Did Raonic’s smart racket technology help you at the 2016 US Open?

The Zepp tennis tracking sensor and app, also known as the ‘smart racket’, has been in the headlines because at the US Open, professional player Milos Raonic hoped it would help him increase his game. Can this clever racket technology really help you become a champion?

It wasn’t like that, at least not this time. Raonic started strong and started the US Open with a straight sets win, but was (surprisingly) knocked out in the second round of the tournament, ultimately improving his performance in the upcoming grand slams.

During an interview, Canadian tennis star Raonic revealed that the first thing he does when he wakes up in the morning is to monitor his heart rate and write it down, to use later as a recovery barometer and a reference for what the day’s workout should look like. What. Then use Zepp’s sensor and associated app to get incredibly rich and in-depth analysis of your swing.

The tennis tracking sensor is super lightweight, 0.27 ounce that mounts to the butt of your tennis racket and starts tracking metrics like power, impact location, spin, and hit type. It uses three gyros and a dual accelerometer to capture over 1000 data points per second, but it’s so light that Raonic claims he doesn’t notice it. The device’s algorithm then converts the collected data into real-time metrics, providing the player with numbers that allow the formation of a target frame of reference to improve performance. This can entice beginners to easily choose the best tennis racket.

For Raonic, this tiny gadget is most useful when he’s taken a break or can’t seem to get the ball to behave the way he wants. Data allows you to go beyond instinctual feeling, giving you something more concrete to work on.

Raonic also revealed that his coach often stands just feet from him with a phone in hand to collect data after a few shots and give him instant feedback. They also use the app together to get an overview of the day’s practice.

Tennis has long had an “old school” reputation; this sport has not always been a fan of using new high-tech tools. But according to Raonic, this is changing. More players, especially those of the younger generation, might appreciate receiving information and making their training more scientific.

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