A week ago I received a box with an interesting wearable tennis improvement tool. Here is my Neurotennis review.
I was excited about this Neurotennis review since I am always looking for innovative ways to improve my tennis game (and others!). Neurotennis is made by a company based in my old (temporary) hometown Arlington, Va., and started by brothers and tech entrepreneurs Alain and Marc Cohen. The idea is logical: if you can mimic a coach giving you instructions while you’re hitting and doing drills, it will be easier to ingrain these ideas into your game. It’s all about giving positive feedback and building good habits around your game.
A plus is that you get two devices so you can do these drills together with a partner. The device will pick up when you and your partner hit the ball and then voice instructions (you can choose Lauren Davis or Mats Wilander or a neutral voice as your “coach”) such as: “Bend your knees”, “Loosen up your wrist”, “Step into your shot”, “Rip one sometimes”.
Repeated instructions like this will work as useful reminders on things you need to keep in mind when you’re working on your game. You can upload drills, lessons, and instructions into your device to make it ready for your next sessions. Let’s say you’re doing a cross-court drill with your partner, then the device will help you both focus on the right things and in a way “guide the drill”.
Diagram Explained (this is from Neurotennis.com)
Both players are wearing NT wristbands, with impact sensors. They are executing a drill they have selected based on what they want to work on.
Player 1 has just hit the ball. Their NT wristband selects a coaching instruction triggered by their own shot — in this case, “Recover fast”.
When player 1 hits the ball, player 2 receives a wireless signal. Their NT immediately selects a coaching instruction triggered by their opponent’s hit — in this case, “Turn shoulders now!”
The NT App was used by the players to select drills from the library or customize their own.
Important to note:
NT does not see you play, so it does not provide a “feedback system”. It’s all based on positive encouragement of specific habits. The concept is to make you think about the important details at the right time. For example, one of the most common problems observed on-court (even with very good players) is that players wait too long to turn their bodies and prepare their racket to hit an incoming ball. This results in the stroke being rushed and corrupted. If you improve just that one aspect of your game, you will see major dividends.
This is an interesting device that I think can help a lot of players. You do need to put in some work in selecting the drills you want to work on, upload them onto the devices (you can also do solo sessions with a ball machine, for example), but it’s all fairly easy. Like with all things involved in improving an aspect of your game (or life), you need to put in the work, but Neurotennis will help to remind you of these vital things and also keep you inspired and on your toes while hitting.
In addition to the device helps you build better habits around the court, you also get a library of drills and lessons in the Neurotennis app. These are a solid foundation to build into your game.
It won’t see that you’re not bending the knees or loosening up the wrist the device is not that “smart”, but it gives you structure around drills and lessons that will make it easier for you to stay disciplined when improving your tennis.
I really thought this was a refreshing idea on how to build good habits into your tennis game. The price is decent at 199 USD and at this time lower than most new tennis racquets. The shipping is free in the U.S. but I’m not sure about international purchases.