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  • 16 Feb
    导出博客文章It can be hard to measure your play when it comes to tennis. Yes, you can keep
    score in a match and go by that, or you can consider the points youve kept in
    play and any winners youve hit. But how do your strokes look? Are you hitting
    flat? How much spin are you putting on the ball? Are you working your forehand
    as much and as well as your backhand?Im always looking to better my game, so I
    was excited to learn about the Babolat POP, a wristband that tracks your
    stats.How it worksFor me, the best technology is easy to use and doesnt have a
    long, drawn-out setup, which is the case with Babolat POP. You download the app
    on your phone, sign up and charge the sensor. Youll create a profile on the app
    too, where you can add personal info and a photo if you want (this will come
    into play if you challenge friends). Then place the sensor into the bracelet,
    put the bracelet on your dominant wrist and go play.What I likedThe POP is not
    distracting at all while youre playing. The bracelet is made of a cloth material
    that comfortably fits on any size wrist, and it records everything in the
    background (read: you dont have to hit a button every time you want a shot
    recorded).After you complete a session, it takes just a couple minutes to sync
    the data to your phone -- and Ive never had the sync freeze on me mid-transfer,
    which is lovely. You also can say where you played (indoors versus outdoors) and
    on what type of surface (hard court versus clay), if you like keeping track of
    that kind of data.The POP has the ability to record each forehand, backhand,
    overhead, smash, volley and serve, and it totals the amount for you. The sensor
    breaks it down further, classifying how many shots were flat versus slices, as
    well as your topspin. I found this really insightful, especially in a game when
    I knew I was more dominantly hitting backhands but no real winners -- it was
    because a lot of my shots were flat. Knowing that, the next time I stepped on
    the court, I made a point to work on hitting my backhand with a bit more
    topspin, so I could win more points with that shot.The POP also provides what
    they call a PIQScore, or a score based on a combination of your style, speed and
    spin. Style? Although it isnt able to record how beautiful you look while
    hitting a cross-court forehand, the sensor picks up on the fluidity of your
    strokes, which is where this number comes from. At first, I didnt think I was
    all too interested in a made up score the company came up with, but after using
    the POP bracelet for a bit, I found myself comparing my PIQScore from session to
    session. Its basically a quick overview if you had to sum up your session with
    one score, which became more appealing when looking at improvement over time.The
    POP also records activity, which is based on the length and intensity of your
    session. This made it easy for me to identify which of my sessions were actual
    games versus just casual rallying with a friend. It also tells you after each
    session what your top hitting speed was and the amount of shots in your
    lengthiest rally. Again, this data I just found interesting, and I even
    surprised myself a few times with a top speed I didnt know I was able to
    hit.Then theres the challenge aspect of the Babolat POP -- because what tracking
    device doesnt allow you to compete with others these days, right? First, you
    have the ability to find your friends who have POP and add them to your network
    by following them. I wasnt looking to use the device to compete, but rather to
    up my own game. Still, you have the option to create a challenge: forehands,
    backhands or serves and the number of shots taken. Each shot gets a PIQScore,
    which is averaged and then used to determine the winner of the challenge. Its a
    fun way to add a little competition to the mix, if youre looking for that.What I
    didnt likeAlthough the POP generally recorded pretty accurately, I found that it
    sometimes had issues differentiating between types of shots. For instance, in a
    match in which I hit a couple overhead shots, they were recorded as serves. It
    wasnt a huge deal to me, but I didnt get much feedback on my overhead shots,
    which I would have liked.I know this would be taking the device capabilities to
    the next level, but I wished it knew how many shots were in. I found it really
    helpful to break down my shots, top spin and speed, but what if my fastest shots
    were all going out (at one point, they were)? From glancing at my stats on the
    app, youd think these were the best shots, when in fact, I probably needed to
    take a little speed off to keep the ball in play and not lose the point.Worth
    it?Im the type of person who always likes to improve -- whether its tennis or
    snowboarding or public speaking. I like that the Babolat POP can give me some
    specific feedback and stats on my tennis game that I otherwise would have needed
    to figure out on my own or with the help of an instructor or coach, which can be
    costly.Although it wasnt 100 percent accurate, this gave me more insight into my
    game than I had previously. At $90, the Babolat POP isnt cheap, but for someone
    like me, Id say its worth it.
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    policy violation. If it is the brutality of the ECBs decision to punish Durham
    that strikes first, it is the inconsistency that follows close behind.Oh, yes.
    There is some logic in the ECBs stance. A financial punishment would clearly
    have been inappropriate and this action - relegation and a heavy points
    deductions for next season - certainly sends out a strong deterrent.Against what
    though, is unclear. Against building a ground in an out-of-town location more
    than 20 years ago? Against bidding for international games in an over-crowded
    market place? Against slipping into debt? If so, the ECB needs to be relegating
    a few other teams.The only difference between Durham and Glamorgan is that, at
    Durham, the creditors - notably the local council - declined to waive the debt.
    In Cardiff, they allowed the taxpayer to pick up the bill. Warwickshire owe
    Birmingham City Council around £20m and have already benefited from a repayment
    holiday.So, if the ECB is to be consistent, shouldnt Glamorgan, who were
    stripped of a Test in 2012 and obliged to swap a fixture in 2013 after
    struggling to pay staging agreements for Sri Lanka Test in 2011, be treated in
    the same manner?And what is the difference between Durham and Hampshire? Or,
    indeed, Yorkshire? Hampshire, the beneficiaries of this action, have been bailed
    out to the tune of £10m or more by Rod Bransgrove, while Yorkshire are indebted
    to Colin Graves. The club owes - and continues to pay interest upon - trusts
    set-up by Graves totalling £24m. All were insolvent. The difference is that
    Hampshire and Yorkshire found benefactors; Durham found judgement. The ECB, with
    reserves of £70m and more, could have taken a more sympathetic approach.Such was
    Yorkshires plight that, in interviews with ESPNcricinfo, Graves referred to
    Yorkshire as bankrupt and 48 hours from being written off. So we can only
    presume that Durham are not being punished for financial mismanagement but for
    failing to find a sugar daddy to bail them out.Did Durham have to be punished at
    all? Might the ECB not have reflected that it was, at least in part, complicit
    in Durhams descent into debt? Might it not have concluded that, having
    encouraged Durham to build an international venue - a condition of being granted
    first-class status in 1992 - and then given them a May Test against Sri Lanka
    starting on a Friday, it had contributed to the difficulties the club has
    faced?Might it not have reflected that, by encouraging the counties to bid
    against one another to host international games, things were always going to end
    this way?And might the ECB not even have reflected that it, like the banks that
    offered 120% mortgages before the economic crash, had extended credit to Durham
    far beyond the reasonable? The ECB now admits it has been working on this rescue
    package for the best part of a year. In that case, why was the Test against Sri
    Lanka allowed to take place in Chester-le-Street? Why were Hampshire or
    Nottinghamshire not incentivised to take on that game?This episode is every bit
    as much the ECBs fault as it is Durhams. It is an inevitable product of the
    system.Besides, who does this decision punish? Does it punish the officials at
    Durham who, years ago, embarked on a course that always threatened to end this
    way? Hardly. Some are dead, some have moved on or retired and one of them
    (Gordon Hollins, once commercial director at Durham) is now chief operating
    officer of the professional game at the ECB.Does it punish the investors who
    involved themselves in the club when they thought hosting international cricket
    was a lucrative business or the officials at the ECB who created this system and
    extended the clubs line of credit? Of course not.No, this is a decision that
    punishes thee players and the supporters.ddddddddddddInnocent victims of
    decisions over which they had no control.It wont help them, either. At least one
    of the players - Keaton Jennings, who recently signed a new deal with the club -
    is understood to have a clause in their contract allowing them to leave if they
    are relegated. Those supporters who enjoyed Durhams run to T20 Finals Day this
    year may conclude there is little point attending in 2017; the points deduction
    is too much of a handicap. And you can bet that the next club in need of
    financial assistance will call Wonga before it calls the ECB. The governing body
    needs to take a more benevolent approach than this.The shame is that, as a
    cricket club, Durham has excelled. Yes, as a business they have failed and as a
    business they need to change. But no cricket team had been in the top division
    for as long (11 years) before today. Only a couple of weeks ago, Ben Stokes,
    keen to play when he could easily have rested, bowled his side to a crucial
    victory over Surrey in a thrilling passage of play that seemed to have avoided
    relegation. To snatch that away devalues so much that went before.Might the ECB
    have taken such a hard line to make a point? Might it have taken this
    opportunity to remind the counties of their precarious finances and of the need
    to embrace a new T20 competition? You would hope not.There are lessons to learn
    from Durham. We can see (as we can from Hampshire) that out-of-town cricket
    grounds do not work. And we can see (as we can see from Hampshire and as we will
    see from Northants) that private ownership (Durham, like Hampshire, is not a
    members club) brings more problems than it solves. Sympathy for privately owned
    clubs is limited; if they dont share their profits with the wider game, why
    would the wider game want to share their losses? Nor will it be forgotten that,
    a few years ago, Durham breached the salary cap. They are not blameless.Most of
    all, though, we can see that the arms race by which international games were
    allocated for a decade or more did not work. And we can see that producing
    players for England is not sufficiently rewarded. A club that has uncovered such
    gems as Mark Wood and Stokes should not be begging for help from its governing
    body. It should be cherished and nurtured.At some clubs, this setback would
    spark an exodus. But at Durham? There has long been a sense of unity about
    Durham that other clubs have admired and envied. And it has long been said in
    county circles that it is hard to drag their players away from the north-east.
    Maybe the examples of Scott Borthwick and Mark Stoneman show that times have
    changed. Or maybe this is just the event to redouble their determination and
    renew their sprit. If Stokes and Wood are ever made available to them in 2017,
    some Division Two batsmen will find themselves unwitting victims of this
    episode.There is not much appetite around the first-class counties for
    punishment of Durham. There is an acceptance that their days as a Test-hosting
    ground are over (for the foreseeable future, anyway) and an acceptance that they
    required some intervention. But punishment? No. That comes from the ECB, which
    has somehow tarnished one of the most wonderful finishes to the county season
    for years into a squabble about finances and legal action. The reverse
    alchemists have done it again.Well-governed sport is defined by events on the
    pitch. Increasingly in English cricket, we see decisions made in committee rooms
    transcending events on the field. It reflects poorly on the sport and, most of
    all, poorly on the administrators.
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