Last week I travelled around Australia delivering my workshop on the power of data analytics in tennis. I presented to coaches in Melbourne, Cairns, Brisbane and Adelaide. It was exciting to share this knowledge with over 100 people face-to-face. With another 4 presentations in Hobart, Canberra, Sydney and Geelong this week, I’m looking forward to meeting another bunch of dedicated coaches. I feel blessed to have these opportunities and love delivering content I am truly passionate about.
I promised in last week’s blog that I would cover some easy, practical ways all tennis coaches could capture data to improve their players’ performance. And I will, but first let’s hone in on what we mean by data in coaching.
Data in coaching consists of:
facts and statistics collected for reference or analysis.
This includes, but isn’t limited to:
The first two are fairly self-explanatory.
Statistics refers to any numerical data collected for analysis. This could be from video or from apps or even collected manually – remember my old school tracking system.
Evidence refers to anything that you can provide to your players that shows them factual, non-biased information and that helps to get your coaching points across.
With this in mind, here are 4 ideas you can use to capture data and some ways you can use it to improve your players performance.
- Use a smart phone.
I’m willing to bet that 99% of players have a smart phone with a camera. I’m also willing to bet that most coaches do too. Use it. For around $20 you can buy a fence mount and attach it to your coaching court. It can live there permanently. Then pop in your phone or encourage your players to.
You can record:
- Player coaching sessions for visual reinforcement.
- Practice matches.
- A specific shot for analysis
You can also encourage your players to buy their own mounts and record their tournament matches. This gives you both an easy (and accurate!) way to see what’s happening in pressure situations.
- Set up a closed YouTube channel.
This will give you and your players a free storage space to upload their vision and share it, either with you and/or with other players in your program.
It’s up to you how you set it up and what you want to include. But it means all your player videos are in the one spot which makes them easy to compare and analyse.
- Use Swingvision to easily gather statistics for analysis.
SwingVision is an A.I. tennis app that provides shot tracking, video analysis and line calling though your phone. You can use the app in real time or upload a pre-recorded match. It will then track player movements and ball trajectory and provide data.
Another thing the app does is condense the match, so you only watch the points being played. It removes all the in between ball collecting, bagging and change of ends so you can watch a match that took an hour to play in twenty minutes.
You or your players can then use the data from Swingvision to:
- Anlayse what really happened in a match.
- Form evidence-based training interventions.
- Gather reliable data over a period of time to form an accurate player profile.
The SwingVison pro version costs around $130 for a yearly subscription.
You can use this referral code https://swing.tennis/r/8564014f3849d647 for a 30-day free trial and $20 discount. (Full disclosure, I benefit from this too though a referral program.)
- Use the Tennis Australia Technique app
This app is designed to assist in technique development. It allows you to:
- Record your player’s strokes.
- Compare your players to reference strokes.
- Side by side
- Set a synchronisation point for comparison.
- Analyse strokes using annotation tools, voice overs and screen shots.
- Take notes next to footage.
You can use this app to:
- Quickly show your players visual evidence of what they have done
- Benchmark against pro players
- Quickly provide feedback to players who are travelling. For example, they send a quick video clip of their serve from two different angles, and you can put them side by side, annotate the problem areas, provide a voice over and send it back in minutes.
- Use it over time to show progress.
- Take notes and create a PDF report on a player.
The TA technique app costs $10 in the App Store. You can find it here.
So now you have 4 solid ways to capture data from your players and some ideas on how you can use it to improve their performance.
To make the best use of that data, you need a strategy to shape your on-court training and development. And that’s what I’ll be covering in my blog next week.
By Marc Sophoulis
Can’t wait until then? I cover this and more in my Unlocking the power of data analytics in tennis workshop for coaches. There are still a few spots for my workshop available in Canberra, Sydney and Geelong. Click here to come along. I’d love to see you there.