As I drove my son to his tennis training last week, we discussed his latest achievements, wins and losses of past tournaments, his frustration with his backhand and how to improve his swing. The conversation took an unpleasant turn when he insisted that he had to have a new racket and new shoes in a funky color because the equipment he has is hampering his development.
I spent the next 10 minutes in the car trying to convince him that only the weakest athletes fault their equipment – and the best athletes never blame a poor performance on their equipment. Austrian mountain guides, for instance, overcome some of Earth’s harshest challenges with trusty old backpacks and well-worn boots. It turns out that was not the best example; my 12-year-old hates hiking.
No matter the example, in his mind, my son had very closely linked his athletic performance to having an expensive racket and new sports shoes. So how can I prove to my son that wearing funky colored tennis shoes will not transform him into Novak Djokovic? What if the same technology that drives the coaching app that SAP developed for the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) was also available for him and his coaches? What if all of his moves on the court and in the games were monitored? What if real-time computing capabilities, combined with smart analytics, would give his coach those proof points? What if those proof points would come at the right point in time – in the game, on the court, on his coaches’ mobile device?
Analytics might reveal that my son has to improve his backhand returns, put more force into his first serves, get more agile on his feet or focus better. More importantly, it might help end our equipment discussions.
So thank you, SAP, for helping the world run simpler and helping professional tennis players fine tune their performance, but please let me know when the tennis coaching app will be available for young, ambitious players. I would love to see real-time analytics help improve my son’s skill, and increase his confidence, and help him simply understand that he doesn’t need fancy equipment to succeed.
More Information on SAP and Tennis:
- SAP Launches a New Mobile App for the 2015 Miami Open
- SAP and WTA Transform Women’s Tennis With New On-Court Coaching Technology Platform
- Video: Preparation for Perfection – The Power of Data
- Webcast Summary: SAP – changing the way tennis is played