This is How We Volley Part 1: Hobby Leads to Innovation


While I’ve been a platform tennis player for years, the pandemic inspired me to spend time improving my game – quickly evolving from a fun hobby to a passion that still exists today. 

Aside from my enthusiasm for platform tennis,my brother and I have spent most of our careers in tech, and are comfortable disrupting an industry. We worked together building an AgriTech business for John Deere, expanding product lines, creating innovative marketing strategies, and broadening distribution. We then co-founded an embedded digital signage company, and sold it to an industry competitor ten years later. 

The sale of our company allowed me time to improve my paddle game, but I quickly recognized that my ability to train - and the tools to do it effectively was limited. My game wasn’t improving as quickly as my love for the sport was growing. During this time, I was also working on my golf skills. I noticed that the technology in golf simulators provided valuable insights on specific areas of focus and my game was improving fast. This got me thinking…if there was more technology like that offered to platform tennis players, would their game progress faster?

The traditional ball machine remained unchanged for decades. I wanted to be able to work on my paddle shots the way I could in golf. The result of our background in tech and my new hobby was the perfect storm for us to create a game-changing capability for racquet sports. Look for Part 2: From Paint Sticks to AI soon.

John Weinlader is the CEO of Volley, the innovator of the first AI-enabled racquet sports training experience.


About Volley

Volley, the premier 2023-24 APTA Sponsor, is modernizing racquet sports with the first AI-enabled training experience. Backed by cutting-edge technology, Volley delivers the on-demand, dynamic system for live play training and better workouts. Volley creates a community to connect pros and players while giving users personalized performance insights to track progress and customize their practice via a smartphone app. Volley supports pros with new ways to interact with players, helps facilities boost program participation, and provides everyone with more opportunities to play the game they love. For more information, visit



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