Jens is a Wingfield user since day one. As a club coach at DTV Hannover, he uses Wingfield in various practice constellations and supports the further development of our training features with his feedback. Here Jens gives you his top three tips for practicing with Wingfield, so that you too can quickly get the full potential out of your court.
Set and pursue goals.
Ask yourself: What motivates you to keep coming back to the court? What drives you? Sure, fun of the game, social interaction...but somewhere also the belief that things can always be a little better, right? We permanently deal with an aspired target. Consciously or subconsciously, we focus on things that we can improve. Whether it’s our serve, our footwork or the depth of our groundstrokes.
Clear, realistic and measurable goals are drivers for motivation and provide the necessary fun in practice. Tennis is not a sprint, but a marathon. That’s why it’s all the more important to create a framework of orientation for your practice by setting small goals. With its collected data diversity and the provided insights, the Wingfield Court enables you to take completely new approaches.
In practice, start monitoring the achievement of your exercise goals using specific statistics. This way, exercise instructions and associated objectives can often be defined even more precisely. In many cases, the data or video recordings provide you with an objective evaluation basis for the first time. You will quickly notice that your instructions become much more comprehensible for many players, since their consequence is directly shown in the observed data. And on top of that, the visible progress also provides little bits of motivating success during practice.
A practical example: On slow clay courts, the ball usually bounces higher than on indoor courts. To add effectiveness and confidence to my athletes’ game, I make sure to optimize net clearance in the summer. In drills, we then aim to have a certain height level in our shots. If players lose speed in the process, they are usually not putting enough spin on the ball. We then check the implementation of my tips for more spin with the height distribution and speed values provided.
But even for longer periods of time, there are many ways to set new goals. For example, I use the drill scores of the different stroke types to track performance development over a season. It’s great for the players to see how scores improve over a year. Especially when we change a technique and the improvements become apparent at a later stage.
Adjust the use of the tools to the player.
In practice you can’t lump all players together. The same applies to the use of Wingfield. Therefore, vary the usage depending on the level of play of your athletes.
With beginners, I usually start with the video analysis tools. In basic training, I focus on raising awareness of a movement sequence. The player should first get a feeling for a movement and possible error patterns. Visual feedback can be a real eye-opener, especially with inexperienced players.
The players can understand your corrections much better when they see themselves playing simultaneously. I usually structure my feedback in such a way that I only give my corrections verbally and very punctuated to my players during a drill. Most importantly, they should not lose focus during the exercise. Between two exercises, we then take the time to look at the 1-2 crucial things again in the video.
As soon as players can control their strokes so that clean rallies are possible, I gradually implement other tools into the practice. Speed or placement data of the shots now take on a greater importance. With drill scores, I give players a sense of the impact that small technical adjustments can have on control and speed. They are an excellent guide and provide quick information on whether or not a practice goal has been achieved.
For my tournament players, match practice is another area of use. Here I focus on the analysis of the game and tactical aspects. With the match statistics and videos, we sometimes go into great detail and work on small things. Especially when we evaluate league and tournament matches, we take a look at serve percentages, stroke depth or other tactical aspects.
As you can see, the areas of use can range very widely. However, integrating Wingfield compulsively into practice brings everything but added value. Every player responds differently to certain practice stimuli. Always be aware of this when using your Wingfield court. One player is more receptive to interactive training, another is not.
Always keep the fun in the foreground.
With all the measurement of success, you should always rely on the core of our sport. In the end, try not to get too hung up on individual stats. After all, you’ve done your job as a coach if players simply enjoy coming to practice and have fun playing tennis. That’s what it’s all about!
With me, playful elements and small competitions never fall short. We regularly implement drill challenges with Wingfield into the practice. The player with the highest drill score doesn’t have to clean the court. For my youth players, this is always a good incentive and brings great fun.
There is often a nice momentum that develops across groups. In the rankings, the players compare their performance with each other - regardless of whether they are purely recreational players or ambitious talents.
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