Friday, December 18, 2015

Tracking your activity when playing tennis - My experience with a Misfit Flash

This post is going to deviate a bit from discussing NTRP ratings and USTA League stats, but is still about data related to tennis.

Personal activity monitors, e.g. Fitbit, Garmin Vivo, Nike Fuel, etc. have become very popular recently.  I succumbed and got one, a Misfit Flash, in part because I'd gotten a FitBark activity monitor for my dog (see more here) and also being a data junkie, getting data about my activity is a bit intriguing.

I have not used many other activity monitors, and this is not intended to be a full review of the Flash, but it is a fairly inexpensive device does provide the basics of monitoring your steps, calories, and miles.  It also accumulates points for you and measures your progress towards a daily goal.

The points it calculates are based on a variety of factors, one being the type of activity you are doing.  You are able to track a specific activity and identify what the activity type is.  You also tell it where you are wearing the device (wrist, shoe, waist), and when you do this, it calculates your points accordingly.  For example, the same activity it monitors for a period will result in more points if you tell it you were running vs walking.

But what I really care about is what it says about playing tennis, and thankfully, there is a specific activity type for tennis.  So I mark the start and end of when I play, tell it the activity was tennis, and voila, it tells me how many points I accumulated for the activity.

The image above shows the total for a day in which I played twice for a total of about 3 hours.  There was about 1.5 hours of singles and 1.5 hours of doubles.

The image to the left shows the specific activity when I played singles on this day and you see I garnered a bunch of the points from it.

I do notice that I get more points from singles than doubles.  I probably get about 900 points per hour from doubles and 1,200-1,400 per hour from singles which all makes sense.

All in all, I'm very pleased with my Misfit Flash.  I'm sure other trackers do more and have more features, and the Flash has some quirks, for example there is no display, just a dial with LED's and a single button.  But you can monitor your daily progress, start/stop an activity, and see the time with something as simple as this.

If you use an activity tracker when playing tennis, leave a comment and let me know what your experience has been.