Can Sports eLearning Produce More Roger Federers?

Sports eLearning: Can It Produce More Roger Federers?

Three months into 2017, Roger Federer already won the Australian Open, Indian Wells, and Miami Open even at the age of 35. Federer hired Ivan Ljubicic (former world number 3) as his new coach, replacing Stefan Edberg and this decision absolutely proved to be the turning point in his 2017 career. Ljubicic is well known for his superb one-handed backhand and his familiarity with current players like Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, both who had heavily exploited Federer’s weak one-handed backhand. This season we certainly saw how Federer managed to outgun his arch rivals and statistics showed that Federer’s backhand is no longer his weaker side. Across any sports, accessibility to the right coach is essential for an athlete to excel. We’ve seen other remarkable success stories such as Michael Chang catapulting Kei Nishikori’s career to be a Grand Slam contender. But this elusive access to the right coaches is usually hard to come by especially when there is only one Ivan Ljubucic in this world. So how could one learn from the best in order to be the best? And what about the cost of hiring someone like Ljubucic?

Sports eLearning Vs. Traditional Coaching

According to Thumbtack, the U.S national average cost for tennis lesson is $45 per hour. That’s $180 per month if you get only one hour per week of training. This value sums up to $2,160 per annum, a value that exceeds the average American expenditure on education in 2015, a statistic released by U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

TennisConsult.com suggests that parents would need to spend from $100,000 to 150,000 for 10 years for their kids to learn serious tennis until they reach college and hopefully secure an athletic scholarship by then. Now, what if you could replace that grassroot tennis development with online tennis lessons? I’m referring to online tennis training where you watch HD-quality instructional online videos of a coach teaching you tennis but instead of paying $45 per hour, you might get the lessons for free or pay only $30 per course for one time only.

Of course one may argue that you still need to rent a tennis court and nothing beats personal one-to-one coaching session. How about if I say that online tennis coach that I was referring to is actually Federer’s coach, Ivan Ljubicic. And instead of $30 for each online course, maybe we just hike up the price to $199 per course. I’m talking about getting your kids to learn tennis from a Grand Slam coach. $199 now sounds too good to be true.

Bottomline is, the cost of online learning is a mere fraction compared to a physical learning experience and it breaks down geographic limitation. There’s no point paying $45 per hour for an average Coach Joe from your neighborhood to coach your kids tennis when you can get Ivan Ljubicic online to train them. Ok, perhaps not someone as great as Ljubicic, but how about great tennis coaches at IMG Academy who are renowned of producing tennis prodigies like Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras and Boris Becker? IMG Academy has produced great tennis training videos on YouTube.

We all may heard of the reigning javelin world champion, Julius Yego that learned his javelin skills from YouTube. This phenomenal sports eLearning success story should path the way for more coaches to go online to coach and more of us to be coached, without the cost and geographic boundaries.

One fine day, sports eLearning may dawn upon us as an inexpensive and convenient resource for athletes to excel in their sports. Those digital gadgets of ours such as smartphones, tablets, and fitbits embedded with apps and training software shall become indispensable coaching tools.

eLearning technology is already here, all we need to do now is to change our mindset to embrace them.

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