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DEVELOPMENT

The Acurasee® System was developed by an experienced tennis coach whose goal was to produce a practical and effective tennis training tool. This coach assembled an advisory group consisting of a nationally ranked player, experienced coaches, a sports psychologist and a professional knowledgeable in the area of training psychomotor skills.  From this group came the guiding principles for the development of Acurasee®:

The training device should:

  • Provide immediate knowledge of results (feedback)
  • Provide for positive, interesting activities that motivate the player to improve
  • Provide players and coaches with a convenient method to provide repetitive practice of specific skills
  • Provide enhanced feedback that communicates shot accuracy with precision and objectivity
  • Provide a feedback system that rewards accuracy in any direction around a specific target spot
  • Provide coaches and players with an efficient method to obtain a precise, accurate and reliable summary of improvement across repeated practice sessions

A lengthy period of field-testing and product modification led to continual improvements in the Acurasee® System. The final version, either the Circle Target or the Rectangle Target, with electronic feedback and automatic point scoring, is the training device you have purchased.



WHY IT WORKS

The Acurasee® System for training tennis players focuses on the single most important aspect of a tennis shot – LOCATION.  While other attributes of a shot – such as speed (pace) and spin are important, where the ball lands on the court is the most important feature of the shot.

Scientific research with the Acurasee® System has empirically demonstrated its effectiveness as a training tool.  Use of the Acurasee® System in controlled research has shown it to be superior to typical training methods in improving the location of shots including:

  • Depth of all types of ground strokes
  • Hitting baseline corners
  • Hitting short angle shots
  • Down the line shots
  • Drop shots
  • Serves

The Acurasee® System achieves superior results as a training tool because it maximizes the effectiveness of the three major factors known to enhance the acquisition of psychomotor skills.  These three factors... 1) feedback, 2) motivation and 3) number of practice trials – are heightened whenever the Acurasee® System is employed.


Feedback

Fast and accurate feedback is an essential component for learning any complex psychomotor skill.  When feedback is delayed – or even worse, inaccurate – the value of a learning trial is diminished.  The enormous value of immediate, accurate feedback was a major driving principle that led to the development of Acurasee®.


Motivation

Research demonstrates that the acquisition of motor skills is accelerated when the participants are interested, focused and eager to improve their skill.  This complex of variables – motivation – is essential to acquiring new skills.   The relationship of motivation to skill acquisition can be represented by the relationship: SKILL ACQUISITION = PRACTICE TRIALS x MOTIVATION x ACCURATE FEEDBACK.


Practice Trials

Research and clinical experience has demonstrated that the key to excellence in any activity is practice.  Even the most naturally gifted athletes must practice diligently to achieve mastery of their skills.  Tennis, perhaps even more than most other sports, demands extraordinary amounts of practice in order for participants to achieve high levels of skill.


The Acurasee® System was specifically designed to provide fast and accurate feedback regarding ball placement (location).  The target design, with lights and sounds as feedback for accurate shots, serves to motivate the player to achieve positive results with each shot.  Players find the feedback to be rewarding (reinforcing their behavior) and therefore are willing to engage in long stretches of motivated practice.  By creating an accurate positive feedback system the Acurasee® System will lead to rapid improvement in your player’s ability to hit specific locations with their shots.



THE SCIENCE BEHIND ACURASEE - Addressing Barriers in Effective Tennis Training

Practice Method #1 | Player uses a ball machine while practicing alone.
When using this method feedback is inconsistent since the player is only approximately aware of where the ball has actually landed. In addition there is little external reinforcement, resulting in a probable lack of focus and perhaps a reduction in motivation to practice. Also absent in this practice method is an accurate, objective summary of the results. Knowledge of the results, or KR, has been shown to be a key variable to provide motivation and enhance learning. This method does not provide the type or amount of information required by the cerebral cortex and primary motor cortex to improve motor function. Below is a diagram of the motor skills feedback process of the athlete every time they hit a stroke and observe the outcome:

motor skill learning process

Practice Method #2 | Player uses a tarp for a target in addition to a ball machine.
This method would promote higher motivation, better KR and probably entice the player to practice longer, but is only somewhat accurate and provides little external reinforcement. The motor skills needed would develop more quickly and reach a higher level with this method but still not a rate at which would be efficient for optimal growth. Synapses occur between neurons themselves or between neurons and other types of cells. The diagram below shows one neuron innervating a muscle cell by a chemical process. This entire process may be completed in a few tenths of a millisecond. To accomplish even a simple motor task, thousands of these neuron-motor cell connections must be working together. It is the organizing power of feedback that enables the body to gradually organize and make permanent the collection of connections that result in the desired motor outcomes.

synanpses

Practice Method #3 | Player hits with a coach that is providing verbal feedback of accuracy.
This method is superior to both #1 & #2 for learning motor skills because of the coach's proximity to the shot location. Therefore the coach is able to provide the player with more accurate feedback, however the coach is feeding the balls from a position that is away from the desired shot location. This results in loss of precision in feedback. In addition coaches often react only to shots right on target to a specific location thereby not reinforcing efforts close to the desired location, which is also essential to tennis target training. Furthermore unless the coach is very systematic and providing a one-on-one lesson, there will be a limited summary of KR. Based on perceptual information (feedback) provided to the Cerebral Cortex, a judgment is made regarding the success of a motor action. This feedback is transmitted to the Primary Motor Cortex. Adjustments in the organization of neuron-motor cell connections occur based on this feedback. Feedback that is accurate and timely improves the efficiency of this learning process.

feedback loop

Practice Method #4 | Player using Acurasee for training.
The Acurasee system provides all the elements missing from the methods above providing feedback necessary for optimal motor skill learning. Through immediate visual and auditory stimuli, the player's brain becomes aware of the success of the shot. In addition to providing immediate objective feedback, the Acurasee training system provides a perfectly accurate summary of the points accumulated by the player through the practice session. This allows the coach to focus on form rather ball placement. When using Acurasee, the elements of visual display and auditory acknowledgement associated with successful shots soon take on secondary reinforcement properties. This typically results in the player having motivation to continue practicing to obtain the reward and improve their game. Thus, the Acurasee system, by maximizing the elements of practice trails, motivation and accurate feedback yields the highest level of skill acquisition as compare to any other method as shown in the diagram below.

improvement chart