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Although it hasn’t caught on yet in the U.S., over in England the QM-1 is used quite a bit to film soccer matches. For a look at how it looks, and some highlights from amateur English soccer, go to DreamLeague
I’d like to see someone mount the camera behind the goal keeper, perhaps using the ProView Extender (we have made custom Extenders up to 4′, allowing an even higher placement of the camera.  Call us for special pricing as this is a new application).  The Extender will generally give way and not be damaged if hit by the soccer ball, and should result  in little or no damage to the camera….In fact, the waterproof case of the GoPro would probably offer complete protection.

We are so confident in the sturdiness of the camera mount that we will replace any parts damaged by run-in with a soccer ball.  Note:  In filming tennis, I’ve had one direct hit by a tennis ball in 11 years of filming, and the camera was undamaged because the camera-holding bracket gave way and adsorbed the hit.

Florian Meyer, one of the leading online tennis gurus, recently put up this video of his presentation at the Tennic Congress.    Florian is talking about how to fix technical flaws in various aspects for tennis, mostly in stroke production, but also in footwork and strategy.   According to Florian “You need the video to get an idea of what’s really going on.  Without the video it’s almost impossible”.  What he uses in his lessons is video feedback combined with kinesthetic feedback.   According to Florian, video feedback is essential to making meaningful changes in your tennis game.

[embedplusvideo height=”283″ width=”450″ editlink=”http://bit.ly/1RFUWKH” standard=”http://www.youtube.com/v/nOIHdn_K2Cc?fs=1″ vars=”ytid=nOIHdn_K2Cc&width=450&height=283&start=&stop=&rs=w&hd=0&autoplay=0&react=1&chapters=&notes=” id=”ep8080″ /]

Now, we’ve been saying that for years, and yes, it’s finally becoming more and more prevalent in the tennis world.  In fact, our sales to high schools have increased dramatically in the last two years as they follow the lead of most of the college tennis powerhouses.  Coaches who don’t use video are quickly becoming the minority.   In our view, video is an indispensable  tennis training aid.

Care to discuss the use of video in your approach to learning or teaching?  Feel free to call us any time for a discussion of your situation.

 

Here’s a good example of filming tennis at night.  This match started out in the daytime and ended up at night under some pretty regular court lighting.    The MUVI K-1 did a pretty decent job of capturing the action under the lights.  [embedplusvideo height=”283″ width=”450″ editlink=”http://bit.ly/1GaNjFj” standard=”http://www.youtube.com/v/KS9Scn0j1KQ?fs=1″ vars=”ytid=KS9Scn0j1KQ&width=450&height=283&start=&stop=&rs=w&hd=0&autoplay=0&react=1&chapters=&notes=” id=”ep9423″ /]

Camcorder mounted on 10′  fence with the QM-1 Camera Mount.  Setback = 21′

Ran across this great article from Sports Illustrated that you might want to check out.   Some things to think about that will improve your tennis game:

1.  Stick with one pattern of play

2. Pull back on your serve speed

3.  Get your  back leg behind the ball

4.  Play the momentum of the match

5.  Drink on every change-over, snack on every other one.

6.  Don’t go for the line on every shot.

7.  Identify your opponents weaknesses and hit there.

8.  Stretch

9.  Get your racquet strung by a professional

10.  YouTube yourself.

My favorite tips?  1, 4, 6, and 10.

Click here to see the article:Radwanska with trophy

 

How Does Slow Motion Work?

Let’s say you want to shoot some slow motion video and you have a camera that can shoot 120 frames per second (hey, kind of like the MUVI K-1!) What exactly does that mean? Why do I care about frame rate if I’m after slow motion?

[embedplusvideo height=”283″ width=”450″ editlink=”http://bit.ly/1HwZIZT” standard=”http://www.youtube.com/v/0LMdEXFnq30?fs=1″ vars=”ytid=0LMdEXFnq30&width=450&height=283&start=&stop=&rs=w&hd=0&autoplay=0&react=1&chapters=&notes=” id=”ep6002″ /]

When you watch a video you’re just watching a lot of individual images flying past your eyes in order to create the illusion of movement. We all know that from early childhood when we could make stick-figure books that when you fanned the pages, it seemed the images move. Each image is called a frame.

Believe it or not, the standard speed for cinematic pictures in the U.S. is only about 24 frames per second. But even this seeming slow rate of frames per second results in a smooth appearing movement, just fast enough to make you think things are moving. The key for this is that the footage must also be shot at 24 frames per second. Let me restate: For normal motion, the frames per second shot must match the frames per second watched.

Here’s the important part, so pay attention! With today’s cameras, you can actually shoot at a higher frame rate than what things are being played back as. So let’s say you shot something at 48 frames per second, but want to play it back at 24 frames per second. This means you are watching it at half the speed that you shot it. It will take two seconds to play back. In other words, the 48 frames per second that you shot only covers a period of time of one second. So if you play back only 24 frames per second on your player, it will take two seconds to show what you had filmed in one second. 48 frames per second divided by 24 frames per second equals two seconds.

On the K-1 if you shoot at 120 frames per second, and then play back at 10% of the original speed, you would only be looking at 12 frames per second. It would take ten seconds to play back that one second of film.

All you need is a player that will allow you to slow down the number of frames per second that is played, and you are in business. Of course, some video players will allow you to advance one frame at a time using the right arrow key. Ultimate slow motion!

 

 

 

Okay okay, we have all heard “middle solves the riddle”, or something like that….it seems to be the gospel when it comes to doubles.   Well, bucko, not so fast!!  There’s at least one situation where you do NOT want to serve to the middle (or “T”), and that’s when you are playing in the Aussie or I formation.  Now, I would mostly say that this is true to the Ad side, but really, the same principle holds true for the deuce side, the difference being that on the deuce side, you have to contend with a right-handers return of serve which would be to another right-handers backhand.  Typically, given the weaker backhand of most players, that’s not a good match up.

Aha, but on the ad side, the tables are reversed.  You are serving to the returners backhand, and if he goes down the line, it’s to your forehand, which you can then crush or do whatever you want…..

Here’s a link showing what I’m talking about:    [embedplusvideo height=”283″ width=”450″ editlink=”http://bit.ly/1JmKsiD” standard=”http://www.youtube.com/v/B_U9_0gLLDY?fs=1″ vars=”ytid=B_U9_0gLLDY&width=450&height=283&start=&stop=&rs=w&hd=0&autoplay=1&react=1&chapters=&notes=” id=”ep7296″ /]

Bummer!  Just when you thought you had made that great shot that would get you  back in the game, your opponent makes such a bad call that you just know it was deliberate.   I mean, you are standing there watching your down the line shot and it lands six inches in.  You aren’t running and there is no way in the world that ball was out.   But your opponent yells out anyway.  At this point, most players just explode.  And that’s what my friend did to day when it happened to him.

What causes these bad, horrendous calls?  I have several theories:

1)  Maybe your opponent really thought it was out.  (Okay, not likely, as it was too blatant.  I mean, c’mon, there are limits to this theory.)

2)  Your opponent thinks you made a bad call previously and now he thinks it’s a good time to get even.

3)  He is just an out and out cheater, and willing to do anything to win a match.

If you can add to this list, please do.  So what do you do?  Should you make a retaliatory bad call to get even?   Wait for a big point?  What if, like it was for my friend today, at the end of a very tight match and there’s no time for retaliation?

I think the answer is that you just suck it up and move on.  That person will have to live with themselves for the rest of their lives.  There’s no honor in that kind of a victory, but there is honor in being the bigger man (or woman).

Personally, I always expect to get one really bad call every match.   So when it happens, I just go with it.  Maybe ask “are you sure”, and let it go.  What do you do?  Comments welcome.

I had the pleasure of rejoining forces with my old doubles partner from years ago, when we were a force to be reckoned with.   This night we certainly weren’t and fortunately I filmed the match and put it up on YouTube for my partner and I to review and discuss.   That’s us in the black with me serving to start the match.  Ain’t proud.   Didn’t play well…..but to our opponents credit, they pulled off some great shots from time to time, balls we didn’t expect to come back!

[embedplusvideo height=”283″ width=”450″ editlink=”http://bit.ly/1EAykFL” standard=”http://www.youtube.com/v/0IYRGTvo2Uc?fs=1&vq=hd720″ vars=”ytid=0IYRGTvo2Uc&width=450&height=283&start=&stop=&rs=w&hd=1&autoplay=0&react=1&chapters=&notes=” id=”ep7772″ /]

Here’s my partner’s reaction:

“Good data and visuals for us. Poor execution for too many of the games.​ Much to do!

I’ve watched it a couple of times already and can see we better get busy. Too many misses. Poor court position. Volleys not ending the point, but resulting in lost points. Half volleys certainly need work – resulting in too many lost points. My serve needs to be hit higher and out front so I’m moving into the court; not backwards (yikes!!). Service returns points lost too frequently and poached too frequently and simply hit out of court too frequently.

And, there’s more to be analyzed so we can beat these guys when we play them again in 3 or 4 weeks.”

I love having a doubles partner who’s willing to look at and improve our game, and I think we’ll take these guys next time!!

 

 

Any tennis match  is easy to film and record with the  QM-1 Camera Mount since it mounts from either inside OR outside the court.   As a parent or a coach, you never have to walk on the court!  AND, the QM-1 is so discreet that many players never even know it’s there.  The photo below shows a college match where Denver University has put up six cameras (four of which are visible), all from outside the court.  Denver’s Mens’ and Womens’ teams both use video extensively, and the Denver women have risen to the top 50 in the nation since starting video (ok, they also recruited some talented players).  Additionally, Maureen Slattery and Julia O’Laughlin made All-American as doubles players.

DU-Video-set-up

The fact that you can mount the QM-1 on the fence from outside the court makes it perfect for parents and coaches of juniors, college players or seniors.  If filming juniors – just make sure you have permission from the parents of the opposing player.

Filming a match at the Denver City Open

We have found that in the case of college matches where there is a singles and a doubles “point”, it’s easiest to attach an external battery to your camera.  Even a small “lipstick” battery like the Anker one here will alow the Muvi K-2 to run for at least five hours.

Living in Denver, I often take in their matches when they are playing in town.  So stopping by to check out their match this weekend against Marquette, I was gratified to see that even before the start of the match, they had 6 (six) cameras already set up and running  before the doubles point actually started.   And no one had to even monitor the cameras once they were started.  Does it get any easier?  I don’t think so!

The assistant coach had the cameras ready the night before (i.e. charged the batteries and had the sd cards cleared), and then had the cameras mounted and  running way before the matches began.   And since the cameras (Veho MUVI HD-10) have more than a three hour battery life, there was no danger of missing anything.

No stress, no hassle,  just a little advance planning.   Here’s a photo of five of the poles and cameras, the other one being to my left and behind me.   By the way, DU won 7-0.    I’ll discuss how they edit and distribute the video in a blog post soon to follow.

DU-Video-set-up