The power of video analysis can help us sharpen our skills by amplifying the learning value of every game we play. To harness the full potential of tools like PB Vision, you don't need complicated setups or extensive preparation to leverage this powerful tool. In this article, I’ll share simple and efficient methods to capture video of your game, allowing you to focus on perfecting every serve, third shot drop, and dink.
Here you can find:
When it comes to filming your games, balancing quality and efficiency is key. While having a setup akin to a professional PPA match would be great, it's obviously not practical for casual play. On the other hand, setting up without considering the basics, like framing the court, risks leaving you with unusable footage.
In priority order, here are four essential factors to consider:
For most pickleball courts, you can categorize them into two groups:
One of the easiest and most reliable setups uses a spring clamp. After testing an array of combinations of photography equipment, I landed a straightforward setup that offers reliable framing while being extremely quick and repeatable to setup. This clamp includes a built-in ball head, and you can enhance it further with a screw clamp featuring bubble levels and a phone mount.
Here's what you'll need:
Why I Like It: To date, nothing beats the speed and efficiency with which this setup can quickly clip onto any fence, leaving you ready to play in ~30 seconds. It's sturdy and unobtrusive during play; I've even moved it mid-game to shift courts without being disruptive. Unlike a tripod, the clamp on the fence isn't a hindrance to even the most extreme play. Similarly, once the camera is mounted and you start playing, you immediately forget that it is there.
Note: You may have seen the flexible-leg tripods where the legs wrap around any object. While these can work well, I would highly recommend sticking with the higher-end versions of the original Joby GorillaPod, which typically cost around $100-$120. Over 15 years as a photographer, I have personally had multiple of these types of devices fail, and many of the cheap ones are simply not very stable.
When you lack a nearby fence, a standard tripod setup works well. Set it up far enough away so it is not a distraction or hindrance. There are near-infinite options for tripods and brands. If you don't have one already, expect to pay $40+ for one that can be moderately stable with the weight of a cell phone.
Here's what you'll need:
Why I Like It: The tripod is a fundamental piece of photography + videography gear for a reason. It is flexible across many scenarios and, when coupled with a ball head, doesn’t even need to be placed on flat ground. It is easy to carry it onto the court with the legs + center column extended to quickly set it in place before quickly leveling it out and hitting record.
To ensure smooth processing, position the camera at a minimum height of 4 feet, ensuring that all four corners of the court are clearly visible within the video recording frame. If the entire court isn't visible, it might lead to processing issues with the PB Vision system. If you do nothing else, make sure every time that each of the four corners is visible in the frame and not obstructed by the net.
Harnessing the potential of video analysis can be a transformative tool for all pickleball players. By capturing your gameplay, you’re investing a small amount of time now for a great long-term payoff. Use the setups discussed above to effortlessly capture the footage you need with PB Vision and take your gameplay to the next level. See you on the court!
We’ve just launched Just the Rallies V3, a significant update that brings a heightened level of accuracy to rally slicing. Give it a try, and upload your gameplay video today.
Looking for more on pickleball and PB Vision? Join our pickleball community on Discord and subscribe to our newsletter. Don't miss out—sign up now for updates delivered straight to your inbox. 👇