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650,000+ Points / 20 Million Data Points

The darkness of the Player Development pathway

just got illuminated with... data

GAMEPLAN is a game changer.

The practice court is a place of mystery.

Should you focus more on forehands and backhands? Is consistency the secret sauce to winning more matches? How much time should you spend working on technique over tactics? Where should you serve, and why?

Unfortunately, the current Player Development pathway is built on too much opinion and guesswork.

Enter GAMEPLAN.

For the first time ever, we now have big data on little players. It's time to completely understand the match court, so we can correctly organize the practice court. It's really that simple.

GAMEPLAN analyzes more than 20 million data points on both the men's and women's side of the game at the following 10 levels:

  1. Under 12
  2. Under 14
  3. Under 16
  4. Under 18
  5. College: Lines 5 & 6
  6. College: Lines 3 & 4
  7. College: Lines 1 & 2
  8. Challenger
  9. Top 100
  10. Top 10

You are somewhere along that pathway. Do you know exactly what the metrics are at your level? Do you have a plan to jump to the next level?  GAMEPLAN does.

 

GAMEPLAN Release

GAMEPLAN will have a two-phase release, due to the immense amount of data it contains. The focus here is building interaction.

STAGE 1 = Monday August 28.

You will initially get your hands on several pages of serve and return analysis first.

STAGE 2 = Tuesday, August 29 - Sunday, September 10.

Each day during the US Open (of which I am at for the entire time) you will receive a new page. This "page a day" roll-out will make things much easier to digest, and also draws "live" examples from the US Open to analyze the data.

Each day I will ask you questions, discuss topics, and interact with the new pages you are receiving. It's a much more engaging way to learn A LOT of new information.

So instead of getting it all at once, GAMEPLAN will be fully delivered to you over a two-week span, during the US Open. This way, we will constantly interact during the launch. It will help your retention and understanding, and your use of the product will skyrocket 🚀.

 

Welcome to a smarter way.

Tennis is one of the last major sports on the planet to embrace analytics. We are fractured, with governing bodies employing a variety of data collection companies to record what actually happens in a match. Tennis is not centralized. It is not unified. This dilemma has a flow-on effect all the way down to the grassroots of our sport.

We simply have not been getting the critical information we need to improve. The bottom line is that we end guessing way too much because the metrics that really matter don't reach us. It has massively hurt the development of tennis - as we try to get better in the dark. We are essentially a global sport without a player development rudder.

Enter GAMEPLAN...

This product is the first of its kind because of the unmatched amount of match analytics it contains.

 

GAMEPLAN GOAL - TRANSFORM THE PRACTICE COURT

The goal for GAMEPLAN is very simple, and very specific. Improve the practice court. Make it wayyy more efficient. Make it match-focused. Make it drill down to the things that affect winning the most. GAMEPLAN is going to change the way you coach, the way you practice, and the way you look at a tennis match.

 

PRACTICE COURT

If there are two kids practicing side by side, and one coach has access to GAMEPLAN player development data, and the other one has not - it's going to very obvious. One court will be hitting a lot of balls without any real purpose. The other court will be dominated by patterns of play, dominated by the first four shots - dominated by real-life situations that matter the most to winning and losing.

Below are seven ways that GAMEPLAN is going to help you become a better player, coach, parent or spectator of our great sport.

 

FOCUS 1: NATIONAL LEVEL JUNIORS

It is important to note that the junior data comes from national level tournaments, primarily in the United States and Canada. These kids can play. They are not beginners. They can play - and play well. They have progressed from a city level to a state level, to a national level.

These kids are good - but not nearly as good as they think they are. You are going to see holes everywhere, especially in key areas that get comparatively little practice.

A huge thank you to my partner in this project, Warren Pretorius, and his company Tennis Analytics. Warren has done an outstanding job collecting and organizing the data for GAMEPLAN. Cheers mate!

 

FOCUS 2: REVERSE ENGINEERING

It's normally good to start at the beginning. The beginning is an initial reference point that enables you to look backwards, later on, to see how far you have travelled.

We are not going to do that with GAMEPLAN. We are actually going to do the exact opposite.

We are going to start at the end and examine the finished product first. The finished product is the match court. Matches are what matters the most! We get to see the whole evolution of player development laid out right before our eyes.

Here's the normal order of how our sport is developed.

Old Order

  1. Practice Court. You start here and work on your game.
  2. Match Court. You see what works.

Here's the really fun part, and what GAMEPLAN is all about. We get to flip that order and flip normal coaching methods on their head.

New Order

  1. Match Court. Let's look at the metrics of our sport to understand what effects winning & losing the most.
  2. Practice Court. We use that valuable information to create a smarter, more efficient practice court.

Reversing the order of importance is a key principle of GAMEPLAN. It completely throws the focus on to the match court. Let's study the match court. Let's obsess over the match court. Let's examine the metrics it produces. Let's see what really matters to get more wins.

Practice now has a defined purpose. Practice drills are generated from matches. That's a very good thing.

 

FOCUS 3: DATA RULES

Junior tennis has never had been analyzed through a data lens. We have never seen metrics for boys and girls 12's, 14's, 16's and 18's, and college tennis. And because of that, we guess. A LOT! Should we do this drill or that drill? What should we focus on in 12's that will be a lot more important in 14's?

GAMEPLAN delivers with massive metrics. We need to look at the numbers to simplify the development pathway so players are improving today - and also getting ahead of the curve so they can win tomorrow.

 

FOCUS 4: THE PRACTICE COURT IS BROKEN

Look at a typical one-hour junior lesson - anywhere in the world. What do coaches typically work on? What's the mantra? Here it is...

  1. consistency
  2. shot tolerance
  3. repetition
  4. one more ball

There is no denying that those elements are part of the overall plan. But they are not THE plan by any stretch of the imagination.

This is important: The vast majority of the data in GAMEPLAN comes from juniors practicing on BROKEN PRACTICE COURTS.

This is critical to understand. The data comes from a massive amount of groundstroke practice and very little serve, return and volley practice. Kids all over the world hit groundstrokes cross court ALL.THE.TIME. When do they practice second serve returns? When do they practice Serve +1 forehand combinations? Don't worry - we are going to fix that problem!

 

FOCUS 5: OPPORTUNITY

Where does the opportunity exist to learn from the numbers? Well, basically everywhere. The numbers are going to teach us where we need to spend more time on the practice court.

When I look at the numbers and percentages from matches, I look for flags - red flags and green flags. In my mind, when I see something bad, that's a red flag. A problem exists that needs fixing. A green flag is some great data. Keep improving that specific area, because it's probably the reason you are winning matches.

 

FOCUS 6: ONE POINT MATTERS

Is it too simplistic to say that we are trying to find just a point here and a point there from the data in GAMEPLAN to drive improvement, and make a real impact in the win column?

No. That's exactly how it works!

Imagine going and playing a set where you get ONE "free point". What that means is that you don't have to actually play the point - you just tell your opponent you are using your free point right now, and the point is yours. Let's say your opponent is serving at 3-4, 30-40. What a great time to use it! Will that one point have a big impact on who wins the set? Oh, yes it will.

That's exactly how we will be "manipulating" the data. We are looking for red flags and green flags to pinpoint key areas. If you spend more time on the practice court improving those specific areas, you will win more matches. Period.

 

FOCUS 7: TIME

As you progress through GAMEPLAN, you are going uncover statistical nuggets of gold. You are going to want to add more return work, add more serve work, add more proficiency at the net, add more run-around forehands. But it is not really "adding" from a time perspective. You can't add more time to your day. You are not going to turn your normal one-hour private lesson into a 90-minute lesson just because you have uncovered some gold nuggets you need to work on.

Something has to give.

You are going to have to prioritize your time differently. Less time grinding. Less mindless, endless cross court groundstrokes. More Return +1 patterns. More 2nd second serves returns crushed right down the middle of the court. That one-hour private lesson, or the two-hour group lesson is going to look very different very soon.

Welcome to GAMEPLAN. Welcome to a data driven Development Pathway! 💡👌

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