When you think of water, what do you imagine?

It certainly isn’t rigidity, nor is it disjointed in movement. Water flows smoothly and fluidly. That is the image you should have in your mind when you think about movement in tennis. Tennis needs fluidity!

If you ever look at the pros play, their strokes look effortless and smooth. That all comes down to the fluid movement of their bodies. Everything from the split-step to contact and follow-through needs to be ONE smooth movement.

Many amateur players and club players seem to struggle with this movement, so in this blog, let’s take a look at the problems which prevent this fluid movement.

Problem No.1: Timing of the take-back.
This is probably the biggest problem when it comes to club players. Many people wait until the ball has bounced in front of them, and then proceed to take the racket back. By the time the racket has been taken back the ball has already bounced and is quickly approaching the player’s body. This is why many players tend to hit late or hit too close to their bodies. A lot of players tend to rush the swing and get off-centre shots because of this exact problem. How do we fix this? Well, I like to tell my students at school and people I coach that they should take the racket back by the time the ball bounces in their court. An ideal way of imagining this is to split-step as your opponent is about to hit, or as they hit the ball. The next movement should be the unit turn of the core and the racket take-back (this should be done as the ball comes over the net), and then the foot movement to get into position to swing.


Problem No.2: How to hit the ball/swing.
This may sound strange to many players, but it is still a major problem for some. A lot of people swing the racket with their forearm or shoulder, but this leads to muscling the racket and subsequently, a disjointed movement. You may have heard that strokes are hit with the legs, and that couldn’t be truer. As can be seen from the above problem, if the player has their racket back and ready to swing, they should easily be able to drop the racket head and smoothly swing to hit the ball in front of their body. However, that is not the only thing going on here. As the oncoming ball bounces in the court, the player should drop the racket head (at the same time as the ball falls to the ground, if possible), and also drop their centre of gravity by loosely dropping their hind leg from their hip joint (this drop of the hind leg should be in synchrony with the racket head drop). The swing then starts by turning the hips and driving the legs into the oncoming ball. Remember that the racket swinging arm needs to be kept loose and the racket should whip around to the contact point. Some players have the movement down, but still have some problems with their swing and contact point. What else could be going wrong? That leads us into problem No.3.


Problem No.3: Breathing.
Breathing is imperative. The timing of inhaling and exhaling also plays a huge part in the fluidity of a player’s strokes. The way I usually do it is to inhale as I take the racket back and exhale as I swing in order to guarantee that my upper body muscles are fully relaxed, which let’s the racket smoothly swing and move straight through contact. There are variations to this and if you watch and listen to the pros hitting, the sound they make is not just for show. They are focussing on exhaling as they swing and through contact to maximise the fluidity of their swing.

These are the 3 major problems that I see in many club and recreational players. Each of these problems can subsequently be broken down into smaller steps, but as a guideline, use them the next time you step out on court. Remember to put all these steps together and from split-step to follow-through, have ONE fluid movement, start to finish. Good luck.

カテゴリー: 未分類 | 投稿者mihamatg 07:51 | コメントをどうぞ