ETI 041 | Quantum Tennis/Golf


  • ETI 041 Quantum Tennis/Golf
    ETI 041 Quantum Tennis/Golf

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Many interesting parallels have been drawn between the tennis serve and the golf swing. Once the tennis player (or golfer) gets the feel for the mechanical elements of the serve (or golf swing) then rhythm becomes the overriding issue. Does the swing build smoothly and gracefully? Is there economy of effort? Can the server (golfer) swing easily yet hit hard? Are the body parts coordinated so that the force from the legs moves to the hips, and then to the torso, and then to the shoulder, then the arm, then the forearm, then the hand, and finally the fingers?

Quantum Golf, by Kjell Enhager, explores the feel of the golf swing, one’s own perception of effort, and the task of letting the club flow. The book concerns the adventures of a student and teacher, as they learn about golf, one another, and life. And each chapter concludes with golf tips that can be readily translated to tennis and/or to life. This excellent book can be just the thing to change your perspective and unlock the “secrets” of the serve.

Enhager distinguishes between a classic swing and what he calls a “Quantum Swing.” The classic swing has all the correct biomechanical components, but is performed mechanically, and without rhythm. The quantum swing on the other hand, is produced without effort, and this “super fluid motion” results from the classic swing performed at the correct tempo and with minimum muscular tension. The following excerpts of Enhager’s golf tips have been rewritten for tennis. Changes in wording from golf to tennis have been italicized.

  • “Watch people serve and recognize the difference between classical and quantum. See if the serve is effortless or strained. See if there is a smooth rhythm to their swing. Notice if your own serve is classical or quantum. Is the swing totally effortless? “
  •  “The quantum practice grip is light and effortless. Lightly hold the racquet between your fingers. Let it swing like a pendulum. Notice how effortlessly and fast the pendulum swings. The principle is to do less and accomplish more.”
  •  “Practice serving with your feet together, if you lose balance, you have swung too hard. Swing more lightly until it becomes easy to keep your balance. Improved balance will take you toward the effortless swing.”
  •  ”The quantum practice grip is light, and effortless, feel light in the windup, and let this feeling carry over to the hit.”
  •  “Practice serving without the ball and feel yourself getting to your “Q” or quantum contact point. Notice your arms, forearm, and balance. Are you breathing easily? Before each serve take a practice swing holding your quantum contact position for a few moments and remember the feeling of it. Once the image is clear, let go of it completely. Then go with the super-fluid motion.”

24 Comments

  • Scott Marshall

    Reply Reply August 3, 2015

    Jim I purchased Quantum Golf and so far it has made me a very happy tennis player. Before I read the book I would analyze every shot and I mean really analyze it, if I hit a poor shot. If you have the strokes or you do not have text book strokes but can keep the ball in play during practice, but struggle when in competition this book is for you.

    Thanks again Jim,

    God Bless,

    Scott

    • Jim McLennan

      Reply Reply August 4, 2015

      Scott – at my end goncourt sometimes I will say, “that was a yes” for fairly good shot to avoid all analysis and just go by feel – which aspect of the game does QG best help you
      Jim

  • Malcolm

    Reply Reply July 27, 2015

    Enjoyed the concept of effortless strokes.
    In physics, the power concept for tennis is to use angular momentum (down the kinetic chain with a reduction in the radius of the curve), like a spinning ice skater. You start with a racquet drop into a large curve from the legs and hips progressing along the chain to a small curve for the arm and racquet.
    The other key factor is the direction of the force along the body axis. Tennis is not played standing vertically upright. You need the body force to be at roughly 45 degrees in three dimensions to the incoming ball (or the intended direction for serves) i.e. for right-handers, up forward and to the right for serves and forehands versus up forward and left for backhands.
    Aside from the fact that Milos Raonic is tall with a fluid service motion, his more horizontal left-to-right action at ball contact allows him to finish closer to the 45 degree line than Federer or Djokovic (then the racquet evaporates away downwards).

    • Jim McLennan

      Reply Reply July 28, 2015

      Malxolm – thanks for this note – I would like to pursue a bit further your note about Milos and left to right action – for if I understand correctly, John White of Batting Basics (a great book) suggested the same in his analysis of Pancho Gonzalez where he saw something similar and it becomes almost like snapping across rather than up and over the ball – but at my end it is about first trying to understand these things but then experimenting with how to convey them without jargon, sort of like language-less learning
      Jim

  • Joe

    Reply Reply July 26, 2015

    Great stuff, as always. When I’m having trouble with my serve, here’s my favorite mantra:
    “A loose grip rights the ship.”
    Several years ago you posted a video of a Pancho Gonzales serve that I still find very useful:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyhFo3hvGPI
    It’s a great model for an older player like myself who is limited by gravity and bad knees (rather than the rules*) to a jump-less serve.

    * http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/29/sports/tennis/the-genteel-origins-of-tennis-and-the-serve.html

    • Jim McLennan

      Reply Reply July 27, 2015

      Joe – absolutely great article in your link to the NY Times – Geoff MacDonald is such a good writer and I learned about the year of the rule change – 1961 – as I thought it was later than that
      Jim
      Are things quieting down at your club? Hope so

  • Wattsy

    Reply Reply July 24, 2015

    tried this today and it was magic, every first serve went over the net ( though some went long ) Used it also on groundstrokes, only hit a couple of backhands into the net, and that’s a real weakness for me. Held my racket loose until I needed to hit, and kept my muscles relaxed.

    For me this is one of the most amazing and effect tips I’ve ever had.

    Thanks very much

    • Jim McLennan

      Reply Reply July 24, 2015

      Thank you – every now and then I need a bit of encouragement and your comment did just that
      best
      Jim

  • Game4life

    Reply Reply July 24, 2015

    Hi Jim , this is a real eye opener, I learned a lot from this it was an ah hah moment for me a lot of things fell into place . Thanks again

  • Ira Bauer

    Reply Reply July 24, 2015

    Hey Jim,

    Great advice, as usual!

    There is an excellent, similar book about golf which can apply to tennis, as well. It’s called, “Swing the Clubhead,” by Ernest Jones. Jones lost his leg during the World War and was still able to play golf (talk about balance!) He went on to become one of the great golf coaches of all time.

    The book is available on Amazon and well worth the read. As a competitive athlete, I learned long ago that whenever torque is present, you’re doing something wrong and are out of step with nature.

    Very Best,

    Ira 😊

    • Jim McLennan

      Reply Reply July 24, 2015

      Ira
      I am remembering I still do owe you a phone call on the serve – but do appreciate this note and will check out this book – I am doing more and more with my Kindle
      hope you are well
      Jim

  • Terry

    Reply Reply July 23, 2015

    Your best podcast! Thank you!

  • Donald McDonald

    Reply Reply July 23, 2015

    My favorite sports quote of all time is by Satchel Paige who said, “You gots to jangle when you walk.” I take this to mean that you have to be so relaxed that even at walking speed you have only a tenuous control over your bones.

    • Jim McLennan

      Reply Reply July 23, 2015

      Don – can you imagine a Satchel Paige serve – perhaps a bit like if Baumgardner played tennis !!
      Jim
      Also reminds me of Dantrell Willis a real “slinger”

  • Michael

    Reply Reply July 23, 2015

    great stuff, thanks!

    do you still offer coaching of serve via video of my serve?

    • Jim McLennan

      Reply Reply July 23, 2015

      Michael – yes I am still and will always be doing serve coaching re your and others videos
      Jim

  • steve edwards

    Reply Reply July 23, 2015

    i am working on the same ideas in aikido [a Japanese martial art] that uses relaxed gripes, fluid motion, and relaxed shoulders, that seems effortless when done correctly. It allows the energy to flow through the feet, to legs, center, for power, just like tennis, without any tension to slam on the brakes of the power chain. I also am working on this in tennis.

    • Jim McLennan

      Reply Reply July 23, 2015

      Steve – thanks for this – many years ago I was trying something similar in my tennis training – lots of balance work and absorbing the incoming ball – please keep in touch
      Jim

  • Howard

    Reply Reply July 23, 2015

    Jim — that is such a good tip… let the club or racquet do the work. The book is an interesting read for both golf and tennis players. Thanks for sharing. Will post it on our CTA web site..

  • Justin

    Reply Reply July 23, 2015

    Thank you for taking the time to share this.

    I am determined to incorperqte the idea of effortless power into my game. Over the past year I have been practicing however it’s such a difficult concept to get as it’s very counter intuative.

    I know this is what I need to do but once I get into a match situation it seems to all go out of the window.

    Do you have any tips on keep the body loose during a match?

    • Jim McLennan

      Reply Reply July 23, 2015

      Justin – good question about keeping the effortless feel in a match – best I can do is say that practice must as much as possible resemble match play – too often those two situations are dissimilar – further if you do capture that special feeling in a match your muscle memory may recall it again and again
      Jim

  • Bob

    Reply Reply July 23, 2015

    Jim,this is a good concept so thanks for sharing it with us. I am in the process of changing my serve and it is very difficult to change bad habits. I agree that it feels better to hit a serve with rhythm no matter the placement. I can always get the ball in the service court if I use poor form and hit softly enough. I am sure my opponents appreciate those serves.
    Thanks again.

  • Noushin

    Reply Reply July 23, 2015

    Many thanks for sharing your invaluable experience and knowledge!

  • James

    Reply Reply July 23, 2015

    Glad to here about the balance steely,will try ir right away!

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