You go into Instagram or YouTube and see the fluid movement of Roger, or the bendiness of Novak or the cool tips and tricks by other more mainstream tennis gramers. But when you watch yourself on video, you cringe the first time.
“Is that really me?”
“It can’t be me!”
“Oh wait yep that is me…”
Watching yourself on video is hard. It’s not easy. We imagine ourselves slick as Roger in the way we play. As fast as Rafa when we track the balls down. The truth is most of us are no where near that sort of level.
But watching yourself on video should not be, do I look like them, but what can I learn from it.
From a rowing boat to a tennis court
I spent 10 years in a rowing boat, training to the highest level possible eventually earning a national vest. This was in a time when camcorders were still cool. The coach would set it up in his powerboat and just film. We wouldn’t know what was being captured but we knew we were under the spotlight. At times you might stiffen up hoping to make that perfect stroke so in the review you’d be the shining light of the team.
The post training video review was always tense. Everyone hated being on the TV and the coach pointing out your errors. This was pure humiliation at times. But the value of encouragement and reinforcement by your coach can give you the edge in your next session.
Fast forward to today where you have iPhones, GoPros, Drones. The angles, views and quality of footage can give you an incredible advantage in improving yourself in any sport.
Since picking up the tennis racket again I’ve started videoing myself playing.
Years ago I was using a GoPro. The versatility of the GoPro lets you put it in different places around the court and capture nearly everything. However the review time with my coach was difficult. The steps of downloading to a PC and then sharing it with them was a pain or showing it to them at the next training session was time consuming. And especially in a 1 hour lesson, where you want to be on the court how much time do you want to spend reviewing video from last week.
Today I use my iPhone. It’s the easiest way to capture what I am doing on the court but it is hard to find the great parts in the video that you want to share with your coach or with friends on Instagram.
This was one of the main reasons we started 40Love.ai, how can we quickly create shareable highlights. With Artificial Intelligence this is possible and makes giving your coach your videos fast and simple.
But there is a challenge to get that amazing footage.
We’ve encountered challenges when there wasn’t a fence whilst playing indoors.
- We used a couple of bins and a tripod to get the angles we wanted.
- We’ve recorded the wrong side of the fence
- We’ve forgotten to press record
- We’ve recorded our heads and no court.
- We’ve wasted 10 – 15 mins of an hour lesson setting up.
With all these mistakes we have found a solution to anyone who plays outdoors on courts with chain link fences.
For us it was important that the solution was portable, quick to setup and affordable. We don’t want to be wasting playing time setting up a holder.
It’s a simple phone holder for car vents made by Belkin. The grip easily grips into the fence and is sturdy enough to hold your phone at the right angle.
What does the future hold
With the ability to record yourself made easy with the Belkin, the more your record yourself the more you can learn.
You and your coach will have access to hours and hours of footage that they can be reviewed in your spare time.
We’ve tried to make that easy in 40Love.ai where our AI automatically generates highlights and removes dead time between points. However that is not all we are doing. Our AI is learning to recognize your movement and shots to give you even more information about your play that you have never had before.
Want to try 40Love.ai? Register for interest and join our waiting list.