Using Video

Do you have any idea what your strokes LOOK like? For years, a critical component to ALL pro

Camera on QM-1 Pole
athlete training/improvement has been the use of video to help the individual “see” what needs to be corrected.

I have used video occasionally to check on what a certain stoke looks like. But have also used it to help me and my doubles partner improve our court movement. It is really eye-opening to see on video how we were out of position on critical points, without really knowing it.

Using video as a team can help you better understand what each partner should be doing during the point to gain the offense.

Recently, I was having trouble with my forehand and videod a practice session. What I saw was that my left arm was useless and just dangling at my side as I hit my stroke. It looked awkward and inefficient. Just by seeing this, I knew that it was wrong.

That afternoon, Maria Sharapova was on TV and they showed her forehand in slow motion. She did what many pros do:
• she held the throat of her racquet in her left hand as she coiled for the forehand,
• didn’t release it until she was fully turned,
• then used her left arm to pull open her shoulders
• and gained more power.

The next time on the court, I tried doing this … and it really worked.

To help the video process – especially to get a full court view of doubles or singles movement – I use a neat tool called the QM-1 Video Pole. It comes from Mike Lammens in Colorado, who is a friend of tournament player Rich Boddicker (is that a recommendation or a caution?!).

To quote from Mike’s website ( …

The QM-1 is light and compact, with a three-piece telescoping pole and a unique two-piece “clamping hook” that allows you to quickly and securely mount your camera on fences as high as 15 feet (most court fences are 10ft tall and a few are 12 ft. tall). The QM-1 camera bracket is fully adjustable to work on any court. The settings for a standard tennis court are also clearly marked on the unit, eliminating the necessity of trial and error.

Both video training and Mike’s pole work!

3 thoughts on “Using Video

  1. Yes, congratulation! Without video it is not possible to analyse Your own strokes. But it demands a lot of knowledge and theory about all these things. For example, the opposite-arm-action: I detect that element some years ago in videos from Cilic. Then it took more than a year to found the description from Bollettieri. Nobody in Germany – even leaders of Trainer-Association – could understand me, when I asked for opposite-arm-action as a component from the forehand stroke. Today the opposite-arm-action is the standard of all young players on the Tour. The same is with the whip in recreational-tennis and so on…

  2. Thanks – have been looking for something like this. Would work really well with a remote control camera — otherwise I guess you just leave the camera running until the battery wears down or get a long extension cord.

    bob – my camera battery has no problem running for a couple of hours. geo

  3. George: Hey, thanks for mentioning the QM-1 on your blog! It is my hope that by using word of mouth advertising, I can keep the cost down. Unfortunately, marketing is going to become a real cost sometime soon and I will have to raise the price to account for “commissions”.

    As far as how much knowledge is required to analyze your own strokes, I don’t necessarily agree with Holger (no offense, Holger!). I mean, I was watching myself not turn my shoulders on an overhead yesterday – doesn’t take a genius to see that! In other words, there’s a lot of low-hanging fruit out there for a lot of us!

    I love teaching pros, and am a USPTA-certified and practicing teacher myself, but again, seeing yourself on video opens up a whole new world of ways to improve your game and your strokes.

    Thanks again for the mention!

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