Hawk-Eye Data And SAP Analytics Help Players Optimize Performance
Face it – the sports world will never be less competitive. There will never be a time when everyone in professional sports is a winner, and there will always be amazing athletes who are champs, heroes, and role models. Unfortunately, there will also be athletes who are the antitheses of what we expect and crave as fans…
As athletes feel the pressure to perform at their optimal ability, they sometimes turn to the wrong supplements that may push them beyond their natural limits, and potentially right off the edge. But for other athletes, they get their edge by strategizing a better performance and using the right supplements.
In the sport of tennis, the performance enhancer of choice isn’t steroids or banned substances – it’s data. It’s analyzing personal performance data post-match, and reviewing opposing data pre-match to strategize where the first and second serves should land, the optimal place to stand on the court when returning a serve, and how hard to hit that match point to win.
Enter Hawk-Eye and SAP analytics – the perfect marriage of data and analysis that produces a full statistical and visual understanding of player performance, through serve stats, match plays, and ball placements. This technology creates a layer of information that addresses and answers the “why” of players’ performances instead of just the “what.”
Former player (Mixed Doubles Grand Slam Champion), current commentator on the Tennis Channel, and ATP Board Member, Justin Gimelstob, uses the analytical information when broadcasting matches and discussing the strategies behind the plays.
From a broadcaster perspective, Gimelstob says, “Fans can see what is happening, but they want to know why its happening – why the player hit a certain way or why they are standing in a specific space…I can use this information to educate fans.”
From a player and coach perspective, Gimelstob points out that the margins to win a match are minimal and it’s really all in the subtleties in techniques that wins the game, which can be created by analyzing data and implementing small changes.
The subtleties include everything from the serve and return approach, to showing specific data to a player that will boost a his/her confidence because it is hard facts, not just opinions, and shows how to win. The data also reveals if player is playing more aggressively or defensively, based on how he/she is hitting the ball. As we all know (and as the players recognize), the numbers don’t lie.
The data collected from Hawk-Eye and SAP analytics provide the hard data – those numbers and facts that, when analyzed, can show historical data about what happens when a player stands in one space through the sets and a predictive analysis of what could happen. The data combined with an analysis of the competition can lead to a change of strategy that enhances a player’s performance. The result is the difference between a player who is good, and a good player who plays a strategic game and wins.
That is the benefit of the real performance enhancer – data-driven winning performances.