Video analysis allows the coach to frame a shot or use a specific still to visually reinforce a concept for a student. Certain angles can exaggerate or…Read More
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.
Another group of coaches were already developing new tools and technologies before Dartfish, and now continue to keep up with new trends. These coaches recognized advancements in technology, and started rethinking what is possible. For many of these coaches the introduction of the iPhone was a turning point that created an opportunity to do more. With its release, the iPhone allowed for easy video analysis using a tool already found in most people’s pocket. Compared to the original Dartfish setup, the iPhone’s video capturing and editing were not only more convenient but also more cost effective. Armed with this new tool these coaches continued to innovate in the space of tennis technology.
Often the introduction of a new technological tool like the iPhone leads to gimmicky and inefficient usage, and many of these innovating coaches fell into that trap. However, overtime these coaches matured in their use of the iPhone, and now use it more efficiently. These coaches are now in what I call "the second phase of productive use of tennis technology". In this second phase, they are focused on applying tech to the specific problems faced by tennis players and coaches. Positioned between the older generation of coaches hesitant to embrace technology and the newer generation of coaches that lack years of experience, these coaches possess the right balance of specific on-court knowledge and interest in technology to successfully shape the future of tennis technology by creating new tools and processes.
Looking at the response I’ve gotten talking on this topic, it is evident that there are many coaches that want to get with the times and make sure that new technology is implemented for the right reasons in a productive manner. There is so much in proven processes, best practices, methodologies, etc we can learn from and should be extremely sensitive to as we “fuel” tennis training with technology. I am very excited that coaches are starting to seek information on productive use of technology in tennis and I know together we can make the future of tennis incredible.
By Alex Johansson
Every tennis player has probably at some point wished there was an automatic way to get the balls up...and now there finally will be. Tennibot is a patent-pending robot that picks up tennis balls for you, so you can enjoy your time on the court.
" I had the idea two years ago" says Haitham Eletrabi CEO and Founder of Tennibot. "After winning a CES innovation award in 2016 our team has been hard at work improving the robot and bringing it to market. Initially Tennibot only picked up 30 balls and and did not do great in corners. Today it will pick up 90 balls and with it's arms does a pretty good job everywhere."
The automatic assistant is meant to help when hitting with a ball machine, in a lesson, or during feeding of a group lesson. In any feeding situation it should be of great benefit.
Only people signing up (here) will have a chance to get their Robot in March when it ships. Signing up with no obligation will ensure your chance to preorder. Exact price will also be announced at that time.
Video Credit: https://techcrunch.com/video/tennibot-autonomous-tennis-ball-collector/5a268ce08c08e03048bfbde5/
For more information see
By Alex Johansson
At first testing this sensor is very promising. Head using an already established sensor company in Zepp Labs, seems to have gotten this sensor a great start. As always with tennis technology, it's about simplicity first. The Head testing version of the sensor is easy to set up and turns on by itself. It maintains the original racquet weight as it transforms any Head racquet into a smart racquet. The Inside of the app there are several functions that seem advanced and maybe a little niche...but overall this seems like a great start for Head as they are making their racquets smart.
-Fits all new Head racquets (it does fit some older ones but changes their wight slightly).
-Rumored price point around $100
-Easy set up and installation
-Simple magnet charger
-It turns on automatically
-3D serve representation
-Spin/speed/heaviness of each stroke
-Will help cut your video if filmed through app.