Sports Science Day aims to teach smarter tennis
Those days of science class and dissection may have ended for many people, but class is in session at the third annual Sea Colony Sports Science Day. Melissa Hunfalvay, PhD., will help tennis players dissect the game and improve their court skills on Saturday, Aug. 11.
The science-based clinic differs from regular tennis lessons. Participants will begin in the classroom and then move to the court.
“Typically, you learn a forehand or backhand,” said Thomas Johnston, Sea Colony’s director of tennis. “Here, you’re going to learn how to anticipate if some one hits a forehand or backhand.”
People learn to anticipate the direction of serves, type of shot and spin, even before the shots are made.
“Professionals look differently at sports than amateurs,” he said. “Pros can anticipate better because they can anticipate the cues, … direction and swing.”
That allows more time for reaction, improves speed and reduces pressure on the court.
In a 90-minute match, a tennis player only plays for 30 minutes but spends considerable time waiting for the ball to return. “So what you do between points is critical,” Johnston said.
Hunfalvay, who has played professionally, earned a doctorate in sports science, using eye-tracking technology to study the focus cues of elite tennis players. Now she teaches people the skills to perform better, mentally and physically, just as athletes can play smarter and focus on offense.
“We want people to have a ton of fun and learn something. It’s a fun presentation,” Johnston said.
Anyone, regardless of their level of tennis proficiency, may participate, but the program is expected to be more beneficial to intermediate players interested in improving their tennis. Anyone may attend Sports Science Day, which costs $50 per person. The training session will be 2:30 to 5 p.m. at the Tennis Center.
For more information, or to register for Sports Science Day, stop by Sea Colony Tennis Center, visit www.seacolonytennis.net or call (302) 539-4488. Pre-registration is preferred, but not required.