ETI 038 | Dead Hands


  • ETI 038 Dead Hands
    ETI 038 Dead Hands

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The 3 R’s of tennis – ready, read (where the ball is going) react!

As to your reaction – what precisely is your first move?  What moves first, what initiates your preparation?

Really an important question.  And the test to show you what your first move is as follows:

The server hits a strong serve to you (could be forehand or backhand) but halfway across the net the ball hits the tape – loudly. There was truly no way you would have known it would hit the tape, but in the moment from racquet contact to the tape you had more than enough time to read the ball and hopefully you reacted.

Dead Hands describes a type of (highly recommended) reaction where the opening move is simply a shoulder turn, but in one where the hands do not move up or down, but simply go along for the ride.

Develop this feeling and your strokes will be simpler, you will prepare more quickly, and someone might even tell you that, “Wow, you made that look easy!”

15 Comments

  • ERP

    Reply Reply April 21, 2015

    I like the idea of simplifying. But I do think practicing a unit turn and a subsequent (and separate) adjustment to the height of the racquet takeback could, potentially, introduce a hitch to the movement.

    Also, I really like the “3 R’s” concept. And I would add a fourth for “Recovery”. You could say that recovery is already incorporated into “Ready” but I think they are separate concepts. Recovery involves placing yourself in a tactical position after you’ve hit your shot. Ready is more, I think, focused on your split step and mental state.

  • Ray

    Reply Reply April 9, 2015

    How many players say “it’s the slow balls that I have trouble with”? Your :Dead Hands, relate to this?

    • Jim McLennan

      Reply Reply April 12, 2015

      Ray – with slow balls it is less about the hands and more about waiting and keeping your weight on the back foot longer – for with fast balls the turn and the step occur very close in time – but with slow balls the turn and the step are much faster apart – look for a podcast on “Moving in Twos”
      Jim

  • Burnett

    Reply Reply April 8, 2015

    Loved the dead hands concept. I have not evaluated where my racquet is in those situations. However, I do know that I am preparing to swing. The next time, I will try to notice if I have dead hands. Thanks!

  • kwok

    Reply Reply April 8, 2015

    Jim,
    at the end of your video, there is a message asking people to go to another website called “www. MoreTennisLesson.com” for more tennis tips. But when I click on that link, I got a big warning from the security system of my computer saying that that website is dangerous and I should not go there. So, Jim, are you aware of that message at the end of your video ?

    Cheers,

    Kwok.

  • Noushin

    Reply Reply April 8, 2015

    Many thanks for sharing your invaluable priceless knowledge!

  • Ken

    Reply Reply April 8, 2015

    “Set up a bet” – you made me laugh.

    I love your tips as well as those from others. I have precious little time to practice in that I only hit the court once a week. But, oddly enough, I’m gaining ground on my mates that play 2 to 3 times a week.

  • Jane

    Reply Reply April 8, 2015

    Thank you for the excellent advise to read the ball early and be ready with simple (Dead Hands) preparation. Have trouble reading the cues as to what type of shot ie lob, drive, etc the opponent is hitting. Can read underspin but cant always tell if will be a drop shot any advise would be great.

    • Jim McLennan

      Reply Reply April 12, 2015

      Jane – this is an entirely different concept – for with an underpin backhand it is very hard to see if it will be a floater a stinger or a dropper – but if you are hitting the ball short and are deep and out of position then their dropper would make sense
      Jim

  • Maura McKenna-Rossow

    Reply Reply April 8, 2015

    I enjoy your lessons as a coach and as a player. I sometimes say to my students word for word what you said. Keep making videos.
    — Maura

  • Ray

    Reply Reply April 8, 2015

    Critically important advice, Jim. As usual, you explain it verbally and visually so clearly. My instinct has been to run to the ball first and then get the racket back next. This little video on turning with dead hands and your prior one on the importance of practicing service returns are great.

    Any hints on what to look for/where to focus your eyes so that you can “read” the direction of the serve quickly?

    • Jim McLennan

      Reply Reply April 12, 2015

      Ray – not sure if I have clues or cues on this – but would say that if you are counting their serves and were the serve on big points you should be able to find out their preferences
      Jim

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