Honing the Basics

The following is a transcript of part one of the Game Changers Webinar. 


Do you have a specific example around the Sweet Spot Trainer as far as maybe an early iteration or what led you first to start using it or anything else kind of, you know kind of behind the scenes?


About this, obviously, it just slides off. So what people could do is practice with it, and if the ball hits the edge here, it’ll deflect so they know when they’re hitting off-center, and it will bring their eyes in to focus more on that contact area. 

I say contact area because and maybe you can see. This is high enough that the contact of a ball on a racket happens too fast for the human eye to see just that contact. 

With a tennis ball, it’s three to four one-thousandths of a second. That point of contact is way too fast for the human eye which can see about 60 frames per second. So that’s one-sixtieth of a second in which the human eye can pick up. 

So what we tell people is whether it’s a tennis racket or pickleball paddle or anything, even a baseball bat and ball, you want to do what’s called gaze control. There’s a 3-foot area where your focus is effective before contact. And that’s the area that you want to zoom into. And that will help you. 

In other words, you don’t want to be looking away because it’s going to be harder, right? Your eyes do need to function. So there, you know the whole idea of where I come from, with at least 30.000 thousand hours individual hours of tennis instruction. And in that time, you learn what frustrates people, what’s difficult for people to learn. I did coaches’ workshops for years, maybe 500 different workshops for tennis coaches primarily… I asked 75 coaches to write down three things they’re most sick and tired of saying to students. These are people that teach thirty to forty hours a week, and the things that they said were the typical three things that have been said for the last 50, 60 years on tennis courts are

  1. Bend your Knees
  1. Racket Back
  1. Watch the ball. 

And while those are good in a vacuum, but at the same time, it’s limited. It’s very ambiguous. Bend your knees. Well, how much? So we’ve got different devices that help with all these basics, and we try to give coaches options to help their students improve. Whether they go to Home Depot and do something or whether they get a training aid from us. You know, the main thing is to help their students improve because a happy student is someone who’s improving. They come back for more. They tell their friends and the sport and overall wellness grow. That’s the whole idea, to help people in general with their mental, physical, and social health. 

For more Tennis Game Changers, check out the rest of our Free Game Changers Webinar right here