ETI 048 | Swivel Discs

Courtesy Joe Dinoffer of On Court Off Court

Balance and rhythm may be the most important, but equally the least trained and understood, key to playing a more natural flowing game of tennis.

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Attacking Half Volley Return of Serve – Federer – you guessed it

In the last few tournaments Roger has implemented something dramatically new. On second serves, as the opponent begins tossing the ball, Roger darts forward to the service line to take the ball on the rise. He indicates this is “fun” and though sometimes it backfires, he used it to good effect against Djokovic in a…

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ETI 041 | Quantum Tennis/Golf

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?

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BNP – Djokovic, Dolgopolov, and American Tennis

First off – Alexandr Dolgopolov. PMac and I were luck enough to watch the riveting match between “the Dog” and Nadal.  A packed house on Monday for an evening match.  Incredibly contrasting styles, and an entire Rafa cheering squad with pom pons and more directly in front of us.  Rafa had mentioned earlier in the…

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ETI 009 | Waiting and Weighting

If you want to hit the ball with less effort and more power, take a page from the baseball batter or the boxer – both wait with their body weight on the back foot before swinging the bat or delivering a punch.

Too often players pay too much attention to grips, swings, and spin without ever mastering their balance. And truly even the pitcher puts their back foot on the pitching rubber before hurling the pitch.

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ETI 005 | Holding your finish

Holding your finish for just a moment clarifies your balance as well as the quality of your stroke and follow thru.

Further, this method has been used by so many famous coaches – Tom Stow, Robert Lansdorp and more. It will help you as well.

Stow remarked that if the stroke started correctly (balanced on the back foot with a compact but loose preparation) and finished correctly (weight shifted forward and arm well extended toward the target) then everything between the start and finish – meaning contact – would be just fine.

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ETI 004 | Balance – in the extreme

Many years ago, in my training with Tom Stow (I was in my early 20’s and had already played 4 years of college tennis) he totally remade my game with constant reference to balance, to posture, to playing with less effort and more “conk.”

Watching our very best players, you can see a similar poise, balance if you will. Federer is the acknowledged master of all this. But you too can start by working on how you carry your head.

As amusing (hopefully) as the drill in the video appears, see if you can see if you can perform your swings with a “ball on the hat.”.

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