Coaching 2009 Tennis in the Balance ENG
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Being balanced while playing tennis is extremely important as only then can we swing smoothly and control the ball well.
But often, players are not really well-balanced as they lean a lot and try to adjust to the ball with the upper body and their arms. This pulls them off balance.
The cause for that is that, in our daily life, we do most of the adjustments exactly like that – by leaning slightly and using our arms.
We need to become aware of this habit first and work to change it so that we learn to adjust with legs on the court, stay on balance, and keep our arms very comfortable.
Special thanks to PJ Simmons for letting me use the Federer clip!
Why Leaning Hurts Your Game
poor balance in tennis
Whenever we lean, we are slightly off balance
If we lean and adjust to the ball with the upper body and arms, we will lose balance slightly.
That doesn’t mean that we’ll fall, but as we lean in any direction with the upper body, our mind and body will try to keep us in balance by tensing certain muscles.
You can try to feel that right now at home: stand up straight and check how you feel in your legs.
Now lean forward slightly (bend at your waist) but keep your feet where they were.
You will feel tension arise in your legs. Your body needs to contract these muscles in order to maintain the same position.
This tension causes a lot of problems when you play:
First, it prevents smooth movement and soft deceleration when you’re setting up for the shot.
Second, it starts to affect your upper body and arms, and you cannot swing smoothly anymore; therefore, you accelerate with a jerky movement and lose control of the ball.
Finally, when we lean, we change the racquet angle. The racquet also leans with us – BUT we don’t feel that!
The wrist is still in the same position relative to the racquet, and this is our main “sensor” telling us whether the racquet is open or closed.
When we lean, that angle in the hand doesn’t change, but the actual racquet angle in relation to the ground does.
So, we see so many times players miss the shot not because of incorrect technique, but simply because they were leaning towards the ball when it was low and in front of them. They didn’t really feel that the racquet was closed, so they hit in the net.
Then they usually blame the stroke technique and look for solutions far away from the actual cause of the mistake.
The Perfect Posture For Dynamic Balance
perfect posture for balance
Roger Federer maintains this posture throughout the rally. Do you?
If we want to change direction quickly in tennis, we need to be in an athletic position.
In other words, we need to maintain certain posture throughout the rally that allows us to feel very stable and at the same time allow us quick accelerations, decelerations and changes of direction.
Most players that I see are being way too upright and are therefore unable to accelerate quickly when the ball is short for example, nor can they control their balance when they run to the side and need to slow down for the shot.
Because they are too upright, they are “thrown” in the direction of their movement and need a long time to recover.
I’ve used a clip of Roger Federer in the video above but I guarantee you that every pro maintains this posture as they play.
If you watch carefully, you will see that he maintains the upper body “tilt” even when he prepares for his shots – and from this side we can see that best when he prepares for his backhands.
I highly recommend you watch that Federer clip over and over again and try and copy his posture when you play tennis next time.
Legs Are Slaves – The Queen Cleopatra Mental Image
In order to hit consistent and accurate shots, we need to be balanced.
That means we must not lean and adjust with the upper body but instead do all the adjusting with our legs.
If we’re not used to that, it will feel at first that the legs do really hard work.
That’s why I like to explain this as imagining Queen Cleopatra in Egypt being carried on a litter by four slaves.
Your legs are like slaves doing all the hard work while your arms are like the queen, being very comfortable. (Click on the image to see the video on YouTube.)
They have do to the hard work while she is sitting comfortably on her soft chair.
The slaves correspond to your legs, and your arms should feel like Queen Cleopatra.
If you really want to play better, you’ll need to stop feeling sorry for your legs and do whatever it takes to get into a good position before the hit. That way, you don’t have to lean and adjust anymore with your upper body and arms.
Pay attention to the little feels of being off balance and work on eliminating them so that, as you move and set up for your strokes, you feel very stable and comfortable without any tension in your legs.
Yes, legs must work, but the feeling of working hard with our legs is different from the tension that arises when we’re off balance.
Once you distinguish these two, you’ll kno…
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Everything Else is a product category on Amazon that is meant to be a catch-all for items that don’t fit into any other categories. Over time, as the Amazon catalog has grown and more specific product categories have been added, Everything Else has become less useful and more of a junkyard for cast off and forgotten listings.
Until recently, however.
Why are items listed in Everything Else when they shouldn’t be?
The answer to this is fairly simple. Some sellers are using Everything Else as an opportunity to get around Amazon’s gated category requirements. For example, DVDs with an MSRP of over $25 are now gated Selling certain products and bran… More and require permission to list. So we’ve seen some sellers create new listings in Everything Else to get around these requirements. We’ve noticed similar “workarounds” for other gated or restricted Selling certain product categorie… More categories as well.
Amazon doesn’t like this. It just makes the catalog more of a mess than it already is and ends up creating a worse customer experience.
Coaching 2009 Tennis in the Balance ENG
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