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Growing up many of us relied on either a coach or parent to tell us many of the fundamentals of basketball. From shooting to defense it seems that you often hear different philosophies and opinions on each when developing your game. The truth is, a lot of the time these parents and coaches have little experience with coaching and often even less with actually teaching the sport of basketball. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could get training tips and advice from an objective source that you know is based on some of the best minds in the game? Also, it would nice to get feedback while you are practicing so that you can make adjustments in real time allowing you to get the right “feel”.
Well, with the help of ever advancing technology and with the exponential growth of analytics in the game of basketball, the bright minds from InfoMotion have created the 94Fifty Smart Sensor Basketball. Simply put, this basketball literally puts the coach in the ball using feedback from your shooting speed, arch, and backspin. With the 94Fifty Smart Sensor Basketball you no longer have to wonder if you are shooting the ball properly, because it will tell you what to do, and tell you what you need to work on.
So how does it work? Well, this basketball features nine accelerometers that allow for it to determine movement and other factors. All told, the computer pieces of this ball weigh less than a single ounce. This technology connects directly to the 94Fifty Smart Sensor Basketball app which collects data and gives real time statistics and corrective advice. Not only does it provide you with all this great feedback, you can even compete with others from anywhere in the world!
When you get into the app you can select from four different training options: Workout, Head-to-Head Match, Skill Training, and Social Challenge. In the Workout mode you are able to engage in several different challenges involving shooting and ball handling. The app does a nice job to gamify the activities so that the activities are engaging and fun. It does this by having four different skill levels: Playground, Prep Star, College Star, and Pro. The challenges become more difficult as you move up through these ranks testing and improving your skills. I love that the challenges really focus on facets of the game that are weaknesses for most players including weak hand dribbling and free throw shooting. The app will also keep track of your daily and all-time best performances so that you can see your improvement over time.
If you want to become a more accurate shooter and enhance your ball handling to minimize dreaded turnovers then make sure to commit some time within the Skill Training mode. With the 94Fifty Smart Sensor basketball you will be able to know where your shot backspin is compared to what is optimal, and then have it tell you what you need to correct in your shot to get as close as possible to optimal backspin. This is also true for other skills like dribbling force, dribbling speed, shot arch, and speed. One thing to note is that for each drill you have to manually count the number of shots you make and enter them into the app, which is kind of a pain. However, this is supposed to be a capability they add in the near future.
The next mode is the Head-to-Head Match. I have always believed that when players can compete with others who are at their level or a little better that this will get the best results because it forces players to work harder than they would on their own. Five challenges are available (three shooting, two dribbling) which you can do while competing with up to five of your friends.
Social Mode is similar to Head-to-Head except you can play against other players from around the world. I find this to be one of the most intriguing features of this basketball as I have always wanted to know where I stack up with others around the country. How good am I? How good can I become? Any serious player has to ask themselves these questions.
The basketball has a one-year warranty so that you can feel confident in your purchase and the materials that were put into this unique basketball product. It has a battery life of 8 hours so you can play for a long time without having to worry about charging. It comes with a wireless battery charger which makes the times you do have to charge a cinch.
The versatility of the 94Fifty Smart Sensor Basketball is surprising given the high price point and extra technology that is inside the basketball. It comes with a durable indoor/outdoor cover so that you can take it to your school’s gymnasium or your driveway. The grip on the basketball is awesome and is sure to impress many with it’s tac and cushioned feel.
There is a strength about the 94Fifty Smart Sensor Basketball that I feel many will overlook. Many players have accurate shots and good technique but struggle to make buckets in game situations because they are too caught up in whether or not they make their shots. This is what is called results oriented thinking, and can be detrimental to a player’s progress. The 94Fifty helps to alleviate this thinking by putting the focus where it needs to be, the process. By thinking about the process of your shot and developing good technique you will be worrying less about whether the ball goes in the hoop. The truth is if you focus on your shooting process you will make a great number of shots during your years of playing basketball.
We recommend this basketball for anyone who is beginning to play the game who has aspirations to be great, all the way up to advanced players who are looking for an edge over the competition. It will give you hours of fun and you won’t even realize how hard you are working. Never has getting great individualized coaching been this accessible. It is easy to see why this basketball made our Ultimate Christmas Basketball Gift Guide.