What is Top Court?
TopCourt is a new online video platform where you can learn drills, technique, and hear stories from some of the best professional tennis players and coaches in the world. These players include the Bryan Brothers, Genie Bouchard, Fernado Verdasco, Sloane Stephens, etc. As the trailer below states, “drills and the fundamentals that help great players get to where they are”.
When you log into your account you instantly see what is new to TopCourt. Similar to a Netflix account, the first thing you see is not only the new videos to consume and learn from, but the videos that you can continue watching. I appreciate the familiarity and ease of consumption. A nice addition that the typical streaming platforms don’t have, is a “Coming Soon” section. I do wish however, there was an option to turn on a phone or email notification that would alert me to the drop of new videos so I don’t have to check TopCourt obsessively.
Tennis content aside, the production value of TopCourt is second to none. The camera work, the edits, the setting (where did they shoot these, because I want to go there), and the overall look is not attainable on a self-run YouTube channel. Thankfully they use Vimeo video player which is a reliable third-party player that doesn’t buffer constantly like some other video players do (I’m looking at you ESPN). It's clear they did not spare any expense when it came to producing this content. Fortunately, this is not just a case of style over substance. The content actually delivers.
Behind the Scenes with Top Pros
Want to watch an in depth sit down with Fernando Verdasco on his story and what it takes for aspiring athletes to take the next step in their development? TopCourt has that. Are you a tennis coach who is looking for tips and insight in a 9 episode video series from Brad Gilbert? TopCourt has that. Maybe you’re trying to convince your quarantine partner aka your significant other to get into doubles but don’t know where to start. TopCourt has a Brian brothers video series to dive into (The “Doubles Communication” videos might come in handy).
There is an abundance of this type of content that gives first person insight into the professional’s mental makeup that has aided them in their career arc. These are the tidbits I wish I could get from pro’s interviews pre or post-match, as opposed to the breathless canned answers most players give. I think TopCourt really delivers on the promise of an inside look into the lives of the pros we look up to.
Drills and Instruction
While there are numerous videos to explore concerning the mental side of the game, I believe TopCourt is at its best with the instructional side of tennis.
When you scroll down your TopCourt home page there are two sections, “Drills” and “Instruction”, that the avid tennis player or coach will find particularly useful. Again, the production value and overall quality of the videos is superb but they also do a good job of adding written tips and instructions in relevant sections of the videos. There is also a “court radar” in the video (shown below) similar to a map radar in a video game, that shows you where you should be on the court during the course of the drill and ball placement on the shot. In the “Drills” section there are a good amount of drills that a coach could utilize for a variety of skill levels.
In this section however, when you click on a video, say, Genie Bouchard’s “Approach Volley Overhead” video in the “Volley” section of the homepage, the next video that plays is another video of Bouchard, not of more volley drills. If I could click “Forehand” and navigate to a page with all the forehand drills that would be beneficial. A small thing, but navigating back to the homepage is a bit annoying.
Some of the players featured in drills and instruction are:
The Bryan Brothers
The “Instruction” section is more for learning technique from these same pros as opposed to the individual drills. Learning from professionals doesn’t always mean that you are getting the best instruction. Those who are elite at something sometimes think, “Why aren’t you just doing it like this” not taking into account not everyone can pick it up so easily. A more measured and detailed approach is key and these videos usually find that balance. Pick up some tips to sharpen your inside out forehand from Sloane Stephens or learn something as specific as a lefty serve out wide from Fernando Verdasco. There are dozens and dozens of videos to explore. The sheer amount of content to digest is impressive.
If TopCourt continually updates the platform with new pro player videos (based on the “Team TopCourt” section it looks like videos from Kyrgios, Kenin, Svitolina, etc. are “Coming Soon”) that include new drills and instruction it should continue to be a valuable resource.
Top Court Rewards Program
Want a signed tennis ball from Sloane Stephens? How about a visit to a video shoot with Sophia Kenin? These are the sorts of things you can purchase with your TopCourt “Gold Courts”.
When you complete a milestone as a TopCourt user, such as selecting your favorite players on your profile or accumulate months as a member, you receive “Gold Courts” which can be used towards prizes such as the ones mentioned above.
You can also purchase Gold Courts (1 for $1.99, 135 for $69.99) if there is something you think is really worth your purchase. It’s an interesting value add for someone who is specifically using the platform for the pro player behind the scenes aspect.
How much is it?
$180 for a Basic Full-Year Membership ($600 for a Gold Membership which gets you access to videos early and exclusive opportunities to win trips to Grand Slams or video shoots etc.)
Is it worth it?
In short, we think it definitely is. If you are looking for more access to the best players on the planet, TopCourt delivers. If you are a coach or aspiring player of varying degrees of skill there are already ample videos of drills and instruction that are genuinely beneficial.
The only people who may not find this worth the price is those who have no absolutely no background in tennis. If you think purchasing TopCourt will turn you from an absolute beginner into a proficient player, you may be disappointed. Coupled with tennis lessons however, this could be the at-home value add you were looking for to perfectly supplement your new-found hobby.