Tennis is about to get measurable folks. It’s about to cross a threshold of technology that is going to change the game. We’re about to go Star Trek on tennis!
Perhaps you haven’t heard of the Babolat Play racket, launched in the US and EU in 2013, or the Sony Smart Tennis Sensor, not launched world wide yet. The tech is similar to that of what has been available in the running world for a few years, whereby you can link you gear (in this case your racket) to your PC or smart phone. The results are truly amazing. You can see where on the racket head you’re hitting your shots, how many shots you hit, what type of shot, amount of spin, spin type and more. It’s an essential tool for any serious player and coach, no matter the level.
You can expect these devices to hit our shores this year. The Babolat technology is built into the racket. This may make you think twice before throwing a racket for around R7000-R8000 (estimated). The benefit is that the device in the racket has been designed around the racket so it won’t change the weight or dynamics of the frame. Limited models of the Babolat range are currently available worldwide. According to our suppliers, the AeroPro Drive (300g), Pure Drive (300g) and possibly the Pure Strike (305g) or Pure Drive Lite (270g) will be available in SouthAfrica. Babolat aim to have all their frames using this tech by 2020.
The Smart Sensor is not specific to one brand. It can fit to Head, Prince, Wilson and Yonex rackets. It weighs four grams and fits snuggly into the endcap of the racket.
It doesn’t get in the way of your grip however will have a minimal bearing on the racket weight. In tennis terms 4 grams will make a dynamic difference when multiplied by forces when swinging and striking the ball, but I think that most us can live with this considering the other benefits.
These devices are going to be big game changers. I wonder upon the effect this is going to have on the game five or ten years down the line. Players will become so refined as they will be able to identify and improve on their strengths and weaknesses, nearly like tennis robots. I can’t wait to get one of these devices for myself so that I can go all C3P0 on my tennis game.
Here are some other cool things happening in the tech world of tennis:
Smart Tennis Court, developed using the Israeli missile technology, offers you the same functionality as analysis on TV and can call balls out of for you too. It’s awesome.
The Adidas MiCoach range can help you take your movement game to the next level. Have a look at the video below and shop for the MiCoach gear here.