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yemenmocha
11-14-2009, 01:43 PM
This may seem like an odd question, but let me explain.

I'm a noisy person on the court re: footwork. I've had problems with blisters, going through shoes quickly, etc. Even with agility drills, jumping rope, etc. I've always had these issues.

Last month I was able to sit front row and watch Agassi, Courier, Todd Martin, Mark Phillipousis, among others play in person. I've played on the very court they were playing on, so it's not the court. They seem to take exactly as many steps as needed to the ball, set up almost perfectly, and do this without screeching noises from their shoes.

How do you learn to move like that?
How do you be that "light" on your feet?:shock:

tricky
11-14-2009, 01:54 PM
Light feet is mostly about footwork. When you move into court, do you step-out with the foot closes to ball, or do you cross over with the opposite foot? Do you turn only you're preparing to hit, or do you turn into stance before you move to ball?

VaBeachTennis
11-14-2009, 02:10 PM
This may seem like an odd question, but let me explain.

I'm a noisy person on the court re: footwork. I've had problems with blisters, going through shoes quickly, etc. Even with agility drills, jumping rope, etc. I've always had these issues.

Last month I was able to sit front row and watch Agassi, Courier, Todd Martin, Mark Phillipousis, among others play in person. I've played on the very court they were playing on, so it's not the court. They seem to take exactly as many steps as needed to the ball, set up almost perfectly, and do this without screeching noises from their shoes.

How do you learn to move like that?
How do you be that "light" on your feet?:shock:

Maybe they just have more "court sense" and "ball sense" than you do at this time. When I read the title, I was going to recommend jumping rope and "shadow tennis", but you are already doing jump rope and agility drills. That's why I came to the conclusion that maybe your "court sense/positioning" and your "ball sense" (reading where the ball is going when your opponent hits it) may be off a little. Or maybe your feet may be a little too "busy" because of the footwork drills.

papa
11-14-2009, 04:22 PM
Suggestion - try pressing down on your toes more. That gets you off your heels and in a better position/posture to play. Think in terms of being able to slide a piece of paper under your heels - not looking for you to be up on your toes, just pressing down on them. Try it, it should help.

ManuGinobili
11-16-2009, 02:54 AM
Can "light on your feet" be re-described as "light in your head while moving"? The more footwork practice a person has, the more it becomes an instinct, and thus when they run, the movement puts lets strain on their mind (because of less thinking and more reaction), resulting in the movement actually becomes light physically.
On an intermediate level, I can tell the difference between my (thank Buddha!) oft practiced footwork and the guys that move heavily, making loud noises as they stomp their whole feet down the court in large strides chasing after a ball, all because of a lazy start and bad anticipation.

But you're most probably on a higher level than that so that last paragraph was practically useless. Now my REAL thoughts:

If those pros are moving without the screeching noise, that probably means they are not in a rush to get to the ball as you are, and they are less likely to having to make a sudden stop. That could be a few things:
- Anticipation: taking one step earlier in the right direction would save a lot of time. Even knowing where the other guy's gonna hit then shift your body in that direction (before he hits it) would help a great deal.
- Timing: getting to the ball just in time, not too fast so that you have to force a stop to wait for the ball, or not too slow that you have to speed up suddenly. The screeching is created by a large amount of friction if you think about it, and that's pushing your foot real hard in any direction. The key here is smooooothness
- Balance: maybe you like to have your whole feet set to hit a ball. Some guys are able to hit while on the front third, and some others are able to hit perfect shots while still moving... Federer has that deadly fading back runaround forehand remember?
- Area of foot in contact with court: how much time do you spend on the whole foot and how much on the front third of the foot? Or should I ask in what instances?

If you think about it, pros like Roddick uses a lot more energy for his footwork... lots of screeching, quite a bit of wasteful movements. Just look at a runaround forehand. Roddick is just obsessive in making gazillions of small adjustments (tiny tiny steps that screeches like hell) to have his feet set (so he can push the knee up and create explosive spin). While Federer (like I said above) can hit one while, I should say, levitating (lolzz) backward.

So I'd say dont have the overly-urgent mindset like Roddickulous, and if you haven't known already, more time on the front of the feet, try taking the first step before the other guy even hits the ball...

papa
11-16-2009, 05:28 AM
.... try taking the first step before the other guy even hits the ball...

Careful here, this might work at a lower level but is a bad habit to get into. If by taking a step you mean split-step than I would be with you. If you start committing to one side vs the other, your going to get wrong footed often. There is enough time to react without guessing which side the ball is going too in most situations - sometimes you have to take a guess but that should not be the norm. The other thing is that you don't have to be stopped to split-step, you can and should in most instances be heading in but the split-step allows you to be in neutral/balanced.

ManuGinobili
11-16-2009, 06:13 PM
Yea guess I didn't express it the right way, was trying not too ramble on and lose the bigger point. The whole idea is just forcing your body to react a split second earlier, and slowly implement that quicker reaction as a habit.

papa
11-16-2009, 06:20 PM
Yea guess I didn't express it the right way, was trying not too ramble on and lose the bigger point. The whole idea is just forcing your body to react a split second earlier, and slowly implement that quicker reaction as a habit.

OK, that works.

LeeD
11-17-2009, 11:59 AM
"light on your feet".....
Well, if you need to run all out 110%, it's hard to be light on your feet.
If you're gliding around the court 75%, it's quiet, stressfree, and your shoes last forever.
Watch pro tennis players playing equally good or better players. They tend to be heavy on their feet and forcing direction changes and top speeds.
Now watch this guy play a match he's winning by a wide margin. He's gliding along, loping along even, always early, always in time, using very little energy.
So practice against good players, but also practice against lesser players.