Ajax teaches tennis players the perfect serve

Experts at the football club’s lab used unique technology to analyse the young players’ serves.

If Esther Vergeer and Richard Krajicek learned one lesson during their careers, it is that you must always pursue the latest developments to stay at the top. They are passing this lesson on to the nine young players whom they are mentoring. A series of exchange programmes show the youngsters how things are done in other sports, to help them learn.

The future

ABN AMRO’s Partner of the Future programme offers an excellent setup to achieve this. This programme supports not only emerging tennis talent, but also football club Ajax. At the club’s academy De Toekomst (‘the Future’) the players and their coaches were introduced to state-of-the-art technology.

Unique technology

The young tennis players visited the miCoach Performance Centre, where they were analysed and were given an explanation of how Ajax applies modern technology. That technology can ‘see’ exactly how a football player looks, moves and acts. The tennis players were given a brief analysis of their serves, to help them perfect this aspect of their game. Richard Krajicek explains, ‘The technology that Ajax uses is unique. It gives tennis players a chance to learn how to analyse their own game. It’s almost like a computer game, and the kids were very impressed. I’m sure that this will help them in the future.’

Testing Robin Haase

Ajax sports scientist Vosse de Boode explained that one other athlete who was not a football player had been tested in the lab. By a strange coincidence it was Robin Haase. Some of the tests that had been developed for analysing his serve were now used for Richard and Esther’s protégés. Together with their instructors, they can use what they have learned to further improve their game.