CHENNAI: Star paddler G Sathiyan caught the attention of many last year when he trained with a robot at home during the lockdown period. In a bid to stay ahead of the game, the 28-year-old — for the last couple of months — has been making use of a ball-tracking software under development and testing stage, during training sessions.
The TT Nationals, to be held in Panchkula from February 15 to 23, gives an opportunity for Sathiyan to try it out for the first time in a competition. “All I need to do is place my mobile phone and record the game. The recording will be fed into the software and we will have data in a few minutes,” Sathiyan told TOI.
The ball-tracking tool has been popular in cricket for years now, but this is the first time in India that TT is making use of it. The Indian start-up company, which made this software, has been making use of the academy run by Sathiyan’s coach — S Raman, for testing. Raman acts as the domain expert. “Being a TOPS and Khelo India centre, we were more than happy to help our players make use of it. There is a camera fitted at a specific place which records the training sessions of our players,” he said.
Earlier, Raman would take a day or two to analyse data — without these numbers — on Sathiyan’s games but with this software in place — the process doesn’t take more than a few minutes. “The results are almost real time. With so much data available through this software, it could prove to be a game-changer for TT players in India,” Raman.
For Sathiyan, using the software has made his training sessions even more interesting. “It is early to state that I am seeing a tangible change in my game because of this software. But, over a period of time, this data will help my game immensely. More importantly, practice sessions have become more fun with all of us having numbers on speed, trajectory, distance to analyse our game,” Sathiyan concluded.