When you learn tennis, why don’t more tennis instructors place greater emphasis on tennis footwork? If I look at all top athletes in every sport, footwork is of vital importance.
Learn Tennis – How important is footwork?
I read something very cool about David Ferrer, the man they call Mr. Persistence and The Wall. He said that BEFORE a match he will “get his feet in gear” by hitting the treadmill for 20 minutes.
He said that until he feels his feet are “moving”, he won’t go out on that court.
Now think about that.
When You First Learn Tennis, You Don’t Realize the Vital Importance of Footwork
Here Are 3 Mistakes that I See People Make With Footwork:
1. Taking Steps That Are Too Big.
Big, long, lunging steps do not allow you to make small, quick corrections to get to the ball on balance.
Take a look at Novak Djokavic. When I took my wife Emily to watch the Australian Open this January, I was struck with how Novak NEVER looks off balance! Even when the guys back is against the wall… he somehow, someway seems to get there in time and strikes the ball with balance.
Well, watch him next time. I want you to notice his small, tiny adjustment steps. I would say that if we were to count the number of steps that a recreational player (like me) takes to get a ball, well, Novak would take 2-3x’s more steps.
Watch most women touring pro’s. Listen for the “sneaker squeak.” What you’re heating are lots and LOTS of small adjustment steps so that they arrive at the ball on balance.
2. Not Split Stepping.
I am a hypocrite on this one. Even though for years I knew how vital the split step was, I was just too lazy to do it during rallies.
Then one day I got my butt whooped on the court. The guy had me off balance the whole match.
I vowed to split step every time I could, even if I was dragging a*s during a long rally.
I am striking the ball better than ever today. All because I am FORCING myself to split step, which allows me to get a powerful first step in the direction of the ball.
Just try this the next time you play.
Force yourself to split step EVERY time.
You’ll amaze yourself.
3. Not Playing On the “Balls” Of Your Feet.
I think it was Coach Kyril who challenges his students to play a whole match on the balls of their feet.
I tend to be too flat footed when I play. I am working on correcting this.
Last week I vowed that – win or lose – I was going to do two things during my match: (1) Split step every time and (2) play on the balls of my feet.
I played one of the best matches of my life.
Why Should You Care About All This?
The bottom line is that if you take small steps, split step every time, and play on the balls of your feet, you will come to the stunning realization that… maybe its not all about stroke mechanics after all. Maybe… just maybe… when the feet are moving, then suddenly your strokes get a LOT more consistent.
Just a thought:)
Stay tuned because coming soon is a VITAL tip that will make you vastly more consistent the next time you’re in a rally with a “pusher.”
See you on the court,
Scott @ TennisBully.com
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