Although some attempt has been made to incorporate video techniques into tennis and golf instruction, today's typical lesson is still delivered verbally. But studies have proved that athletes learn physical skills more quickly through visual images. As a result, Steven DeVore, with his brother, Gregory, an M.D., has developed SyberVision, a pair of instructional cassettes for home video machines that give the student a visual instead of spoken golf or tennis lesson. Former Wimbledon champion Stan Smith and golfer Al Geiberger appear on the tapes.
This is an article from the April 19, 1982 issue
On the screen, Smith and Geiberger perform various shots. Parts of their bodies are then highlighted electronically to reduce the movements to their basic components. Instruction in concentration and relaxation techniques is included to aid quick absorption of the lessons.
The idea for SyberVision was planted in Steven DeVore's head during a childhood bout with polio when his training regimen included watching people walk. Years later, when he had fully recovered and was studying to become an educational psychologist, he noticed how much better he performed athletically immediately after seeing pros on TV. Neurological studies backed up his intuitive theories, and SyberVision ensued.
Further research with the Stanford tennis team confirmed that the tapes produced positive results even among skilled players. Peter Rennert and Tim Mayotte, two recent NCAA champions from Stanford who are now on the pro tour, both used SyberVision. Stanford Tennis Coach Dick Gould was impressed enough to say, "The system has the potential to help create a superior athlete."
Stan Smith, a firm believer in SyberVision, adds, "The program won't replace the teaching pro but it's a valuable supplement to on-court instruction."
SyberVision (video cassette and workbook) is available for $150 per sport plus handling through SyberVision Systems, Inc., 2450 Washington Ave., Suite 270, San Leandro, Calif. 94577.