LTA to allow heart rate monitors in-competition in tennis first

Friday, December 18, 2020

By: Sport Industry Group

The LTA has announced that players will be able to wear heart rate monitors during matches for the first time at its competitions after an application was granted by the ITF.

The move is a first for tennis, and means British players can wear the Firstbeat Sports Sensor during tournament matches, allowing them and their coaching teams to work with the LTA Performance team to analyse a vast new range of data relating to internal and external load, physiological response to matches, and ability to recover. 

As well as pushing for its use on tour, the LTA has also made Firstbeat one of a number of technologies available to professional players training at the National Tennis Centre who are part of the LTA’s Player Pathway and receive support through the governing body’s Elite, Pro Scholarship and Men’s & Women’s Programmes. 

Dan Lewindon, Head of Performance Medicine & Science, LTA, said: “We are constantly looking to how we can better support and empower our players, coaches and practitioners throughout the LTA Player Pathway, and we’re very pleased that this will be enhanced further through the granting of this application. 

“While a number of other sports have used wearable technology as part of their player preparation for several years, we are really excited to be working at the forefront of this field in tennis. Our overall aim is for the National Tennis Centre to continue to be the venue of choice for our best players and their teams to train, and for our experienced Performance team to support players at base and on tour through the use of technology like this. 

“Firstbeat is one of a number of technology partners we are working with to allow us to get a greater understanding of the cardiovascular demands and movement loads in training and matches and crucially the differences therein to help us better physically prepare players.”

Earlier this year, the LTA became the first tennis national governing body to install the indoor Catapult “Clear Sky” monitoring system at its national training centre. 

Designed to give detailed information on aspects of a player’s movement and physicality, Catapult was used by players across the summer series of behind closed doors events the NTC including the Battle of the Brits tournaments, British Tour and Progress Tour Women’s Championships.