PDA

View Full Version : Balance - the undersung athletic attribute


BTURNER
04-10-2009, 05:01 AM
tired of talking about who's fastest/strongest as the very definition of being a great athlete. Ashe mentioned about the role of static and kinetic balance has the hidden key to physical success on a tennis court. In this sense many players such as Hingis and McEnroe were often the best athletes on the court despite the more obvious speed and strength of their opponents. Its often the primary ingredient in consistency and defensive play both at net and at he baseline. So often errors we think of as being mental, reflect a player who's sense of balance is not as keen in awkward or even static positions. What role did this under appreciated quality play in successes/ failures of your favorite players? How much of this is taught/developed how much is a gift of birth?

pc1
04-10-2009, 05:36 AM
tired of talking about who's fastest/strongest as the very definition of being a great athlete. Ashe mentioned about the role of static and kinetic balance has the hidden key to physical success on a tennis court. In this sense many players such as Hingis and McEnroe were often the best athletes on the court despite the more obvious speed and strength of their opponents. Its often the primary ingredient in consistency and defensive play both at net and at he baseline. So often errors we think of as being mental, reflect a player who's sense of balance is not as keen in awkward or even static positions. What role did this under appreciated quality play in successes/ failures of your favorite players? How much of this is taught/developed how much is a gift of birth?

Good thread. While Nadal is of course amazingly fast I actually don't think he has the balance that Federer has even though I think Nadal may cover slightly more ground.

Guys like McEnroe, Borg, Connors, Mecir, Hingis, Goolagong, Rosewall, Nastase and Laver had great balance.

It will be interesting to see what the others think.

One question to put out to the others "Who has the greater balance, Nadal or Federer?" I would vote for Federer.

mental midget
04-10-2009, 10:12 AM
stefan edberg should be on the very shortest of lists in this category.

pc1
04-10-2009, 10:18 AM
stefan edberg should be on the very shortest of lists in this category.

You're right. He was smooth as silk.

urban
04-10-2009, 10:33 PM
Thats a very good thread. Indeed together with power, stamina, such things as balance, flexibility, movement, court sense and anticipation are important athletic assets , particular in ball sports. Great strikers in soccer like Mueller or Romario had a low gravity point, to move on a short space. Equally, great players often had strong legs and quite lean upper bodies. I remember, that Arthur Ashe marvelled about Laver's and Rosewall's low body position. Rosewall's main strength was his balance and anticpation. And unlike many observers, i find, that the nickname Muscles (given by Hopman) was quite true. I find him quite solid and stocky built, and he had far more weight in his shots, than it looks on first sight.

Deuce
04-10-2009, 11:09 PM
Wow... 5 posts on the subject of balance and fluid movement... and not one mention of two of the smoothest movers to have graced the courts in the past 30 years - Mecir and Krishnan.

Very odd...

J011yroger
04-11-2009, 09:14 AM
Guys like Mecir, had great balance.


Wow... 5 posts on the subject of balance and fluid movement... and not one mention of two of the smoothest movers to have graced the courts in the past 30 years - Mecir and Krishnan.

Very odd...

2nd post in the thread.

J

Deuce
04-11-2009, 04:48 PM
2nd post in the thread.

J
^ Right. I didn't see his name in there with the others.
Sorry.

I do, however, believe that Mecir's smoothness stands out above that of the others mentioned.
Mecir and Krishnan are really in a league of their own when it comes to balance and smoothness in movement.

chess9
04-11-2009, 05:06 PM
All the greats have/had awesome balance.

What you are saying is you SEE some players appearing to be smoother and more balanced. The eyes are dreadful measures of balance. Sure, some players have slightly better balance, or more flexibility, or more speed. But you really need MEASURES to determine those qualities.

Human eyes are dreadful things. ;) Oh to see like your average chicadee, let alone an eagle or falcon. :)

-Robert

Deuce
04-12-2009, 12:17 AM
All the greats have/had awesome balance.

What you are saying is you SEE some players appearing to be smoother and more balanced. The eyes are dreadful measures of balance. Sure, some players have slightly better balance, or more flexibility, or more speed. But you really need MEASURES to determine those qualities.

^ True enough...
But, at the same time, the eye can also see what is truly there.

Some players have to work hard to achieve certain things - like balance, movement, etc. - that enables them to compete at the highest level.

What I'm saying is that Mecir and Krishnan seemed to come by their balance and fluidity more naturally than others, who had to work harder to achieve it.

suwanee4712
04-12-2009, 07:19 AM
I think that balance goes hand in hand with anticipation. Some players read their opponents a little better than most. To me, it's their anticipation that lends them that tiny fraction of time that allows them to have such great balance.

CyBorg
04-12-2009, 11:46 AM
I think that balance goes hand in hand with anticipation. Some players read their opponents a little better than most. To me, it's their anticipation that lends them that tiny fraction of time that allows them to have such great balance.

It's partly mental, partly physical. Good foowork is good anticipation, but also quickness, lightness.

Footwork I think was Borg's greatest strength. Although he's best known for being fast.