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na, California. They werent ready to start thinking about a repeat as they took their seats inside Bryant-Denny Stadium. Then Sa

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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.Pat LaFontaine Islanders Jersey . Argentina winger Ezequiel Lavezzi and France midfielder Blaise Matuidi scored, with star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic setting up both despite having a poor game by his high standards. Forward Eduardo gave Ajaccio the lead in the sixth minute after being set up by right winger Benjamin Andre, and the Corsican side looked comfortable in the first half, with the lively Johan Cavalli causing problems with his probing runs from midfield. Mathew Barzal Jersey . Louis Blues teammates who would also be participating in the Olympics, Alex Pietrangelo felt right at home, no different in some ways to the travel experience of any old road trip – save for the length of the journey, that is. http://www.islanderssale.com/authentic-mike-bossy-islanders-jersey/ . President of baseball operations Larry Beinfest was fired Friday after 12 years with the Marlins. The move came as the team neared the end of its third consecutive last-place season in the NL East. Casey Cizikas Jersey . -- Timbers coach Caleb Porter didnt stray from his business-like approach to the season even after Portland downed the two-time defending league champion Los Angeles Galaxy to gain crucial playoff position. John Tavares Jersey .ca look back at each of the Top 10 stories of 2013. Today, we look back at Boston Strong - a citys recovery from tragedy.TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Nick Saban knows what he wants to say. For a week and a half, he has thought about this. And today, inside Bryant-Denny Stadium, he has a plan: Start out slow, pat everyone on the back like hes supposed to and then pivot. It wont be a smooth transition, but it will be one everyone remembers.Its January 16, 2010. Its below freezing. Theres a constant drizzle, but it doesnt dampen the spirit of the parade and the celebration that follows. Not after the near-two-decade national championship drought that came before, the void since Gene Stallings and Derrick Lassic dominated Miami in the 1993 Sugar Bowl. Some 38,000 people have shown up to revel in lucky No. 13, filling the half of the stadium in view of the podium. Its way more people than senior offensive lineman Mike Johnson and his teammates anticipated. A couple dozen fans gather behind the stage for a chance to listen, for a shot at winding up inside the wide-angle lens of history.Saban is flanked by trophies as he leans into the microphone at midfield. To his left: the SEC Championship, the Heisman, the Butkus. To his right: that old crystal football the BCS used to hand out. His team is behind him. Athletic director Mal Moore and chancellor Robert Witt are on stage, too. They listen intently to the man they spent so long chasing, believing he could resurrect Alabama. After Moore made his final pitch to lure Saban from Miami in 2006, Witt asked him how he felt about their chances. If I dont get Coach Saban on this plane, Moore told him, Im not coming back to Tuscaloosa, Im going to Cuba.Three years later, and here they were, Saban making it a point to thank both Moore and Witt as he addresses the crowd. Then comes the turn, the moment he was waiting for.But I want everyone here to know, Saban says, holding his hand out to stop the applause. For this, he needs their undivided attention. His voice grows louder.This is not the end. This is the beginning.Those two sentences, that sentiment, would come to mean many things to many people. For Witt, it brought a sigh of relief. For those players coming back next season, a loud wake-up call. For fans, it was everything.Sabans words that day didnt lead to a second national championship in 2011. Rather, it was a way of going beyond that, a way of reaching out for a third and fourth title to come. It was bold, no doubt. Confident. Focused. Determined. Looking back, it was the mission statement of his plan to build and sustain a dynasty at Alabama.* * *No one saw this day coming.Its August 26, 2016, and Saban is addressing reporters for the final time during fall camp. Up next: the season opener against USC -- the first step in Alabamas quest to repeat as national champions.Everything is familiar about this scene. Saban is part prickly, part charismatic. Asked whether the staff has discussed playing two quarterbacks, he says matter-of-factly, No, we havent had any discussion about that.A reporter has a follow-up, but wonders first whether Saban wants to finish his answer.Its a pretty simple question and pretty simple answer, Saban says before pausing a moment. Like Id tell you if we were going to.Cue the laughs. Cue a big grin across Sabans face.Its all so normal. But in the context of Saban circa January 2010, its anything but.Setting aside the notion that he seems happier than ever -- or happy at all -- the simple fact that Saban is still at Alabama, beginning his 10th season as the Tides head coach, is noteworthy.Witt was optimistic this day would come, of course, but in his heart of hearts he was never certain. Saban had never stayed anywhere more than five years prior to arriving in Tuscaloosa. Another college job could have pulled him away, maybe the challenge of another shot at the NFL.When Witt and then-athletic director Moore shook Sabans hand in the locker room after beating Texas for the title, they knew they had to stay on top of him. In what Witt described as a coordinated plan, the two communicated a message to Saban: Everything we said to you during the recruiting process regarding having the resources you need to be successful, youll have them.Sitting behind Saban in Bryant-Denny Stadium six years ago, Witt heard, This is not the end. This is the beginning, and his wheels started turning. He took a half-beat longer than the rest of the crowd to start clapping. But he thought he knew what Saban meant: What they said when they were recruiting me was the truth.Witt put it another way: I was focused on, Its the beginning, of what hes going to do -- at the University of Alabama.We werent sure which direction the program was going to go, said offensive lineman and team captain Mike Johnson. After Year 3 and winning a national championship, you wonder if something will come up and hell head out of town. I think when he said that, it calmed everybody down.Now they felt they had him. For life.To this day, Witt and Saban maintain a close working relationship. Witt has seen firsthand his growth -- the way he has tried to savor some of the victories, the way he has relished becoming a grandfather. Witt has even found ways to make Saban laugh. But that doesnt mean he has seen him slow down. That singular focus of his hasnt subsided.The easiest way for me to describe that dimension of Coach Saban is by example, Witt said. It was a day or two after signing day a few years back.As Witt and Moore were leavving the football facility they decided to stop by Sabans office to see how he was doing.dddddddddddd Only he wasnt there.And Mal said, I know where he is, and we went down to a small office he uses for screening film online. He was looking at film of high school juniors. He was already thinking about the next signing day.Nicks entire professional life has been very intense working an extraordinary number of hours, Witt added. I dont see him being able to retire easily. Hes just too used to the intensity. So I think were going to be blessed with a few more years.* * *The coaches heard the payoff to Sabans speech first.It was the day after the national championship. They were all still in California at the team hotel making preparations to leave when a staff meeting was called.According to then-offensive coordinator Jim McElwain, thats when Saban said it: This is not the end.Time to start recruiting. Time to start building for 2010 and beyond.The understanding is that piece is done, and no one really cares what you did for me yesterday; What are you doing for me today? McElwain said. And yet that was the mentality of the whole organization. Not just the players. Im talking about anything that touches [Sabans] desk. And if you thought any other way, it was probably a good opportunity to leave.He knew there was success to come, and he was going to build it, said then-defensive coordinator Kirby Smart.Smart said repeating those remarks at the championship celebration was clearly by design.It worked on Greg McElroy. As a first-time starting quarterback, he had just won a national championship. He and his teammates were still, as he put it, coming down from the high that began in Pasadena, California. They werent ready to start thinking about a repeat as they took their seats inside Bryant-Denny Stadium. Then Saban turned on a dime.He wanted to make sure, not only us as a team but also to the fan base, that look, this is not something that were going to settle for, this is not going to be a one-time thing, this is something that we anticipate doing every year, McElroy said.Hes always focused on whats next. People always mention the process. That is the process -- not looking back, looking forward and figuring out a way to overcome the obstacles that lie front of you.* * *O.J. Howard and Jonathan Allen were pups when Saban gave what has become Alabamas version of the Sermon on the Mount.Howard was all of 15 years old, a gangly tight end imagining what it would be like to make varsity in Prattville, Alabama. Allen was a wide receiver in Virginia still years away from the transformation that would make him a nearly 300-pound defensive end.Their memories of that time in early 2010 are hazy. But thanks to a video thats played before every Alabama home game, Sabans message has become a sort of callback for the seniors.This is not the end ...This is the beginning, Howard finished.Said Allen: When you truly believe in your process, when you truly believe in the work ethic and dedication of you, your staff and your family, then you can have the utmost confidence to repeat the success youve been having.Confidence is one thing. Cockiness is another, though.Alabama may have the best coach of his generation. It may be the most talented team top to bottom in the country. And playing in the SEC, it may have the clearest path back to the playoff. But that guarantees nothing. Their No. 1 ranking in both polls is as much a curse as it is a gift.What isnt certain now -- in fact, what can never be certain -- is how players will handle success. Will complacency creep in? Will they start worrying about themselves more than the team? It has happened before. Former linebacker Reggie Ragland said that in 2014 some of his teammates were more concerned with draft grades than the scoreboard. Its human nature; winning becomes less important the more you do it.Its why you cant look back. Its too dangerous.The day after beating Clemson to win the national championship earlier this year, Saban took a brief nap on the team plane as it headed back to Tuscaloosa. Then he opened a laptop to watch a replay of the game. He wasnt trying to relive the glory -- that brilliant onside kick, Derrick Henrys three rushing touchdowns, the confetti and the celebration that followed. Rather, he wanted to do some self-scouting, breaking down offense, defense and special teams. He wouldnt have time later, he explained. He had to be on the road recruiting within two days.Even now, as Alabama begins its quest for a fifth national championship under Saban, his words following that first title still ring true. He has tweaked the message of late -- So what? Whats next? is the new locker room manta -- but theres no mistaking the source material.The message that I was trying to send when I said that was, We didnt just come here to win one national championship and then thats the end of it. We want to continue to build on this standard and challenge everybody to have a consistency in performance over time to a standard that is something special, he said. So it wasnt the end. It was the beginning. That was the way we wanted it to be.Now the challenge is, can you continue that in the future? Were certainly going to try as we have for the last nine years. ' ' '

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