Monday, September 13, 2010

Unveiling the Invisible Game - Part 1

After a(nother) long hiatus mainly spent launching a business venture that’s far from anything tennis, we’re back…

For those of you who are still following us out there, we are grateful!

So, where did we leave off? Oh yes, now I remember :)…

We started talking about the power of high speed video as a coaching and training tool… (I hope that you have had a chance to see some of the high speed videos we’ve shot of the world’s top players on our YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/tennisspeed)

Lately, we’ve been getting this type of feedback from our YouTube audience that goes something like this:

“Why do you only post slow motion video? Slow motion video is just a gimmick and a waste of time.

Why don’t you post normal speed HD videos?!!! HD videos look nicer and show how the players really play in real life!”

These comments tell us that by and large, only a select few at this point can appreciate the power and the value that high speed video – ultra slow-motion video – can deliver to tennis players and coaches.

These comments also tell us that tennis players and coaches-at large need to become way more educated about the knowledge and understanding about what’s really behind pro-level tennis performance.

To be brutally honest, our naked eye – and normal speed video – enables us to see maybe, only 10 percent or less of what’s really happening every time a player executes a stroke in reality.

This means that the vast majority of players and coaches out there can’t see – and aren’t seeing – 90 percent or more of the movements that occur in each and every stroke (much less, of the critical footwork that occurs with each and every stroke).

To the masses, 90 percent of the game is LITERALLY INVISIBLE!

Doesn’t this make you at all uncomfortable (unless you’re one of those who understands the value of this tool)?

To everyone out there who will take the devil’s advocate position by saying something to the effect that:

“Hey, Roger Federer (or insert any player who established themselves before Casio started marketing their high-speed camera line in 2008) became a superstar without using high-speed video, so there isn’t/can’t be as much value in high-speed video as you claim!”

Well, here’s my response:

The way I look at it, to be the best possible coach (or player) I can be, I always need to be actively searching for anything that can improve, advance and enhance my understanding of tennis.

If this newly available tool called ultra slow-motion video reveals that otherwise invisible 90 percent of the physical movements that happen during play, by definition, it is absolutely necessary that I make a concerted effort to discover and learn what this tool/resource has to offer.

And, what we’ve found out about after beginning to be able to actually see that much more of what’s really happening physically during play has fundamentally changed the way we here view everything about how the top players really do the things that they do.

And by definition, if we can know and understand what’s really happening – versus what we believe, theorize, or outright guess – is happening, that would make anyone a better player or coach, right?

One final thought: now that we have the benefit of more detailed information at our fingertips with a consumer-accessible high-speed camera, we have come to realize that we really need to revisit – verify or confirm – virtually every last instructional idea that’s out there.

Why?

Wouldn’t common sense tell you to question the reliability of instruction that is based on only 10 percent of the total available information – evidence – that is available regarding the subject matter?

How reliable would – could - instruction derived from the 10 percent understanding of anything – tennis, golf, investing in securities, piano, drawing, etc. – be?

And, yes, we have been revisiting every aspect of commonly accepted instructional paradigms of tennis as we continue to study and analyze the hundreds of hours of high speed footage we have collected in the past 2 years.

From this point forward, we’ll begin sharing what we’ve found out about our great sport in this era we’ll now call AHSV (“After High Speed Video”).

Needless to say, adding 90 percent more information, by definition, will change the way you view the world. And definitely when I’m coaching now, I am at least 90 percent more confident that I am providing my players with the best possible information I can humanly provide…

TTFN!

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