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Photoelectric sensor with Teach Mode?

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I'm working on a project that is supposed to simulate a hockey face off vs the computer. The idea is to have a sensor in the floor that determine when the player has swung the stick. I found this:

Photoelectric Switch - Photoelectric Sensors - Switches - Electrical : Grainger Industrial Supply

and I am curious about how the teach mode works. The guy at Grainger said that I could train the sensor to only react to the hockey stick, thus eliminating false positives, like your foot etc... Is this true?

Also, is this the best component for the job. I was looking into proximity sensors too, but the guy at Grainger was steering me to this one.
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