How to do court testing during lockdown?
When the talented team at Spark PI delivered our Alpha 2 prototype in May, we were able to test basic functions at Stingray Global HQ, but live user testing was impossible without access to courts due to the (first) Covid-19 lockdown. It was driving us nuts.
Then we noticed Will Salter posting about his homemade 3/4 court (@willsaltersquash on Instagram) and reached out to ask if he would help.
Multiple court sessions later, we'd like to give Will a massive shout-out as the man who helped us stay sane over lockdown. He did an incredible job. The videos below give a small taste of the testing and drills Will did.
Volley drop drill
In the drill below Will warms up with some low intensity forehand volley drops.
Will is static on the T and the Alpha 2 ball machine is simulating a weak backhand cross court from behind the service line.
No court, no problem
In the drill below, Will demonstrates his No Court, No Problem spirit.
In addition to the entirely alien environment, he's also added movement and obstacles. He's ghosting front and back and triggering Alpha 2 with the remote he's holding in his left hand.
In the drill below Will intercepts a weak cross court lob at the back of the service box and volleys the ball down the line and deep into the backhand corner. The ball machine is set to auto-feed at regular intervals.
Ghost and drive drill
Will ghosts deep to his backhand corner, then moves onto a drop to the front backhand and drives the ball down the wall. The launcher is set high to shorten the ball's travel time and Will is triggering the ball's release with the remote in his left hand.