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Frequently Asked Questions

    Trainer technical features:

  1. The Trainer does not seem to power on.
  2. The Trainer won't recharge.
  3. The Trainer does not give feedback in the correct direction.
  4. The Trainer does not give any feedback.
  5. Only one or two directions seem to work.
  6. Is the feedback instantaneous or is there a delay?
  7. How long does the battery last?
  8. Does the battery need to be discharged completely before recharging?
  9. I hear tones instead of a human voice when I am off-balance.
  10. Can I use headphones instead of the built-in speaker?
  11. Headgear:

  12. What type of headgear is available?
  13. I am using a stick-on Velcro patch and it falls off my cap. What should I do?
  14. Can I mount the Trainer above my left ear?
  15. Using the Trainer on yourself:

  16. What exactly should I do when the Trainer tells me I am off balance?
  17. I tried the Trainer and it was going off every time I moved. What should I do?
  18. How can a strong tennis player (level 5.0 and above) use the Ultimate Balance Trainer?
  19. Can the Trainer be used for serving practice?
  20. I look at the ball as I hit, and the Trainer goes off every time I hit a low ball.
  21. Are you saying I always need to be in perfect balance to hit the ball?
  22. Using the Trainer with a student:

  23. Isn't it pretty obvious when you are off-balance?
  24. My student gets very stiff and uncomfortable wearing the Trainer. What should I do?
  25. When I am across the net from my student, I can't hear her Trainer. What can I do?
  26. How can I best use a single Ultimate Balance Trainer in a group setting?

Don't find the question you are looking for? Send an email to support@ultimatebalance.com. We'd like to hear from you!

1. The Trainer does not seem to power on.
The Trainer should be fully charged before using it for the first time. The Power button should be held down until the voice feedback says "Welcome to Ultimate Balance".

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2. The Trainer won't recharge.
Make sure that you are using an Ultimate Balance Battery Charger, that it is plugged into a powered AC wall outlet, and that it is plugged into the Battery Charger jack, not the Headphone Jack (see "Parts Identification" in the instruction manual). When the Battery Charger is plugged in correctly, the LED on the Trainer will light up.

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3. The Trainer does not give feedback in the correct direction.
The Trainer should be placed above the right ear, with the Ultimate Balance logo facing outward in order to give feedback in the correct direction. Try calibrating the Trainer again (see "Turning on and calibrating the Trainer" in the instruction manual).

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4. The Trainer does not give any feedback.
If the Trainer is in "Pause" mode, it will remain silent until you put it in "Play" mode by pressing the Mode button. The sensitivity level may be set at too low a level to register your tilting. Also make sure that the volume level is set high enough to be audible (see "Advanced Settings" in the instruction manual).

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5. Only one or two directions seem to work.
First make sure that the Directions Mode (page 6 of the instruction manual) is set properly for the directions that you want to have activated. Next, raise the sensitivity level high enough to ensure that you are tilting beyond the threshold.

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6. Is the feedback instantaneous or is there a delay?
There is a 1/4-second delay after the user goes off-balance before the voice announcement. This allows the user to avoid the announcement if they are only off-balance for less than 1/4-second.

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7. How long does the battery last?
The Trainer can run for up to 16 hours of use (continuously or over several days or weeks) on a fully charged battery. The battery can be recharged between 300 and 500 times before the run-time starts to be noticeably reduced.

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8. Does the battery need to be discharged completely before recharging?
The battery can be recharged at any time. A full charge of a fully-depleted battery takes about 3 hours.

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9. I hear tones instead of a human voice when I am off-balance.
The Trainer can be set to provide balance feedback as tones or as a human voice. See "Advanced Settings -- Voice" in the instruction manual to change this setting.

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10. Can I use headphones instead of the built-in speaker?
Yes. The Trainer has a headphone jack. Because the unit is so small, it takes a 2.5mm plug (the same size as cellphone headsets), so make sure you are using headphones or an earpiece with a 2.5mm plug rather than a 3.5mm plug (the standard audio size).

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11. What type of headgear is available?
The Trainer mounts above the right ear with Velcro. You need to wear headgear with Velcro material in the area above your right ear to use the Trainer. We offer four choices: (1) headbands (included with the base unit), (2) visors, (3) caps, (4) stick-on Velcro patches for your own headgear (also included). In a class setting, one popular method is to put the headband with the Ultimate Balance Trainer over the student's own cap.

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12. I am using a stick-on Velcro patch and it falls off my cap. What should I do?
This could be happening for one of two reasons: (1) the cap is dirty; (2) you are not letting the patch adhesive cure long enough before using the cap. Under very hot or humid conditions, you should let it cure overnight. If you use the Trainer frequently, we recommend that you use an Ultimate Balance cap or visor as the Velcro patch is permanently sewn on, or sew one of our adhesive patches onto your own favorite headgear.

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13. Can I mount the Trainer above my left ear?
No, this version of the Trainer requires you to mount it over your right ear.

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14. What exactly should I do when the Trainer tells me I am off balance?
Awareness of when you are off balance and in which direction is actually the most important step. Repeat the same movement and try to position yourself to make the Trainer go off in the opposite direction. Make gradual shifts in posture and be patient and persistent. Balance problems are generally due to improper footwork, so bending your knees, leading with your hips rather than with your shoulders, and taking quicker, smaller steps is often effective. Rotate your upper body to transfer power to the racket, rather than lunging. Keep your head still, your neck and shoulders relaxed, and try to follow the ball with your eyes rather than with your head.

Finally, remember that using the Trainer is not a substitute for tennis lessons!

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15. I tried the Trainer on the court yesterday and it was going off every time I moved. What should I do?
There are 3 things that you should do to alleviate this problem: (1) First of all, you may not have calibrated the unit with your head in a steady upright position. Stand up straight with your head looking forward and press and release the Power button to recalibrate the unit. We recommend that you recalibrate every 15 minutes or so. (2) If it still goes off after every movement, you have it on a level that is too sensitive. Try going down 2 or 3 levels or until the unit only goes off once every 3 - 4 strokes. (3) Finally, many people find the feedback a bit overwhelming at first. Ease into it by using the Trainer for just a few minutes at a time, and remember to hit the "Pause" button if you want to take a break (or simply need to tie your shoelaces!).

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16. How can an experienced tennis player (level 5.0 and above) use the Ultimate Balance Trainer?
The experienced tennis player can use the Ultimate Balance trainer as both a diagnostic tool for stroke mechanics problems and as a footwork and movement trainer. Start at a lower level first (level 3 or 4) and see where you lean the most or drop your head the most. If the unit is not going off, increase the level until it goes off every 3 - 4 strokes. This will help you pinpoint areas where you are moving off-balance, and if you are moving off-balance before or after the hit. Remember that balance after the hit is just as important in order to recover quickly for the next one. The optimal Trainer level will be higher for your strong strokes and lower for your weak ones. For more detailed examples of drills, look at our articles and videos.

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17. Can the Trainer be used for serving practice?
Yes. Put the Trainer into "Front Only" mode, and set it at one of the higher levels (levels 14 to 16). Then, after you calibrate it, the Trainer will only give you feedback if you drop your head below the horizontal plane after your serve. Practice your serves as usual, and the Trainer will help you keep a balanced posture as you follow through your serving motion, allowing you to remain in balance whether you rush the net or remain at the baseline.

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18. I look at the ball as I hit, and the Trainer goes off every time I hit a low ball.
Using the Trainer encourages you to keep your head still and to use your eyes to follow the ball. Many athletes get into the "lazy eyes" habit -- following the ball with their head rather than with their eyes. This constant head movement reduces peripheral vision, depth perception and reaction time, increases fatigue, and interferes with upper-body recovery. Of course, there are situations where you will need to move your head to follow the ball, but practicing with the Trainer will help you transfer a lot of the ball-following motion from the head to the eyes.

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19. Are you saying I always need to be in perfect balance to hit the ball?
There are certainly times in match play when a player must dive after a ball with their head to attain maximum acceleration in the shortest amount of time, or when a well-placed shot by their opponent traps them in an unbalanced position. But this should trigger an awareness in the player that the shot they are "forced" to hit in these circumstances should be a defensive shot.

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20. Isn't it pretty obvious when you are off-balance?
Most people don't instinctively move in balance, which involves leading and rotating from the hips, but rather lean, reach, and twist from the shoulders. This behavior often becomes unconscious and ingrained, and is difficult to change, as the correct movements then feel un-natural. The Ultimate Balance Trainer has helped athletes of all ages change these ingrained ways of moving. We have also found that improving balance on the tennis court has had a noticeable impact on the individual's performance in other sports.

To a trained observer, serious balance problems are visible, but they are very difficult to communicate to the student in a way that helps the student improve. Subtle balance problems are even more difficult to observe and describe, and even then the description does not often help the student fix the problem. The Trainer's sixteen levels of sensitivity allow users to pinpoint and work on the subtle balance problems and individual weaknesses that make the difference between winning and losing matches at every level of competition.

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21. My student gets very stiff and uncomfortable wearing the Trainer. What should I do?
Don't set the Trainer at a level that is beyond the student's current balance capability. We have also found that just doing some shadow stroking, ball catching and simple out and back movements on the court before trying to hit balls can eliminate some of the problems for player who stiffen up -- even players with advanced technical skills. Once they see that they can keep the Trainer silent when they are just moving easily and naturally without the ball, the leap of understanding that they need to stay loose when they hit becomes easier. We have also found that students who tense up when the unit is on their head, tense up under match pressure too. This is a great learning opportunity.

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22. When I am across the net from my student, I can't hear her Trainer. What can I do?
The Trainer is designed, among other things, to increase the user's awareness of how he or she is moving, and the feedback directly to the student does just that. It also encourages the student to take responsibility for making the changes needed to improve balance. It is sometimes useful, however, to provide direct feedback to the instructor or another observer as well. There are three ways to do this: (1) The student can call out the tilt indications from the Trainer as she hears them; (2) an assistant can feed balls to the student, and the instructor stand close enough to hear the Trainer; or (3) the student can clip a miniature microphone next to the Trainer, with a remote wireless earphone for the instructor. One suitable wireless microphone is the Sony WCS-999. Such a microphone also allows an observer to videotape the student with the tilt indications on the soundtrack.

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23. How can I best use a single Ultimate Balance Trainer in a group setting?
First and most important, you should use the Trainer on yourself, with a hitting partner or ball-machine, before you conduct either an individual or group lesson with it. We suggest that you (and your students) then use it in individual lessons and finally in a group setting. For groups, the Trainer is a very effective component for the balance-training stop in a group rotation. Two students can practice a drill together, with first one student wearing the Trainer and then the other. If it is not appropriate for students to share Ultimate Balance headgear, you can use an Ultimate Balance headband or adjustable visor on top of the student's own headgear.

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