From beginners to instructors, a new high-tech teaching tool is having a big impact on the games of some tennis players. NY1's Adam Balkin filed the following report.
Finally, avid tennis players have access to a technology that golfers have had for years to help improve their games.
The Club at Riverdale in the Bronx is the first private tennis club in the United States to have what's called a "SmartCourt" created by PlaySight Interactive.
"A company from Israel actually got their idea from using after-action review in the Air Force, and they decided, 'If we have this technology here, we can bring this to sports,'" says Ali Margolies of TCR.
The setup includes five cameras surrounding a court that record just about every angle. A kiosk then shows players, in a whole host of ways, what those cameras caught.
"Watch your video, see it in 3-D. We have some really great stats," Margolies says. "So, for example, if you're serving, it'll tell you the percentage of your serves that were hit in the 'T,' the percentage that were wide, in the body."
From the young students through to the instructors, anecdotally, most people who have used it seem to agree that it's kids who are benefiting most from the system so far.
"After my lesson, I went home and I logged on to the website, and I could re-watch my lesson," says student Oliver Leeds. "So that way, I got to work on some stuff at home and realize what I have to do more to just keep getting better and better."
"I can actually show the student visually what they're doing wrong rather than just say it verbally, and I find that a lot of kids, in fact, most kids, react better to the visual than to the verbal," says Gilad Bloom, director of tennis at TCR.
In addition to helping users improve their game, "SmartCourt" will also help keep users honest while on the court, serving as an all-seeing, all-knowing umpire.
"The PlaySight machine is a complete official, so you can set it to call all of the lines, you can set it to only call the serves, and it even calls the speed of your serves if you want," Margolies says.
Right now, there are just three "SmartCourts" in the United States, two in New York and one in New Jersey. Developers say the best way to keep up with where new ones are being installed is by checking out the PlaySight Facebook page.