Innovation Awards

Zenniz

The UK Tennis Industry Association, in conjunction with tennishead, launched an awards scheme to recognise new products and innovations

Here are the short-listed entries and winners:

Winner: Fibodo

Use fibodo to locate, book and securely pay for activities in your local area, from tennis and golf lessons to boot camps, yoga classes and Pilates. Fibodo offers an online and mobile booking management platform to providers of sport and leisure activities. For players, it makes finding a game easier and for coaches, clubs and venues: https://www.fibodo.com/

Billie Jean King’s Eye Coach

This tennis coaching and practice aid allows repetitive practice for all tennis players, from mini-red junior to tour standard. It aims to improve consistency in hitting from the sweet spot and to keep the eye on the point of contact for a 10th of a second to ensure the player is on balance on the strike. The device should add real value to coaches by focusing on head and eye contact, stroke and footwork technique as part of coaching sessions for individuals and group: https://www.connectedclubs.co.uk/eyecoach/

Teach Tennis International

In simple terms, this is a mini tennis coaching syllabus in digital format for children aged four to 10. It is a set of workbooks with more than 100 lesson plans supported by 3000 video clips. Regular assessments are incorporated to ensure that young players acquire the grounding and skill sets required to develop and improve playing performance into adulthood. Using the tools, coaches can spend more time on court, parents can see how their child is progressing, and venues and federations benefit from having a tennis programme aimed at developing and retaining players in the sport: http://www.teachtennis.net/

Reaction Tennis Ball

This new reaction tennis ball resembles a traditional tennis ball but delivers an irregular bounce, designed to simulate playing against a real opponent. As a practice tool, it is aimed at developing more rounded tennis players as they progress from mini tennis green balls to handle the challenges of a faster, harder adult ball. Unlike existing bounce-and-catch types of reaction training where a coach throws a ball, it allows players to connect with the ball using their racket, which the inventors of this product maintain is a better experience:http://www.jpricebath.co.uk/

Topspin Pro

A tennis training aid that helps people learn to play topspin. It comprises a stand, a spring-loaded ball on a spindle and a mesh screen that is set to match the racket-face angle of a topspin stroke through the impact zone. It is designed to force the correct stroke for topspin forehands and single- and double-handed topspin backhands. By removing the head unit on the device, it can be used for other shots including the slice serve. New players can use the device to gain confidence and build a sound platform from which to progress: http://www.topspinpro.com

Easytennis

The easyTennis app was developed to make tennis more accessible by automatically matching players based on location, skill level and availability. In essence, this is an online tennis club where, once a player has entered their profile, they are matched – courtesy of an algorithm – with players of a similar profile. A booking facility for public tennis courts is in development as a future part of the app. For beginners or players without an existing network who don’t want to join a tennis club, it potentially offers an easy entry point to the game: http://www.easytennis.co.uk

Tennis Scoring Column

The wooden scoreboard is a column that attaches to the net post. Its design enables spectators and players to view the score from any direction around the court. The 360-degree view means everyone knows the state of the match throughout each set. It can be used indoors and outdoors. Experienced players and spectators know how tennis scoring works, but the inventors of this device believe scoreboards have the potential to enhance the tennis experience, particularly in parks, as an integral part of learning and playing tennis: www.touchwood-furniture.co.uk/tennis

Qlipp

This light (8g) performance sensor attaches to the racket. The tracking technology within it analyses the spin, speed and sweet-spot accuracy of each shot. It transfers data, via Bluetooth, to the QLIPP mobile app in real time and a video feature provides slow-motion replay on any shot. The analytics are an easy and informative way for a player to learn more about their game: http://www.qlipp.com

Kollectaball

Designed by tennis coaches, this ballcollecting device allows you to collect balls quickly and dispense them into larger containers and ball baskets. It is lightweight and simple to use and seems to significantly reduce strain compared to traditional ball hoppers. There are interchangeable cages for different numbers of balls and it folds flat, making it easy to transport, even in a small car: www. kollectaball.com

Play More Tennis

Play More Tennis provides an app-based noticeboard for tennis facilities and venues. Users get push notifications of appropriate events for them (based on age, ability and gender) and can register through the app. Players can also arrange practice matches with friends or anyone of their skill level and build a list of tennis friends. The system includes the option of booking courts through the app, which can be downloaded from the app store or via the website. Go to the app store or register at Play Tennis

Twisternet

A foldable pop-up tennis net system that allows any version of tennis to played anywhere. The net can also be twisted into a rebound net as a coaching aid for mini-red and orange ball age groups and as a target for adults wishing to improve stroke play. Because it is rigid when fully opened, ordinary tennis balls can be used. Stable in most windy conditions, it can be used on the beach, in the garden or a park. It folds flat and is simple to set up and fold away so is easy to transport :https://www.twisternet.co.uk/ 

Winner: Zenniz

A tennis tracking system designed for players of all levels. It consists of one on-court touch display, two sensor cables placed around the court, mobile app and web service. It’s able to bring match statistics, line calling and player performance results immediately courtside or via the Zenniz app. The scope of the system and pricepoint mean that it is potentially an affordable innovation for many clubs and venues. For coaches, the real-time data could add significant value to lessons and player development. It utilises acoustic technology, which is relatively new in racket sports: http://www.zenniz.com/store/

Posted by: tennishead magazine

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