Is Tennis Emerging from the Dark Ages?
The opinions expressed in this article are those of Dr. Brian Gordon and do not necessarily reflect the position of TCPR, it’s specialists or it’s partners.
At a time when most sports have seen significant evolution in their approach to and utilization of technology, tennis hasn’t seemed to do so. Sure, digital video advances have made it more widespread in player development and match analytics have gained some popularity.
Consumer grade ball tracking technologies are more widespread but seem to be used more for video streaming than quantitative data. The tennis organizing bodies talk about sport science and technology but meaningful utilization and implementation seem far from reality.
So, what gives? Why is tennis so far behind the rest of the sporting world? Why the resistance? I’m sure there are many reasons. In my experience the main one seems to be survival – where I live there are probably 60 “academies” within 60 miles of my facility.
The competition for players to train (pay) at these academies is as cut-throat as it gets. Most of the programs are deeply rooted in the past. They have neither the resources nor the expertise for innovation. As a result, there tends to be a consistent rejection of substantive change.
It is not hard to see that extrapolation of this attitude across the sport leads to systemic rejection of sophistication, science and technology. This situation never ceases to amaze me as I see the innovative advancement of training and athlete development in other sports.
Is there any way tennis emerges from the dark ages and players gain access to sophisticated and credible methods? Clearly this will have to be driven by the players… a glimmer of hope resides in a recent experience I had at Indian Wells with Microsoft, Simi Reality Motion Systems, and Coco Gauff. A long way to go but perhaps this article portends the future – Read the Article Here.