Djokovic – Prepared in Time with the Bounce – the Inner Game

The Inner Game of Tennis by Timothy Gallwey- perhaps the best tennis book… He described multitasking and mindfulness in the 1970’s before either term was popularly used ​​​​​​​Gallweys idea was to focus totally on the ball, and that any thoughts on how to hit the ball would interfere with the shot Minimalism – classically so Tom Stow was equally a minimalist – his method revolved around early yet perfect preparation – and nearly any of his students (including me) could always be encouraged to PREPARE EARLY But in the accompanying video Djokovic prepares early and in time with the bounce – but it is not racquet back, rather an early shoulder and hip turn with his hands more at the side


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  • Donald McDonald

    Reply Reply August 18, 2019

    Worst instruction ever was step 20 in serving was to kick up your leg. You do not need this because if you don’t kick up your leg you will fall and your body is too smart to let that happen. You need a metaphor that exaggerates the feel of the swing. For example, a big low to high inside out turn that rolls over the ball for a topspin. You also need a contact point on the racquet and the ball, lower tip of the racquet on bottom inside part of ball. In addition you need to swing playfully with balance, rhythm and timing. These teach you to swing by feel not Mechanics like a virtuoso violinist who plays by listening. Millions of kids have learned to catch a ball by pulling their hands back sharply as the ball arrives. Almost all of them end up with soft hands which looks nothing like what they are taught to do. First thing I realized was all you need to do was start the backswing with a gentle curve and then time the forward swing to the ball. Your racquet drop and the rest of the backswing happen automatically. The racquet drops because your forward swing slows the butt of the racquet which causes the racquet head drop. This also cured my problem with watching the ball. I physically could not watch the ball because my backswing was too big and my forward swing too jerky and those problems simply disappeared.

    • Jim McLennan

      Reply Reply August 18, 2019

      Donald – was step 20 from me or another coach – I am not sure it was from me

  • Eugenio Ovalle

    Reply Reply August 15, 2019

    The point you mentioned about minimizing the stroke
    does not mention at all the SPLIT STEP.

    I feel that the only thing a player should do, is focus on the ball, follow its path
    when it is being hit and do the split step just before your opponent hits its return

    Would appreciate your opinion on this

    • Jim McLennan

      Reply Reply August 16, 2019

      Eugene – yes you are right, but for better or worse I am minimizing – it feels far too many players at our club can use all the words we use to describe the game – but often do not fully accomplish those same things – maybe we coaches are complicating things? Jim

  • Fio Marin

    Reply Reply August 12, 2019

    Every little bit of guideline that can help us feel smoother in this game of repetition and help us re identify / achieve over and over that comfortable reliable stroke will always be a wanted objective.
    Does one singular behavioural reaction work equally for everyone , coaches need to improvise on how the pupil does or does not find their consistency .

    I like to move with racquet set , not racquet prepared, meaning as I am stopping when I am on the Ball, I still have the racquet to the side of me , the concept of set, bounce swing is a similarity to what I rely which is :
    Stop ,
    As I see flow missing I incorporate various cues of encyclicating timing flow.

    Jim , thanks , Fio Marin PTR professional.

    • Jim McLennan

      Reply Reply August 13, 2019

      Fio – we are working in a similar vein – and once years ago Tom Stow’s assistant was a young Dennis Van Der Meer who initially passed a version of Tom’s methods to the PTR – so what goes around comes around

  • Eugenio Ovalle

    Reply Reply August 12, 2019

    I think we are in sink now.

    According what I have been studying.

    To prepare early the first moment is the shoulder turn which also involves de hip turn.

    This is for every stroke including the serve. Keeping your head still looking at the other side of the court.
    The arm goes only for the ride.

    In other sports like golf ,baseball the primary motion is the shoulder turn keeping your head still

    Dennis Ralston mentioned this in one of his videos.

    Keep on tricking

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