ETI 042 | Measure Twice Cut Once


The carpenter measures twice to cut once, to make sure the cut is accurate, for if too much is cut off that mistake cannot be undone.

In tennis consider measuring as preparing first to the side for the incoming ball, but then to measure precisely the height of the backswing such that the racquet is not dramatically above or below the ball.

Far too often players prepare without measuring the second time to find the height of the ball as it approaches the contact zone.  Perhaps that means carpenters make good players – or is it the opposite?

12 Comments

  • ROB G.

    Reply Reply October 13, 2015

    Thank you Jim!! Now I know why my backhands are not consistient. I’m preparing well (shoulders/back/turned), racquet back, but I’m not measuring the height of the ball when I make contact. Can’t wait to try this on the court, think i’ll bring my framing square 🙂 Hey, is that a Wilson Hyper Hammer 5.3 in 110 sq. in. you’re holding?

  • Ray Kenzik

    Reply Reply October 13, 2015

    Great approach Jim, thank you for simplifying the game. Now if I can only remember it!

    • Jim McLennan

      Reply Reply November 11, 2015

      Ray – simplify your approach to the game – makes the memorization easier
      Jim

  • Noushin

    Reply Reply October 13, 2015

    Many thanks for sharing your invaluable experience

  • Terrance Smith

    Reply Reply October 13, 2015

    Jim

    Your measure twice cut once article provide me with an answer to a problem I have been trying to resolve for some time. Thank you.

    I would appreciate a clarification as to the height of the racquet just prior to stricking the ball. Does what you recommend apple a “flat” return or does it also apply to a “top spin” return.

    I ask because I intentionally lower the racquet head just before contact specifically to come up on the ball to create the top spin.

    • Jim McLennan

      Reply Reply October 13, 2015

      Terrence
      there is no absolute answer on this because it depends on the nature of the incoming ball – is it ascending or descending, your court position and what you want to do with the ball – but yes if you are trying to create forward spin then during the forward swing you would want to work from beneath the ball
      Jim

  • Dr. Brent Green

    Reply Reply October 13, 2015

    An unusual insight, and as always you are ‘on target’. Nice going.

  • Dr. Brent Green

    Reply Reply October 13, 2015

    A unique insight, as usual on target. Way to go Jim.

  • Bill

    Reply Reply October 13, 2015

    Hi Jim, Simple, yet extremely important advice. Whether it’s a high speed forehand, backhand; A swinging volley; Overhead; Drop shop; etc .., neutral preparation saves us precious milliseconds, and yields much better shots.

    Bill

  • Don Byk

    Reply Reply October 13, 2015

    You are absolutely right. The early neutral shoulder turn is the Key. If I do that right, the rest is easy and I play my best tennis effortlessly. Thanks for reinforcing this simple but critically important point.

    • Jim McLennan

      Reply Reply October 13, 2015

      Thanks – key word somehow will always be “simple”

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