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Analyze your Tennis with Video for Dramatic Improvements

Surprisingly, some of the best tennis players have had little coaching. Instead, they've improved by watching and critiquing videos of their own play and figuring out what they need to work on. This self-analysis makes you a more resilient player, often capable of diagnosing issues in real-time. This guide will help you learn how to record and review your tennis skills to find areas for improvement.

Why Film Yourself?

Watching yourself on video might feel awkward, but it's the only way to really see what you're doing. Often, what we think we're doing and what we're actually doing are not the same. If we keep practising the wrong way, we end up creating lasting bad habits. Golfers do this at the driving range. Tennis players do it with a ball machine. Practice doesn't make Perfect, Practice makes Permanent. By regularly reviewing videos of ourselves and thinking critically about what we see, we can identify what we want to work on and we can check if we've successfully modified our technique. Progress starts with self-awareness. All you really need to get started is a smartphone with a camera.

How to Film Your Tennis

It's best to record yourself in a variety of scenarios. Your performance during practice can differ from a match. This will give you a clearer insight.

To get a feel for your overall game, court movement, tactics and shot selection, set up the camera at the back of the court. Raising the camera to the height of the fence or higher makes the view even better.

For more detailed analysis of your strokes use the following camera positions:

Front View: Great for checking your ready position, contact point, your follow-through, body alignment, and how you move.

Back View: Ideal for observing your backswing, follow-through, body alignment, and footwork.

Side View: Perfect for examining your ready position, contact point, backswing, body position, and footwork. Filming from both sides also gives you extra perspective on your technique.

Even if you're focusing on one particular stroke, like your backhand, it's useful to capture it from various angles (front, back, and sides). This way, you can see different aspects of your technique that you might miss from just one angle.

How to Analyze Your Tennis Technique

Key Areas to Review and Assess

Gameplay strategy - Watch your 'back of court' videos in real-time to get a general feel for your performance. Identify any consistent patterns or obvious areas that need work. Notice repetitive patterns that might be affecting your game negatively. Even body language can impact your performance.

Detailed analysis of technique - Assess every aspect of your technique, such as footwork, grip, and ready position. Then, delve into the specifics of your strokes, looking at your preparation, backswing, point of contact, follow-through, and recovery. Slow-motion really helps with this.

Using Apps for Analysis

There are several slow-motion replay video analysis apps which are incredibly helpful for breaking down your technique and identifying areas for improvement. We use OnForm.

Getting Feedback

Learning from the Pros - Compare your videos with footage of professional players. Look for differences in technique, strategy, and positioning. If there's a pro player whose style you admire, use their technique as a model for your own. Some of the apps allow you to do this.

Sharing Your Videos - Share your footage with a coach or more experienced players to get their feedback. An outside perspective can often identify issues you might have missed. Many coaches offer online video analysis services, so you don't necessarily need to meet in person. Ryan Reidy offers this service.

By following these steps, you can gain valuable insights into your tennis technique and identify specific areas for improvement.

Using Your Analysis To Set Goals

We have an in-depth article titled “How to be Your Own Coach” which can give you more insights into helping yourself improve.

Once you've identified areas you want to improve, it's important to set clear goals. Make sure these goals are specific, measurable, and achievable.

Instead of broad goals like "get better at my forehand," focus on a particular aspect of your forehand. For example, you might aim to improve your ready position, or your unit turn or successfully hit 10 rally balls in a row. Find a concrete way to measure and track your progress toward this goal, and once you achieve it, set a new goal.

Incorporate filming and reviewing your gameplay into your regular training routine. This practice will help you monitor your improvement over time and motivate you to set and achieve new goals.

Conclusion

Recording and analyzing your tennis play is an extremely powerful way to improve your game. It allows you to see your performance from a new angle, uncovering insights and details that might be missed in real-time. By identifying specific areas that need work, such as your swing shape or footwork, you can tailor your practice to address these issues directly, making your training more focused and efficient.

The key to success with video analysis is patience and consistent practice. Improvement doesn't happen overnight, it requires time and commitment. Regularly watching and analyzing your gameplay can help you track your progress and stay motivated by visually confirming your improvements.

By using video analysis, you essentially take on the role of your own coach, spotting and fixing technical mistakes by yourself. This empowering approach is more rewarding and leads to last improvements you can be proud of.

FAQs

  • What Equipment Should I Use For Filming My Tennis?

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