech advancement in tennis. The substantial time and monetary investments necessary for learning and purchasing the video analysis software, were never recovered by most of these coaches. Feeling misled, these coaches now hesitate to return to video analysis and tennis technology even though it is free in many cases. This group is currently sitting on so much untapped knowledge pertaining to creation of new technology tools for tennis.