Early to Step

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The most difficult opponent we face is often the “dreaded pusher” – but in spite of this players consistency, this players movement, and often how “poor we think they look” – often the simplest issue here is that their soft floating moon balls deprive you and I of the rhythm we get from the ball machine, from our local coach, or from our friend how drives the ball at a steady pace.

And this all boils down to preparation – and whether to prepare to hit the ball you are on the back foot or on the front foot.

Sounds simple but may be more complicated than it seems.

Tom Stow at the Silverado Country Club in the 1970’s would ask a new student, “Show me how you prepare for a forehand.”  And as often as not that player would turn to the side, set the racquet somewhat back, but inadvertently (or unconsciously) place the body weight on the front foot.

Tom would show how a boxer sets up on the back foot, the baseball batter sets up on the back foot, even how the pitcher puts their back foot on the pitching rubber.

And as often as not this same player, when on court, would be be early to step, reaching for the ball.

Such that against the floater/pusher/moon baller this early to step robs power, robs rhythm, and ultimately denies you the ability to drive the incoming ball.

Treat pushers as your best friends and learn

Postscript – Does such a thing occur in baseball?  Absolutely, the pitcher throws a “Change up” which is a bit slower from the same delivery such that the batter steps too soon, ahead of the pitch.

Learn to “wait on the ball, on the back foot!


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