Some people like to jump in and start playing around, and figure things out as they go along. If that describes you, then you’ll like this Quick Start Guide. It helps you get up and running doing video analyses in the shortest amount of time possible.
Later on, you can go back and watch the video lessons on any of these activities, or if you have questions or want to study something in-depth.
EQUIPMENT YOU’LL NEED:
- Digital camera that can shoot video clips at 30 feet-per-second (fps) or faster. This includes many of today’s popular digital cameras. Or you could use a Cam Corder than can shoot video at 30 fps or faster. It does not have to be a high definition camera. Shooting video with a tripod (base) helps, too, and is worth the $25-$35 investment.
- Personal computer running Windows XP or newer operating system. The software we talk about runs on Windows, although we will be getting to Mac software at some point in the future.
- High speed Internet connection. To download free software and videos.
STEP ONE — DOWNLOAD FREE SOFTWARE AND PRO VIDEO CLIPS
- Go to www.download.cnet.com and in the search box (top right corner) type in “free youtube downloader”. Download the top entry (the one rated 5 stars) for free. This program enables you to download videos of top tennis pros from Youtube. (This is covered in Video Lesson 1
- Go to Youtube.com and search for video clips of your favorite tennis players. Or a particular stroke (i.e. forehand from the side, backhand from front view, etc.) Look for videos of the top pros hitting in SLOW MOTION. Then use your free video downloader to download that clip onto your computer. (This is covered in Video Lesson 2)
STEP TWO — SHOOT SHORT VIDEO CLIPS OF YOUR OWN TENNIS STROKES
- Go to a court and try to capture a few short (15-25 second) video clips of your forehand, backhand or serve THAT CLOSELY MATCH THE DISTANCE AND ANGLE of the pro video clips you’ve downloaded, as much as possible.
The closer you get to the same angle and distance, the better. Shoot lots of clips. You can edit and discard later.
Transfer these video clips from your camera to your computer, using the USB cord or whatever connection that came with your camera.
STEP THREE — DOWNLOAD THE FREE SIDE-BY-SIDE COMPARISON SOFTWARE AND START ANALYZING!
- Go to Kinovea.com
Download this FREE software program that allows you to compare two tennis players’ strokes, side by side. Although it’s free, it’s powerful enough to be used by sports coaches and tennis teachers. Download it and install it on your computer. (This is covered in Video Lesson 7)
- Use Kinovea to import the video clip of the top pro that you’ve downloaded from Youtube. And use Kinovea to inport a video clip that you’ve shot of your own strokes, and saved on your computer. Kinovea lets you edit a short “working zone” from each clip, then display both video clips side-by-side. You can then speed up or slow down each video clip to compare things very clearly. (This is covered in Video Lessons 8 and 9)
That’s it! This covers the most BASIC approach to doing video analysis of your tennis game. You could be up and running in one hour (not counting time on the tennis court).
PLEASE NOTE: We cover a LOT more about analyzing video clips and finding even better, professional-quality videos of the top pros in our video lessons. But this Quick Start Guide will at least get you started, if you’re eager to begin doing video analysis right away.
The sky’s the limit in terms of quality of side-by-side comparison, using various tools (diagrams, audio, etc.) to point out key differences, finding super slow motion clips (240 fps and up), and much, much more.