Get Your Tennis Serve Analyzed at the U.S. Open | STACK
X

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

Get Your Tennis Serve Analyzed at the U.S. Open

September 9, 2011

Must See Tennis Videos

The pros aren't the only ones who have their tennis serves critiqued at the U.S. Open. Event sponsor American Express has a swing analysis station for fans who attend the tournament, which is played annually at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York's Flushing Meadows.

The station, which is free to all visitors, is located within a venue that also houses another Amex-provided tech feature—a touchscreen court curator that provides match times, food recommendations and other information to help optimize each fan's experience at the tournament. However, the swing analysis station has the most innovative technology on site.

Via straps around a user's waist and over the shoulder of the serving arm, motion-capture technology apprehends four parts of a serve—approach, top of serve, point of impact and the finish.

The user serves into a net several times while a local tennis club pro observes the session. Data is fed from the straps to a nearby computer, which outputs digital readouts and screen graphics that provide a visual system for analyzing the four key parts of the serve. Graphics color-coded in green, yellow and red accentuate the arc of the user's arm and torso throughout the swing.

Craig Kardon, director of tennis at Centennial, Colo.-based GolfTEC Enterprises, which developed this form of analysis, explains why it is vital to measure the four selected parts of a serve. At the serve's point of address, he says, "you want the shoulders to be a little bit open, the body relaxed, feet shoulder-width apart and weight on the front foot."

The backswing leading to the top of the serve begins the loading phase. According to Kardon, that's when both hands are raised for the toss; weight shifts toward the back foot; and the racket is swung back, like the beginning of a baseball throw.

The top of the swing, also known as the "trophy position," is the peak of the loading phase. Kardon says that at the point of impact, when the racket hits the ball, the shoulders should be rotated up and the ball should be well inside the serving line. For the finish, the body should be square to the target, so the server can react appropriately to a return shot.

U.S. Open Serve

GolfTEC Enterprises has been using motion-capture technology since 1995. It was a featured attraction at the U.S. Open golf tournament in June. This is the first time the technology has been used for tennis.

Since it evaluates tennis players at all skill levels, the technology has to produce analyses that are easy to understand. "We want to keep it simple for a fan experience," says Steve Bauerle, vice president of business development for GolfTEC.

American Express, now in its 18th year as a U.S. Open partner, is giving its customers an extra benefit with a free ten-minute private lesson in the swing analysis area. An email with video, audio advice from Kardon and a set of recommended drills is sent to each user after his or her training session.

The email follow-up gives Amex customers a benefit that lasts longer than a brief tennis lesson. American Express and GolfTEC are attempting to satisfy U.S. Open attendees looking for added value for the price they pay to watch Serena Williams, Rafael Nadal and others compete at the world's biggest tennis tournament.

Photo:  Terry Ratzlaff

Kyle Stack is a New York-based writer/reporter who covers health, technology, business and media in sports. He also writes for SLAM, Wired and ESPN. His work can be found at kylestack.com.

Topics: TENNIS
Kyle Stack
- Kyle Stack is a New York-based writer/reporter who covers health, technology, business and media in sports. He also writes for SLAM, Wired and ESPN. His...
Kyle Stack
- Kyle Stack is a New York-based writer/reporter who covers health, technology, business and media in sports. He also writes for SLAM, Wired and ESPN. His...
Must See
RGIII Talks About His Legacy
Views: 22,297,866
Evan Longoria's Hitting Drills
Views: 9,798,216
Colin Kaepernick Explains His Ridiculous Socks
Views: 24,018,383

Featured Videos

Olympic Marathoner Ryan Hall: A Day in the Life Views: 327,109
Path to the Pros 2015: Danny Shelton Views: 161,266
Learn to Hit Open Three-Pointers With Damian Lillard's Baseline Drift Drill Views: 228,843
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

How Greg Nixon Converts Strength to Speed
Views: 959,609
Corey White's Off-Season Guide to Making Plays
Views: 1,396,869
Abby Wambach Will Do Whatever It Takes
Views: 2,814,024
Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night
Views: 3,917,254
Two-Ball Dribbling Drill With John Wall
Views: 3,359,926

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

3 Steps to Better In-Game Baseball Hitting

There are only three things that we teach our players to accomplish for game time baseball hitting. Yes there are many hitting philosophies, strengths,...

Success With Health: How Trevor Bauer Increased His Velocity

Drills for a Better Pole Vault Swing

Wide Receivers: Learn to Catch Every Jump Ball, Every Time

These 3 Route-Running Drills Will Help You Get Open

Andrew McCutchen Is Raking His Way to Consecutive MVP Honors

How QB Ryan Tannehill Beats the Blitz

QB Skills and Drills: How to Master the Bubble Screen

Why Basketball Players Must Improve Their Weak Hand

4 Drills That'll Help You Become an Elite Running Back

Use These 3 Principles to Improve Your Basketball Defense

Improve Your Jump Shot with Core Strength

Shooting Drills That Will Make You a Knock-Down Shooter

Winter Soccer Workout to Improve Ball Handling

Softball Pitchers: How to Play Your Best Over a Complete Season

Build a Better Layup With These Basketball Speed Drills

Improve Your Basketball Passes With Med Ball Exercises

4 Tips to Become a Better Softball Pitcher

10 Essential Point Guard Drills From Skylar Diggins

Boost Your Fastball With This Weighted Baseball Workout

5 Things You Can Learn From Playing Pre-Season Basketball

3 Offensive Line Drills That'll Help You Keep Your QB Clean

How Ryan Mathews Returned to Highlight Reel Status

3 Secrets of the NBA's Best Shooters

How to Improve Your Football Skills Mid-Season

Become a Better Point Guard With This Training Program

2 Drills to Help You Play Lockdown Basketball Defense

4 Soccer Drills to Shoot Better While on the Move

This 13-Year-Old Girl Would Strike You Out

WATCH: 5 Post Moves From Nerlens Noel

3 Things You Are Doing Wrong In Your Basketball Training

How to Create a Killer Crossover Without a Basketball

Basketball Shooting Technique: How to Shoot a Floater

5 Drills to Improve Your Soccer Dribbling Skills

Preparation Nation: DeMatha Stags

Drive Defenders Crazy With These Super Moves from NBA Legends

Develop an Unstoppable Crossover Dribble With Just 3 Drills

Why You Shouldn't Specialize in One Sport Too Soon

The 4 Fundamentals of Hitting a Baseball

Basketball Dribbling Drills: Use Chaos to Develop Killer Handles