Artificial Intelligence (AI) is rapidly transforming the sports industry, and the sport of tennis is no exception. With the integration of AI-enabled tools such as virtual reality, data analysis, and machine learning, tennis players and coaches are able to take advantage of real-time insights and personalized feedback to improve their performance and gain a competitive edge.
However, as with any emerging technology, there are also risks associated with using AI in tennis, including concerns around data privacy, bias, and the potential for overreliance on technology. In this context, it is important to explore the benefits and risks of using AI in learning and development in tennis, and to gain a better understanding of how these tools can be implemented thoughtfully and responsibly to maximize their potential benefits while minimizing their potential drawbacks.
Benefits of Using AI in Tennis
There are numerous benefits associated with using AI in learning and development programs in sports, which can be influenced by the specific technology being used. Some of these benefits are:
- Enhanced training optimization: AI platforms such as computer vision and sensors provide coaches with detailed data on players’ performance and statistics, enabling them to develop customized training programs that address specific issues or opportunities identified by data-driven analysis.
- Detailed performance analysis: AI technologies like computer vision, natural language processing, and deep learning can help athletes analyze and improve their performance. For instance, IBM’s Watson technology has been experimentally used in semi-professional football club Leatherhead. Watson technology combines conversational interfaces with internal and external data (such as reports, match data, and statistics) to provide players and coaches with detailed analysis and important points of collected data through simple questions.
- Personalized feedback: Athletes need feedback to improve their performance, and AI technologies such as sensors or AR provide real-time feedback during task execution. This allows for appropriate feedback related to the athlete’s movements and activities.
- Improved execution quality: AI technologies such as Watson use computer vision and deep learning to improve athletes’ movement execution in sports like tennis and golf. Additionally, AR can help athletes develop new skills by providing different stimulating and challenging contexts for the player, making it beneficial even for beginners.
Lowering injury risks (excluding AR): Preventing injuries is a crucial concern for sports clubs and athletes, as injuries can result in significant financial losses. AI enables athletes to enhance their skills and movements through tailored feedback, and it has been demonstrated that AI methods are more effective than traditional statistical methods in predicting and preventing injuries. However, it is worth noting that the use of AR may increase the likelihood of injuries due to adaptability issues. In fact, 10% of AR technology users have reported accidents with other objects while using it.
Enhancing strategic and tactical game planning: Coaches can utilize wearable sensors and high-speed cameras to make informed decisions before, during, and after games. These technologies provide valuable insights that assist coaches in selecting the best strategies and options.
Possible Risks and Issues Detected
While AI has been found to be effective in reducing injuries by improving player movements, the use of AR contradicts this trend. AR technology poses various issues related to display, latency, and design that need to be resolved before it can be used to its full potential. These issues include:
Latency and design problems decrease player engagement during training by making it feel less realistic and causing the player to wait for their movement to be recognized.
Difficulty in programming the adaptability of AR to the rules of the sport being displayed.
The real-world environment around the player needs to be adjusted to their movements, and the player should be warned if they get too close to physical objects to prevent the risk of injury.