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Cindysphinx
12-22-2009, 01:38 PM
Split steps are important. I can tell the difference in my level of play when I am doing a split step.

Trouble is, I have a choice. I can either think about doing a split step every time my opponent hits, or I can think about everything else. As things stand, I cannot do both.

How can I get the split step to be automatic? I have been trying to ingrain the split step for the last year, and still it only seems to happen when I make a conscious effort. And if I have to devote that much mental energy to the split step, there's no mental energy left for tactics, court awareness, ball awareness and stroke mechanics.

Anybody got a trick or a tip that might help?

Kostas
12-22-2009, 02:20 PM
Hmmm...I would probably spend like a week or two just concentrating on the split-step and pehaps you'll develop the habit?

I'm sure others can provide better exercises heh.

Ripper014
12-22-2009, 02:28 PM
Yup you think too much...

Have one thought... at anytime. Once it becomes a habit you can forget about it. The split-step has alway been instinctive for me... nothing I had to learn.

Once you are in a match... just play... the time to learn is over. Learning is meant to be done during practice. You can adjust tactics... but the time for learning are over.

After reading many your posts... I have to admit... I believe you think too much, looking for too many answers when just practicing the basics will greatly improve your tennis.

It is like your body... you can gain a lot by just strengthening your core.

user92626
12-22-2009, 03:05 PM
Hi Cindy,

Practise is to make a certain behavior more or less becoming automatic. If you still have to think about it so much, it's either not practiced enough or you've been doing something wrong after all this time. I don't know what's going on with you but you can try to stay very fit & athletic that it's virtually a non-issue for the body to move and hop around. For example if doing something as obviously and habitually as running upstair at home take the body so much effort, the body is going to resist doing it as much as possible even if it's such a natural habit, right? Secondly as learning a new habit, it's always good to exaggerate it as much as possible so under pressure you can afford to do less of it and still sufficient. Cheers.

LeeD
12-22-2009, 03:46 PM
For me, it should be natural, having played baseball (poorly), football (OK) and basketball (not bad) thru my junior high and high school years.
Basic tenet is ready position for left and right first of all. Staying on the balls of your feet and turning SIDEWAYS to move forward and back.
Feet about 22" apart, bent knees, forward lean of trunk, hands waist high and together is what a DB, OFielder, or defensive any sport players adopts to be ready.

Bagumbawalla
12-22-2009, 04:59 PM
Jumping rope is good to get some bounce into your legs.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgvDhSgkLsg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQuRhNpJKVU

GuyClinch
12-22-2009, 05:35 PM
Split step isn't a problem for me.. My issue is far worse - sometimes I don't really recover correctly back to the right area in singles... :P That's embarrassing. It happens especially if I hit a nice shot.

As far as not remembering to split step - just get into the habit of trying to split before the opponent hits the ball. Its not really anything extra to remember because your not doing anything during that time period except maybe recovering..

Pete

LeeD
12-22-2009, 05:39 PM
and you don't always have to jump to split step.
Old farts or the lazy can just assume the 22" wide position, bent slightly and slightly crouched, ready to move any direction.
First step to the right is with the right foot.
First step back is by turning sideways and stepping with back foot back.

In D Zone
12-22-2009, 06:01 PM
Couple of ideas. -
First is to make sure to keep feet apart .
> shuffling your feet (mini jogging - just a subtle movements)
> keep your heels off the ground, slightly tip toed
> keep at least one foot off the ground; not flat footed.

Key is to constantly keep the feet moving even when you are not involved in the play. Move / shuffle your feet and position yourself to the direction of the ball - this will keep you alert and in ready position.

Keep the mindset that you must move your position to the direction of the ball - even just moving very so slightly with your feet. You'll notice the split step will naturally happen.

Think of it that you are in a basketball game - guarding against an opponent who is moving even without the ball.

dozu
12-22-2009, 06:28 PM
you know, making thousands of posts doesn't help really.

maybe if you stop asking all these questions and start hitting the practice court a little more, you be a better player by now.

mtommer
12-22-2009, 06:46 PM
...I have been trying to ingrain the split step for the last year...

Cindy, it's only been a year. Don't expect it to be automatic yet. I'm going through many of the same things you often describe in your posts. It wasn't until last year when I joined here that I've actually learned about the game of tennis beyond the score. I too have difficulties remembering to split step as well as proper footwork, trunk turning (as opposed to hitting with just the arm), etc. I've gotten much better but I still have a long way to go. One thing that has helped me is spending dedicated time doing footwork drills/patterns without even hitting a ball. I have my sister hit buckets of balls to me and I'll just concentrate on split stepping and footwork. You aren't going to know you're doing the split step automatically until, during play, someone comments on your footwork and you do one of those "Whoa, really? Hey, I'm actually getting it." moments.

BounceHitBounceHit
12-22-2009, 07:10 PM
Hey Cindy,

I'd suggest 'shadowing' footwork drills on the court. Also, WHEN you time your split step is very important. Younger players can look to time it so that it coincides with the opponent striking the ball. I'd suggest to you that at our age we are better off splitting as the ball bounces on the other side of the court. This gives you more time to adjust to the ball your opponent will produce.

Best,

BHBH

OTMPut
12-22-2009, 07:53 PM
The hidden issue is perhaps fitness, if you get "tired of thinking about" split stepping.

Rui
12-22-2009, 08:00 PM
The split step happens before your opponent hits her shot. Put off thinking about stroke mechanics and tactics. Instead, watch your opponent get ready to stroke; you'll know what kind is coming. Then watch the ball.

Monitoring your stroke mechanics during match situations is not useful. To borrow a tip from MTM, concentrate on finishing your stroke.

sureshs
12-22-2009, 08:15 PM
and you don't always have to jump to split step.
Old farts or the lazy can just assume the 22" wide position, bent slightly and slightly crouched, ready to move any direction.
First step to the right is with the right foot.
First step back is by turning sideways and stepping with back foot back.

That is what I do. Must be either an old fart or lazy or both.

CHOcobo
12-22-2009, 08:18 PM
i don't think about it, i just do it naturally. i do it naturally in badminton too, but bad for that game.
you don't do it enough maybe.

crash1929
12-22-2009, 11:39 PM
I find most people I play with lately don't hit hard enough for me to have to split step. When I play someone good its split step or die! you don't think about it. maybe you should find some better hitting partners. I know i have to.

xFullCourtTenniSx
12-23-2009, 02:21 AM
And if I have to devote that much mental energy to the split step, there's no mental energy left for tactics, court awareness, ball awareness and stroke mechanics.

Anybody got a trick or a tip that might help?

...

Tactics should be thought of BEFORE the point starts. But they should be flexible in terms things don't pan out 100% like you wanted.

First thing, drill on your shots, A LOT! You want the feeling of hitting the ball to be 100% natural. You want to be able to effortlessly place the ball wherever you want from anywhere on the court. Stroke mechanics should NEVER be thought of during a point. It should come naturally, as if you did every shot on a whim, yet with a purpose to each shot which should come instinctively. Pick a shot, and commit to it instantly. Court awareness shouldn't be a problem... Focus on the ball and it's path and let your brain calculate the angles naturally. If you drill enough, you'll naturally know your way around the court, and playing a lot will help reinforce it.

And ball awareness? Come on... Just watch the ball? :wink:

Anyways, you need to drill, and focus on the ball with every shot. Also, you might be putting too much effort into your split step. Try not to get so far off the ground? I just try to spread out my feet a little and keep my knees bent while taking a minimal of two steps from the split step to my shot. Usually I'll end up taking 3 or more. I have a habit of getting a little lazy sometimes when the ball is hit pretty close to me. I can hit a decent shot, but why settle for decent when I can bomb on into a corner? :twisted:

You need to be able to trust your strokes, otherwise why use them? It doesn't matter if I'm spraying forehands (which happens occasionally for a few days every several months or so), but as long as I believe in it and hit it naturally while focusing on safety, I can get through it. Focus more on what you want to do with each shot, and let things flow naturally.

Cindysphinx
12-23-2009, 06:59 AM
I think I wasn't clear.

When I said I was "tired," I didn't mean "fatigued." I meant, "sick and tired." As in "Why can't I get this to be automatic?" I mean, I don't have to make a conscious effort to finish over my shoulder. Or point LH at incoming ball. So why won't the split step become automatic?

BHBH, that's an interesting idea about timing the split step. If anything, I wonder if I am doing it too soon rather than too late. Sometimes I feel like a parakeet on a perch, waiting for my opponent to hit the ball. This is especially a problem with S&V -- I feel frozen if I split before opponent hits.

Well, I am going off to play now. I think the theme of the day will be split-stepping. I will see if I can play for 90 minutes and never once forget to split. It would be such a relief if I can use my brain for something other than remembering to do a splitstep.

mikeler
12-23-2009, 07:51 AM
The nice thing about practicing a split step is that you don't need an opponent, a racket or even a tennis court. You could just do it while watching TV at night. Take a few steps forward, then do your split step with an imaginary racket in your hand. 25 times a night and in about a week I'd bet it becomes automatic.

Power Player
12-23-2009, 08:27 AM
Yeah..not worth thinking about and overanalyzing. The secret to tennis is to simplifying it down to feel and a few key points that you can cue up if you are mishitting.

I don't know why you need to think about split steps..it's an automatic thing..you have to do it to move your feet to get into proper hitting position. If you aren't doing it, then your strokes will suck and you will be out of position and inconsistent.

Watch the ball and move your feet upon your opponent's contact.

LeeD
12-23-2009, 08:40 AM
I suspect not all players have a sports background, especially one where you have to react to another player's movement or shots.
Split step is to get you into "ready" position, which is basically the same in football, basketball, baseball, tennis, badminton, squash, racketball, karate, gungfo, wrestling, soccer (goalie), and hundreds of other sports.
But if you didn't play those sports as a youngster, you'd never realize the importance of the "ready" position.
Then again, some of us hit the ball, then stand there and admire our shots ... :shock::shock:

Cindysphinx
12-23-2009, 11:31 AM
I don't know why you need to think about split steps..it's an automatic thing..you have to do it to move your feet to get into proper hitting position. If you aren't doing it, then your strokes will suck and you will be out of position and inconsistent.

Watch the ball and move your feet upon your opponent's contact.

No, it's not automatic. Not at all.

If you go watch a doubles or singles match with players of 3.5 and below, you will not see a lot of split steps happening. And yes, doing a split step does make your strokes better, which is why I want to make this automatic.

Did a 2-person lesson today. One drill had her at net and me at baseline. I paid attention to my split step, counting how many splits I did in a rally. I split on the pro's feed, and I split for opponent's first shot. In my counting, I rarely got past "two." It seems I start off nicely and then I stop.

I guess I'll keep doing that little counting thing until the number of split steps starts to match the number of balls struck. I need to start holding myself accountable. Maybe then it will become a habit?

Kostas
12-23-2009, 11:42 AM
No, it's not automatic. Not at all.

If you go watch a doubles or singles match with players of 3.5 and below, you will not see a lot of split steps happening. And yes, doing a split step does make your strokes better, which is why I want to make this automatic.

Did a 2-person lesson today. One drill had her at net and me at baseline. I paid attention to my split step, counting how many splits I did in a rally. I split on the pro's feed, and I split for opponent's first shot. In my counting, I rarely got past "two." It seems I start off nicely and then I stop.

I guess I'll keep doing that little counting thing until the number of split steps starts to match the number of balls struck. I need to start holding myself accountable. Maybe then it will become a habit?

Heh...how do you forget to split step while consciously counting them?

Cindysphinx
12-23-2009, 11:42 AM
Heh...how do you forget to split step while consciously counting them?

It's pathetic. I mean, how lame is that?

At least that shows you the depth of the problem . . .

user92626
12-23-2009, 11:43 AM
Cindy,
IMO, one of the problems in this is you got it backward. Split-step should be the default in the non-hitting time. So, you shouldn't think you split-step and then hit -- it will mess up your timing; but split-step all the time like holding the racket with two hands, and then get out of split-step to get into hitting position.

The number of split-steps you happen to be able to do depends on the pace and athleticism, and it's really non-issue. Sometimes, the ball comes back so fast, no time to split-step at all. So, don't count. Again, do split step as default, get out of it to get into hitting position, then reset to coverage position and split-step...

Bungalo Bill
12-23-2009, 11:58 AM
Yeah..not worth thinking about and overanalyzing. The secret to tennis is to simplifying it down to feel and a few key points that you can cue up if you are mishitting.

Wow, MTM just keeps on dishing out its dumbing down of the game of tennis.

Can you please tell us how to simplfy things down to feel? Can you provide scenarios, analogies, illustrations? The term "feel" is being thrown around lot by you MTM'ers. However, maybe this term is overused, improperly used, and poorly applied to certain situations.

You can't simplify things down to feel unless you have the necessary knowledge and practice to know what to feel. Feel does not always tell you what is wrong nor can you always use feel alone to diagnose a problem. MTM'ers fall short in their ability to diagnose a problem with a players strokes or movement. The pat answer for them is to transfer the risk of "figuring" things out to the player.

Basically, all MTM does is transfer the risk of learning tennis to the player for a fee. If a player doesn't get it through MTM instruction, they tell the player that they need to undo all of that "conventional" learning or its the conventional coaches fault for bogging them down with piles and piles of details. If the player still can't get it, they tell the player they aren't feeling enough.

The key to tennis playing is understanding and appreciating what a player needs to do and then practicing it. Practice will be a journey of trials and errors.

I don't know why you need to think about split steps..it's an automatic thing..you have to do it to move your feet to get into proper hitting position. If you aren't doing it, then your strokes will suck and you will be out of position and inconsistent.

Wait a second! So what you are saying is all I need to do is not think about it? How do I develop my timing without the use of my brain? Should I close my eyes?

Split-stepping is an area that requires practice. For some, it is more difficult than for others. Performing the split-step is not automatic. This is where MTM falls apart because their pat answer is to just "feel".

Anything that requires timing, requires practice. The split-step is all about timing and therefore you have to use your brain to gather information so you can make a decision on when to perform your split-step. From there, as players begins to sense how it works and when it works, a player begins to get better at self-diagnosis and the "feel" part begins to develop.

This is hardly an automatic thing.

Watch the ball and move your feet upon your opponent's contact.

This is your answer? We already know this! What happens if you say this to a person and he can't perform what you suggested? Now what? Do you tell him to just feel? What happens if they can't get it again? "Feel" again?

sureshs
12-23-2009, 12:14 PM
Yeah..not worth thinking about and overanalyzing. The secret to tennis is to simplifying it down to feel and a few key points that you can cue up if you are mishitting.

I don't know why you need to think about split steps..it's an automatic thing..you have to do it to move your feet to get into proper hitting position. If you aren't doing it, then your strokes will suck and you will be out of position and inconsistent.

Watch the ball and move your feet upon your opponent's contact.

If it is automatic, how come Cindy and most other club players like myself don't do it by instinct? Fact is, it is not automatic at all. Juniors learn this from a coach or by observing other juniors. In fact, observing an adult club player who split-steps is a sure way of telling whether he played tennis as a junior or college student. It is not natural, either to do it at all, or when to do it. I have not seen any Discovery channel film showing an animal split-step before it pounces on its prey. Just like the normal way for a human being to accept something given to him from the side is to cross-step to it - he doesn't put his outside foot out first, and then get the object.

chico9166
12-23-2009, 12:39 PM
Geez, if it was so automatic, one would think I would see it everyday on the courts. Which I don't! It becomes MORE NATURAL after you learn it. (and even then it continually needs maintenance) The position of some on this thread, is almost offensive as it discounts, the thousands of hours of hard work that goes into building a great game, of which movement is a critical area.

sureshs
12-23-2009, 12:48 PM
I think I know enough of this simplicity pitch by now to understand how people can fall for a system which preaches it. I see the same in many other areas:

Take some pills and slim down by 40 lbs
Subscribe to this diet plan and lose weight in time for Christmas
Buy my DVDs for Internet sales and become a millionaire in 30 days
Read my book and achieve everlasting happiness
Buy this book and get your daughter a college scholarship, guaranteed

People are looking for shortcuts and a way to bypass hard work or even to simply acknowledge that hard work is needed. So someone putting down conventional methods and selling a "simple" formula appeals to them.

chico9166
12-23-2009, 12:50 PM
I think I know enough of this simplicity pitch by now to understand how people can fall for a system which preaches it. I see the same in many other areas:

Take some pills and slim down by 40 lbs
Subscribe to this diet plan and lose weight in time for Christmas
Buy my DVDs for Internet sales and become a millionaire in 30 days
Read my book and achieve everlasting happiness
Buy this book and get your daughter a college scholarship, guaranteed

People are looking for shortcuts and a way to bypass hard work or even to simply acknowledge that hard work is needed. So someone putting down conventional methods and selling a "simple" formula appeals to them.

How true, Suresh.

Bud
12-23-2009, 12:53 PM
Cindy... try and think of it this way. In tennis you should usually be moving your feet, except when striking the ball (although sometimes you must hit on the run).

When your opponent is preparing to strike the incoming ball, you should plant yourself and feel balanced so you can respond in any of the four directions (forward, back, left or right). Don't worry about jumping, hopping, split-stepping, etc. as actively trying to split-step can really throw off your rhythm.

Just make sure you're stationary and balanced at the moment your opponent strikes the ball.

Power Player
12-23-2009, 01:11 PM
Wow. I got flamed,I don't even know MTM or anything about it.

All I am saying is that it is automatic after a while and not worth thinking too hard about. If I dont do it, my strokes are bad and I am out of position. If you are not moving your feet after knowing how to do it, to me that is a fitness issue. I did play as a junior so it was something I just learned. I need to have my feet moving upon my opponent's contact of the ball.

I guess to me it's really not that complicated. You just need to keep practicing it over and over and like everything else in life it becomes a habit. That is what I meant by don't overthink this. cindy is new to it and of course it is frustrating. I was out of shape for tennis last year and I thought I would never get it back, but I did. I don't think it's worth paragraphs of flaming back and forth.

And Suresh, I have seen your pics. I'm not surprised you don't split step. You make enough snide comments on here that you can have one back.

mikeler
12-23-2009, 01:23 PM
Wow. I got flamed,I don't even know MTM or anything about it.

All I am saying is that it is automatic after a while and not worth thinking too hard about. If I dont do it, my strokes are bad and I am out of position. If you are not moving your feet after knowing how to do it, to me that is a fitness issue. I did play as a junior so it was something I just learned. I need to have my feet moving upon my opponent's contact of the ball.

I guess to me it's really not that complicated. You just need to keep practicing it over and over and like everything else in life it becomes a habit. That is what I meant by don't overthink this. cindy is new to it and of course it is frustrating. I was out of shape for tennis last year and I thought I would never get it back, but I did. I don't think it's worth paragraphs of flaming back and forth.

And Suresh, I have seen your pics. I'm not surprised you don't split step. You make enough snide comments on here that you can have one back.



I think it is definitely easier for guys like us who were trained as juniors. We've had those skills our whole life so there is no thought involved with it. I'm guessing Cindy started later in life and so many things associated with tennis are not ingrained. Can you send me a pic of Suresh? :)

Power Player
12-23-2009, 01:28 PM
Yeah I guess it seems normal to me..sorry Cindy..just keep practicing and you will get it.

The Suresh pic is on here somewhere..I willl have to wade through his ocean of posts to find it asnd I don't know if im up to the task..lol.

sureshs
12-23-2009, 01:48 PM
http://i37.tinypic.com/eq30p0.jpg

Power Player
12-23-2009, 01:53 PM
The best part is by far the outfit. I could never pull that off, but you did it, and I applaud that.

Bungalo Bill
12-23-2009, 01:55 PM
What players need to understand is that people or players need to become proficient at things such as the split-step.

Yes, in going through the journey of becoming proficient, the senses will be involved. You will sense you did something correct when you recognize what you should be feeling when you did do it right. Even still, some players need confirmation at times that they are doing it correctly regardless if they are feeling it is correct.

Still other areas feel right but are technically being performed at a low level of effectiveness or effeiciency. It may also pose an increase in risk of injury to the player if they continue with what they think feels right over time.

Building proficiency at something is not always easy. Every aspect of tennis isn't always going to be a piece-of-cake to learn. Nothing is if you really think about it.

Yes, it is important to gain a feeling of what to do. However, this is not a catch-all way to learn tennis. Much of what we feel is processed through the brain and that requires information and feedback.

mikeler
12-23-2009, 01:55 PM
All red, I like it!

sureshs
12-23-2009, 02:05 PM
The best part is by far the outfit. I could never pull that off, but you did it, and I applaud that.

All red, I like it!

It was puchased several years back in a hurry from a pro shop which did not have anything else in stock.

Bungalo Bill
12-23-2009, 02:12 PM
Split steps are important. I can tell the difference in my level of play when I am doing a split step.

Good.

Trouble is, I have a choice. I can either think about doing a split step every time my opponent hits, or I can think about everything else. As things stand, I cannot do both.

Cindy, the split-step is a timing move and you are not suppose to dwell on doing it. It should be part of your thought process only as far as picking up when you need to perform it. At first, learning this can be a bit mechanical and your thought process tends to dwell on it too long because you have yet to incorporate one thought process synced with movement yet.

The purpose of your footwork is to get you through the point in the most efficient and effective way possible. You do not want to dwell on your footwork. If you do, your mind is simply telling you that it has yet to master it and automate it.

The main issue with learning the split-step is people tend to dwell on it and that it requires a bit more concentration to perform it. When this happens, and because it is performed so quickly, this is about all the brain can process and it becomes very sequential in nature rather than a simultaeneous thing which is where you want to be.

Players do need to "check-in" at times to make sure all systems are working (inlcuding their footwork). However, this is a very quick and brief thought and should happen somewhat in the background while you process other things that should be a priority.

How can I get the split step to be automatic? I have been trying to ingrain the split step for the last year, and still it only seems to happen when I make a conscious effort. And if I have to devote that much mental energy to the split step, there's no mental energy left for tactics, court awareness, ball awareness and stroke mechanics.

Anybody got a trick or a tip that might help?

You get the split-step to become automatic by taxing your physical and mental systems. You force the brain to use the split-step to get you to the next ball. When you tax your systems, learning and adapting takes place quickly. You are forced to do it and do it well or you fail.

Once you understand what to do, now you need to learn how to use it so it takes you to the next pattern. Remember, footwork's purpose is to help you get through the court, cover more ground effectively, cover more ground efficiently, and support your strokes so you can win the point.

You can also perform split-steps with your voice. Say, 1-2 or something like that. 1 is for the opponents hit off the strings and your split-step, 2 is for you to move in the direction you are supposed too.

Power Player
12-23-2009, 02:37 PM
^^^^

That's really all I was trying to say.

Cindysphinx
12-23-2009, 02:49 PM
Good.

You can also perform split-steps with your voice. Say, 1-2 or something like that. 1 is for the opponents hit off the strings, 2 is for you to move in the direction you are supposed too.

Thanks, BB!

OK, I say 1 when opponent hits. And 2 is for my split? That seems late? Or is it?

Bungalo Bill
12-23-2009, 03:05 PM
Thanks, BB!

OK, I say 1 when opponent hits. And 2 is for my split? That seems late? Or is it?

Make it quick then! :) :)

Seriously, one is when you split-step, two is when you move. Believe it or not, I used to say "1-2 tie my shoe, 3 -4 shut the door, 5-6 pick up sticks, 7-8 lay them straight, 9-10 do it again!"

Throughout my little personal cadence :), I would split-step in more with the beat then the actual number I was on. I might need to do a split-step on an upbeat or something but I use rhythm to help me do it. The point is, my coach fed something like 50 balls with a certain beat for me to get it down. Sometimes when I was landing on the split-step, I would be right on 1, and that made it real easy to get it down for the next split-step. Do you understand what I am trying to say?

Think rhythm girl!

The other thing is don't dwell on "seeing the ball off the racquet". You can't. You won't. This is where it is more of a feel thing or a senses thing. AND DO NOT WORRY IF YOU ARE NOT PERFECT AT IT!!!

The other point I am trying to make is to use something to help you become proficient - anything. Dwelling on just the split-step is not what you want to do. The split-step is a transition step to something else. Your goal is to read the ball and where it is going and to be moving that way.

The split-step just helps you move quicker in the direction you are suppose to move when you time it right and help prevent you from getting wrong-footed.

Issues Regarding Coming to Net and Performing a Split-step:
For some, performing a split-step to help them prepare for the direction they need to move towards and make a volley can be challenging or seem like it is the end of the world for your tennis game. If you don't have the time to practice the split-step and are getting frustrated about it, stop doing it. You don't need to do it although if you do get the chance to increase your practice time you might want to develop your ability to perform a split-step again.

If you are one of those people that would love to split-step but can't find the time to get it down, you can use short quick studder steps when you come to net (the kind that make your shoes squeek) to help you somewhat unweight yourself and then move. Obviously, this isn't ideal, however, you can move in a direction pretty darn quick which is usually good enough for a lot of players.

Ripper014
12-23-2009, 03:08 PM
Thanks, BB!

OK, I say 1 when opponent hits. And 2 is for my split? That seems late? Or is it?

Just do your split step just as your opponent hits the ball, when you hit the ground you can react to where the ball is going.

Cindysphinx
12-23-2009, 03:11 PM
Got it. I'll try, I will!

Yet another New Year's resolution. Wonderful . . .

Bungalo Bill
12-23-2009, 03:37 PM
Got it. I'll try, I will!

Yet another New Year's resolution. Wonderful . . .

Hahahaha, Merry Christmas Cindy and Happy New Year. Let me know how it is going.

LeeD
12-23-2009, 03:46 PM
For me, a split step is the ready position a player would assume when they don't know where the ball is going at them, but they have to play the ball.
Doesn't HAVE to be a split step, just a ready position where your feet are about 22" apart, balance on the balls of the feet, both hands joined about tummy heights for tennis.
Ready position to move any direction ASAP.

TheLama
12-28-2009, 02:21 PM
I think I wasn't clear.

When I said I was "tired," I didn't mean "fatigued." I meant, "sick and tired." As in "Why can't I get this to be automatic?" I mean, I don't have to make a conscious effort to finish over my shoulder. Or point LH at incoming ball. So why won't the split step become automatic?

BHBH, that's an interesting idea about timing the split step. If anything, I wonder if I am doing it too soon rather than too late. Sometimes I feel like a parakeet on a perch, waiting for my opponent to hit the ball. This is especially a problem with S&V -- I feel frozen if I split before opponent hits.

Well, I am going off to play now. I think the theme of the day will be split-stepping. I will see if I can play for 90 minutes and never once forget to split. It would be such a relief if I can use my brain for something other than remembering to do a splitstep.

You only need to get an inch or more off the ground. However, if you do not do this naturally, it takes a lot of mental effort. And, it starts just before you opponent hits the ball, not when, as you need to read the ball off the face of your opponent's racquet, so that your body already adjusts to the direction of the shot before you feet land on the ground, which allows you to immediately push in the direction that you need to hit.

Some of my players are weak in this area as well, and they are 5.5-6.5 levels players, so you are in good company. We start and finish--your body always remembers how you ended the workout--every workout with 10 minutes of play after warming-up, where they have to constantly run/dance in-place, and can never let their heels touch the ground. It is very tiring and mentally taxing, but you see the results in matches a matter of weeks. However, they do train a few hours everyday. FYI: this must always be done while at the net, from the jump.

If you look at Nadal play, since back from his injury, he frequently does not split-step and gets caught being too defensive on hard courts. When he was winning everything, his split-step was working on hard courts. But, prior to 2008, he was also frequently not doing so, so guys like Blake and Berdych smacked him on hard courts.

Cindysphinx
12-28-2009, 03:45 PM
I have social doubles on Saturday. I usually like to pick one thing to work on. I was going to work on return variety.

Instead, I think I will split step my head off for two straight hours. Maybe that will get me started.

I agree that Nadal's movement is off compared to earlier this year. You really think it could be his split? I imagine the guy has been doing his split for so long that he couldn't change it if he wanted to.

Zachol82
12-28-2009, 04:24 PM
Split steps are important. I can tell the difference in my level of play when I am doing a split step.

Trouble is, I have a choice. I can either think about doing a split step every time my opponent hits, or I can think about everything else. As things stand, I cannot do both.

How can I get the split step to be automatic? I have been trying to ingrain the split step for the last year, and still it only seems to happen when I make a conscious effort. And if I have to devote that much mental energy to the split step, there's no mental energy left for tactics, court awareness, ball awareness and stroke mechanics.

Anybody got a trick or a tip that might help?

The only way to make the split-step, and pretty much any other actions, "automatic" is to keep on doing it. I'm sure you've had to consciously think about your service motion at some point during your early Tennis career (assuming that you are comfortable with serving already). As you play more and more, your service motion should just be "automatic" and you end up thinking about what to do after you serve rather than worrying about your service mechanics.

However, there is one thing that I did do that helped me out with my split steps, maybe it'll work for you as well.

Try to keep a light jump, either with both feet or alternating from one foot to the other. If you watch the pros, they often do this when preparing to return a serve. First of all, this keeps your feet moving, and an already moving pair of feet are always quicker to react than a static one. Secondly, this motion helps loosen/relax your muscles and will greatly increase your reaction time. As you keep this jump going, just keep your eyes on the ball, AT ALL TIMES, and your body will react automatically, trying to chase down the ball wherever it may be.

Notice that I emphasize on keeping your eyes on the ball simply because sometimes, your mind will wander and even though you're staring in the direction of the ball, you're actually just staring at the blank space in the vicinity of the ball. That or maybe I'm just ******** and I'm the only person that does this =|

BounceHitBounceHit
12-28-2009, 04:32 PM
BHBH, that's an interesting idea about timing the split step. If anything, I wonder if I am doing it too soon rather than too late. Sometimes I feel like a parakeet on a perch, waiting for my opponent to hit the ball. This is especially a problem with S&V -- I feel frozen if I split before opponent hits.

If you had to pick between a bit too soon or a bit too late, I'd go too soon for now. This also prevents 'over-closing' when approaching the net, which (especially at our age) renders you MUCH more vulnerable to the lob. :) BHBH

Bungalo Bill
12-28-2009, 04:52 PM
I have social doubles on Saturday. I usually like to pick one thing to work on. I was going to work on return variety.

Instead, I think I will split step my head off for two straight hours. Maybe that will get me started.

I agree that Nadal's movement is off compared to earlier this year. You really think it could be his split? I imagine the guy has been doing his split for so long that he couldn't change it if he wanted to.

But split-step with timing as your main lesson. If you are sinking in your feet when you do it, you are doing it too soon. If the ball is headed towards you and then you do it, you are too late. Bottom-line is you will get it. It is only about timing and not about whether you can split-step or not.

You want to be able to split-step and almost immediately move to the ball. This means you are on your toes or the balls of your feet for a very short period of time. I mean it is like a blink of an eye fast.

Time the down swing of the player and work from there until you feel you are moving fluid with the direction of the ball. Don't be afraid to think outside of the box if you are not getting the timing.

Sometimes it helps for players to think of a sound when they are split-stepping. Such as thinking of someone making a clap with their hands. As soon as the opponent hits the ball, they have timed that to coincide to a clap sound in their heads. So as the person is moving his hands together, you perform your split-step and sort of land at the sound before moving.

Anything that will help you with the timing is A-okay.

Ripper014
12-28-2009, 10:41 PM
If you had to pick between a bit too soon or a bit too late, I'd go too soon for now. This also prevents 'over-closing' when approaching the net, which (especially at our age) renders you MUCH more vulnerable to the lob. :) BHBH

Either way you are in trouble... to soon and you are flat-footed and will be late reacting to the ball... to late and you have the same issue... you are in the air when you need to be reacting to the ball.

Like BB said... you will pick it up, it is a natural thing to do... and will come easy to you if you have any athletic ability.

TheLama
12-28-2009, 10:49 PM
I have social doubles on Saturday. I usually like to pick one thing to work on. I was going to work on return variety.

Instead, I think I will split step my head off for two straight hours. Maybe that will get me started.

I agree that Nadal's movement is off compared to earlier this year. You really think it could be his split? I imagine the guy has been doing his split for so long that he couldn't change it if he wanted to.

Nadal doesn't split-step on clay, or very rarely. Many clay court players do not. All you need to do is to look at how far up their legs that you see clay; the higher the dust goes, the less they split-step.

BounceHitBounceHit
12-29-2009, 07:04 AM
But split-step with timing as your main lesson. If you are sinking in your feet when you do it, you are doing it too soon. If the ball is headed towards you and then you do it, you are too late. Bottom-line is you will get it. It is only about timing and not about whether you can split-step or not.

You want to be able to split-step and almost immediately move to the ball. This means you are on your toes or the balls of your feet for a very short period of time. I mean it is like a blink of an eye fast.

Time the down swing of the player and work from there until you feel you are moving fluid with the direction of the ball. Don't be afraid to think outside of the box if you are not getting the timing.

Sometimes it helps for players to think of a sound when they are split-stepping. Such as thinking of someone making a clap with their hands. As soon as the opponent hits the ball, they have timed that to coincide to a clap sound in their heads. So as the person is moving his hands together, you perform your split-step and sort of land at the sound before moving.

Anything that will help you with the timing is A-okay.

Good stuff. Precisely what I was trying to communicate but better said. :) BHBH

BounceHitBounceHit
12-29-2009, 07:06 AM
Either way you are in trouble... to soon and you are flat-footed and will be late reacting to the ball... to late and you have the same issue... you are in the air when you need to be reacting to the ball.

Like BB said... you will pick it up, it is a natural thing to do... and will come easy to you if you have any athletic ability.

Agreed. But learning anything is a process. We rarely start out with the perfect 'anything'. I think the timing is THE KEY, as BB pointed out, and if (in the process of learning the skill) an error it to be made, especially at the lower levels of play where the ball simply isn't moving as fast or with nearly so much spin as at higher levels of play, too early is preferred (as a FIRST APPROXIMATION of the skill) over too late. :) Happy Holidays, BHBH

bad_call
12-29-2009, 07:12 AM
For me, a split step is the ready position a player would assume when they don't know where the ball is going at them, but they have to play the ball.
Doesn't HAVE to be a split step, just a ready position where your feet are about 22" apart, balance on the balls of the feet, both hands joined about tummy heights for tennis.
Ready position to move any direction ASAP.

yup, me too.

Power Player
12-29-2009, 08:03 AM
One thing I thought about when working with a real good player this weekend. What is your Ready Position like? If you think about that and get it right ( I am in a western grip, so racquet face down, knees bent) then the Split comes out of that. So the first thing I think about after I hit the ball is to get to my ready position for the next shot. This gets you out of the habit of admiring shots and makes the split step a lot easier.

larry10s
12-29-2009, 08:38 AM
here are some things that helped me get the timing of the split . you know the bounce hit drill well i use bounce split. when the ball bounces in there side i would say bounce and as they were coming foward with their swing i would say split so that i was going up as they made contact. in serve and voll ey i would come in wathch the ball land say bounce and at the appropiate time say split. when the timing is right the feling of landing and springing to the ball has to be felt. once you feel it you will knoww when your timing is off. when at the net in doubles split stepping has helped me be more ready to handle balls and go for balls . its improved my attittude ito expect the ball is coming to me and wanting the ball. hope this helps

TheLama
12-29-2009, 08:46 AM
One thing I thought about when working with a real good player this weekend. What is your Ready Position like? If you think about that and get it right ( I am in a western grip, so racquet face down, knees bent) then the Split comes out of that. So the first thing I think about after I hit the ball is to get to my ready position for the next shot. This gets you out of the habit of admiring shots and makes the split step a lot easier.

Your ready position should be anything that puts your knees in the best bent position after your split-step landing to allow you to push-off in the direction of the on-coming shot, with the adequate shoulder rotation to optimally time the ball at your discretion, without being hurried, once you get there.

The first thing that you get ready for AS YOU HIT YOUR SHOT--for you should know your subsequent ball quality and it's effect on your opponent immediately in you hand--is your opponent's possible answers, which should be clear to you after the warm-up and 3-4 games. You should by then know what he/she is capable of and what his/her predilections are. Then, you position your body accordingly, so that when you do split-step, you will be optimally positioned to reply.

Cindysphinx
12-29-2009, 09:22 AM
OK, I worked on it today in a clinic. Pro wanted us to follow our first shots to the net.

My partner and I started off playing very badly. Footwork was the obvious culprit. I suggested that we both say "Split" when the opponent was hitting, hoping this would remind us to split. It was helpful. If I forgot to split, my partner's saying "split" would remind me of my omission. We played better doing this, no question.

Boy, it is really hard to remember to split with everything else that is going on. :( Oh, well. Try again next time, I suppose.

larry10s
12-29-2009, 09:53 AM
if you concentrate on the split step for a while it becomes automatic. you have a foundation on your strokes . just split and hit your shot instead of thinkg about "how" to hit your shot. even if you do this for part of your practice i think you will see a big difference. its not as hard as it sounds.

mikeler
12-29-2009, 10:55 AM
OK, I worked on it today in a clinic. Pro wanted us to follow our first shots to the net.

My partner and I started off playing very badly. Footwork was the obvious culprit. I suggested that we both say "Split" when the opponent was hitting, hoping this would remind us to split. It was helpful. If I forgot to split, my partner's saying "split" would remind me of my omission. We played better doing this, no question.

Boy, it is really hard to remember to split with everything else that is going on. :( Oh, well. Try again next time, I suppose.


When I took lessons growing up, my coach would only let me focus on one thing at a time. So if I was working on a split step he told me if you hit the ball over the fence I don't care. Just focus on one thing at a time and try not to get overwhelmed with trying to think about too many things at once.

TennisCoachFLA
12-29-2009, 11:21 AM
Cindy, its not all that. Just relax. With little kids we can use simple verbal reminders. In a few lessons a 5-6-7 year old does it automatically. Adults and seniors we teach are not blank slates so we go to the next step, yet still simple. Name it in your own words and write it down.

Each adult relates to a little different name....ready hop, slit step, bunny hop, little jump...or any little old name that makes you remember and maybe even smile. After all the little hop is to relax and balance the player.

Get 2 white wristbands, right bunny on one, hop on the other. Or whatever name you want to use to name what you do.

Within 1-2 sessions after naming the split step in their own words and writing it on their wrist bands, every player I have seen, from 19 to 68 was doing it automatically. Its a pretty common habit to glance at your grip and wrist bands between each point anyway.

And don't get hung up on the exact timing. There is room for variation in recreational level tennis, some hop higher, some hop later. In rec tennis it isn't all that crucial, you have time. The hop will just get you balanced and relaxed and ready to move to the ball.

Cindysphinx
12-29-2009, 11:31 AM
^OK, you're on.

I will show up on Saturday with "split" written on my white wristbands in Sharpie.

I used to do something similar when giving speeches. I would write the word "Slow" all over in random places, as I tend to speak too quickly. It really does work.

Bungalo Bill
12-29-2009, 11:43 AM
Cindy, its not all that. Just relax. With little kids we can use simple verbal reminders. In a few lessons a 5-6-7 year old does it automatically. Adults and seniors we teach are not blank slates so we go to the next step, yet still simple. Name it in your own words and write it down.

This has already been said, why repeat it. Or maybe you just borrowed the tip and rephrased it. The split-step most people know how to do. It isn't hard to do. The timing of it? Some people DO have a hard time with it and it needs to be practiced. If you have ever coached you would know this.

Each adult relates to a little different name....ready hop, slit step, bunny hop, little jump...or any little old name that makes you remember and maybe even smile. After all the little hop is to relax and balance the player.

Again, already said. Already known. Have no idea why you are repeating things that have been said. Many people learn how to do the split-step by learning how to hop-scotch for goodness sakes!! lol

Get 2 white wristbands, right bunny on one, hop on the other. Or whatever name you want to use to name what you do.

Within 1-2 sessions after naming the split step in their own words and writing it on their wrist bands, every player I have seen, from 19 to 68 was doing it automatically. Its a pretty common habit to glance at your grip and wrist bands between each point anyway.

It doesn't need to be this weird. A simple cadence does the trick and players do not need to look like fools with wrist bands on their wrists with one named "Bunny". :)

All of us have agreed that the split-step is about timing because it is. All of us have agreed that it needs to be practiced because it does. All of us have provided all the insight needed to understand and perform a split-step.

It is as simple as "RACQUET READY, WAIT FOR THE DOWN SWING, RISE, SPLIT, AND GO!"

And don't get hung up on the exact timing. There is room for variation in recreational level tennis, some hop higher, some hop later. In rec tennis it isn't all that crucial, you have time. The hop will just get you balanced and relaxed and ready to move to the ball.

Don't get hung up about the timing? Did I read that right? LOL!!

In "rec" tennis it isn't all that crucial? Perhaps the split-step is not at the Moon Ball level, however, if a player wants to improve using the split-step why not teach it right?? To say timing isn't important wiht the split-step is the biggest lie there is around here. So, do you even know how to do a split-step? LOL

The split-step is all about timing. The split-step is about unwieghting yourself so that you can move in a any direction. It is all about timing and is used to help a player get a jump on the ball.

And this some hop higher is also false and some hop later is false. The split-step is a timing step. It is timed to the swing of the opponent whether it is a serve, groundstroke, or coming in for a volley. Because the split-step is performed in a SPLIT-SECOND, a player does need to time their split-step to get a good jump on the direction they want to go in.

This is the typical I have no clue what I am saying coaching tip. To tell a player to not get hung up on timing is irresponsible coaching.

TheLama
12-29-2009, 01:49 PM
OK, I worked on it today in a clinic. Pro wanted us to follow our first shots to the net.

My partner and I started off playing very badly. Footwork was the obvious culprit. I suggested that we both say "Split" when the opponent was hitting, hoping this would remind us to split. It was helpful. If I forgot to split, my partner's saying "split" would remind me of my omission. We played better doing this, no question.

Boy, it is really hard to remember to split with everything else that is going on. :( Oh, well. Try again next time, I suppose.

The best way to work on split-stepping is to just hit for rhythm, concentrating on split-step, hit, recover, and then split-step again to start the sequence over again. Make sure to hit at a pace where you cannot miss. If you recover before you need to split-step, just dance in-place until just before contact to do so.

Try:


Rallying DTM
FH CC
IOFH/BH CC
One player in the baseline corner, running the other side2side

Bungalo Bill
12-29-2009, 02:26 PM
The best way to work on split-stepping is to just hit for rhythm, concentrating on split-step, hit, recover, and then split-step again to start the sequence over again. Make sure to hit at a pace where you cannot miss. If you recover before you need to split-step, just dance in-place until just before contact to do so.

Try:

Rallying DTM
FH CC
IOFH/BH CC
One player in the baseline corner, running the other side2side

Excellent advice especially hitting at a pace that is relatively easy so it is easier to focus on one's timing.

Timing is the key to the split-step not the split-step itself. Rhythm is very important.

Bud
12-29-2009, 02:57 PM
OK, I worked on it today in a clinic. Pro wanted us to follow our first shots to the net.

My partner and I started off playing very badly. Footwork was the obvious culprit. I suggested that we both say "Split" when the opponent was hitting, hoping this would remind us to split. It was helpful. If I forgot to split, my partner's saying "split" would remind me of my omission. We played better doing this, no question.

Boy, it is really hard to remember to split with everything else that is going on. :( Oh, well. Try again next time, I suppose.

You don't really want to be split-stepping at the exact moment your opponent is striking the ball... it should happen just before... after the ball bounces on their side but before they strike it (to give you some sort of tangible marker for timing it).

I think of it like this... I hit the ball to the opponent... depending on where I choose to hit the ball, I then move into the optimum court location for their 'best' (i.e. highest percentage) return... within the time I have available.

So, when I identify where exactly my ball is going and how my opponent is set up to return the ball back to me... I split step. The split step occurs at about the time the ball bounces and they've committed to the shot... but before they strike the ball. Again, keep in mind, I've already moved to (approximately) the best possible return location... based on my shot and my opponents court position as they prepare to strike their return.

So much of it is just feel and experience. I've noticed that when I'm 'in the zone' it all falls into place just perfectly.

You'll also notice that when you're playing a junk-baller... or playing 'low percentage' tennis... the split step can be more difficult to implement and time, since you'll be out of position more often... and will be hitting more of your return shots on the run. For example... if your opponent hits a shot deep into your ad court from their ad court... and you choose a low-percentage return... like going for a flat shot down the line to their deuce court... if your opponent reads what you're about to do... they are going to then hit it deeply back cross court to your deuce court... leaving you little time to do anything but hit the ball on the run.

Spinz
12-29-2009, 03:36 PM
There is so much good advice in this thread already.

If you are a visual learner, maybe it would help you to watch some movement drills before you go to play. Here's an example:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjxwYMsq7JA

I learned to play before youtube etc. but when video came out, we used to tape pro matches and watch a bit before practice or matches.

Cindysphinx
12-29-2009, 04:31 PM
You know, this is a doubles problem.

I think I could play singles and rally with anyone here (if I could keep the ball in play!). I would have no trouble with the split step. In singles, it is easy. And it is easy to remember. I know where I plan to hit the ball, how much time I will have to recover before opponent hits it, and where opponent will be when she hits it.

The problem in doubles is that I don't know where the ball is going until it gets there. In other words, my partner may be behind me while I am at net. I don't know where she is going to hit the ball or which opponent might reach it. If she hits it deep, no problem. Split when opponent is hitting.

What if she hits it to the net player or the net player starts moving to poach, though? You time your split step the same way, but it is very easy to get surprised and "forget" to split. This is especially a problem when the ball is coming at you from a good volleyer.

Maybe I've been focusing on the wrong thing, then. My problem isn't really that I "forget" to split. It's just that the distraction of all of the movement in doubles coupled with the uncertainty as to when the ball will be struck and by whom makes it harder to get good timing. Which may be why you see so many rec players standing flat-footed at the net.

Ya think?

larry10s
12-29-2009, 05:24 PM
yes when your partner hits the ball within reach of the net player you get your clue from watching th net player move and his eyes as he sees an attackable ball. still when YOU see the ball on his side oif thew net you shoukd still have enough tin=mne to spj=lit when he hits most of the time

Bud
12-29-2009, 05:25 PM
You know, this is a doubles problem.

I think I could play singles and rally with anyone here (if I could keep the ball in play!). I would have no trouble with the split step. In singles, it is easy. And it is easy to remember. I know where I plan to hit the ball, how much time I will have to recover before opponent hits it, and where opponent will be when she hits it.

The problem in doubles is that I don't know where the ball is going until it gets there. In other words, my partner may be behind me while I am at net. I don't know where she is going to hit the ball or which opponent might reach it. If she hits it deep, no problem. Split when opponent is hitting.

What if she hits it to the net player or the net player starts moving to poach, though? You time your split step the same way, but it is very easy to get surprised and "forget" to split. This is especially a problem when the ball is coming at you from a good volleyer.

Maybe I've been focusing on the wrong thing, then. My problem isn't really that I "forget" to split. It's just that the distraction of all of the movement in doubles coupled with the uncertainty as to when the ball will be struck and by whom makes it harder to get good timing. Which may be why you see so many rec players standing flat-footed at the net.

Ya think?

You're correct... it's definitely a different rhythm in doubles. I make sure my feet are constantly moving so I stay alert (even slightly bouncing). You don't want to be caught flat-footed in doubles.

Since the doubles dynamics are completely different than singles... there isn't always the opportunity to 'split step'... After you or your partner send the ball over the net, you should move to the most likely return location and set yourself in the ready position, balanced and able to move quickly in any direction (which is the purpose of the split-step).

I definitely don't 'split-step' the same in doubles and singles.

fruitytennis1
12-29-2009, 05:45 PM
Split steps are important. I can tell the difference in my level of play when I am doing a split step.

Trouble is, I have a choice. I can either think about doing a split step every time my opponent hits, or I can think about everything else. As things stand, I cannot do both.

How can I get the split step to be automatic? I have been trying to ingrain the split step for the last year, and still it only seems to happen when I make a conscious effort. And if I have to devote that much mental energy to the split step, there's no mental energy left for tactics, court awareness, ball awareness and stroke mechanics.

Anybody got a trick or a tip that might help?

The one and only real answer is playing on the courts alot

bad_call
12-29-2009, 07:13 PM
There is so much good advice in this thread already.

If you are a visual learner, maybe it would help you to watch some movement drills before you go to play. Here's an example:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjxwYMsq7JA

I learned to play before youtube etc. but when video came out, we used to tape pro matches and watch a bit before practice or matches.

wow...that vid can teach me a thing or two. think i would need a bottle of oxygen nearby.

TheLama
12-29-2009, 07:30 PM
You know, this is a doubles problem.

I think I could play singles and rally with anyone here (if I could keep the ball in play!). I would have no trouble with the split step. In singles, it is easy. And it is easy to remember. I know where I plan to hit the ball, how much time I will have to recover before opponent hits it, and where opponent will be when she hits it.

The problem in doubles is that I don't know where the ball is going until it gets there. In other words, my partner may be behind me while I am at net. I don't know where she is going to hit the ball or which opponent might reach it. If she hits it deep, no problem. Split when opponent is hitting.

What if she hits it to the net player or the net player starts moving to poach, though? You time your split step the same way, but it is very easy to get surprised and "forget" to split. This is especially a problem when the ball is coming at you from a good volleyer.

Maybe I've been focusing on the wrong thing, then. My problem isn't really that I "forget" to split. It's just that the distraction of all of the movement in doubles coupled with the uncertainty as to when the ball will be struck and by whom makes it harder to get good timing. Which may be why you see so many rec players standing flat-footed at the net.

Ya think?

The rhythm in doubles is such that you must be moving in sync with your opponents racquet/ball contact, the ball, and your partner. Don't ever let your heels touch the ground and constantly keep moving. You still need to split-step; you just don't leave the ground as high. Try watching the line in the air that the ball draws. It is a different way of watching the ball, and tends to slowdown time. Perhaps that will help.

mikeler
12-29-2009, 07:52 PM
The rhythm in doubles is such that you must be moving in sync with your opponents racquet/ball contact, the ball, and your partner. Don't ever let your heels touch the ground and constantly keep moving. You still need to split-step; you just don't leave the ground as high. Try watching the line in the air that the ball draws. It is a different way of watching the ball, and tends to slowdown time. Perhaps that will help.


Yep, doubles you literally have to stay on your toes. Your split steps need to be short and sweet.

Bud
12-30-2009, 01:35 AM
There is so much good advice in this thread already.

If you are a visual learner, maybe it would help you to watch some movement drills before you go to play. Here's an example:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjxwYMsq7JA

I learned to play before youtube etc. but when video came out, we used to tape pro matches and watch a bit before practice or matches.

I'd like to see the girl in this video actually play some real points. We'll see if all this (obviously well-practiced) complex instruction helps or hurts her game.

Cindysphinx
12-30-2009, 07:44 AM
I'd like to see the girl in this video actually play some real points. We'll see if all this (obviously well-practiced) complex instruction helps or hurts her game.

That side-to-side bouncing thing looks useful. It does seem like a lot of energy and movement, though. And I don't see pros doing that.

larry10s
12-30-2009, 08:30 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5qdFJ93j_s
watch even when hes relaxed he still shuffles his feet and split steps before his unit turn.( my pet peeve is when i started playing they didnt teach the split step as the FIRST move in preparation. instead the unit turn was taught)

TheLama
12-30-2009, 08:33 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5qdFJ93j_s
watch even when hes relaxed he still shuffles his feet and split steps before his unit turn.( my pet peeve is when i started playing they didnt teach the split step as the FIRST move in preparation. instead the unit turn was taught)

Any decent coach was teaching the split-step before the unit trun--a Jack Groppel term--way back in the early '80's. And before Groppel coined the term, all good coaches taught to split-step as long as I can remember in the '60's. I'm sure older players than I were taught to do so as well.

Kostas
12-30-2009, 08:37 AM
Cindy - I was going to play with you because I know you watch the Tennis Channel all the time and I saw one of their OMC's last night about the split step.

I went to the website but they don't have that one listed...

:-)

crystal_clear
12-30-2009, 08:46 AM
Don't give up Cindy. You are on your way to form the muscle memory for Split Step.

crystal_clear
12-30-2009, 09:24 AM
The best way to work on split-stepping is to just hit for rhythm, concentrating on split-step, hit, recover, and then split-step again to start the sequence over again. Make sure to hit at a pace where you cannot miss. If you recover before you need to split-step, just dance in-place until just before contact to do so.

Try:


Rallying DTM
FH CC
IOFH/BH CC
One player in the baseline corner, running the other side2side

What is DTM? IOFH? I don't get it.

Kostas
12-30-2009, 09:25 AM
What is DTM? IOFH? I don't get it.

Down the Middle and Inside-Out Forehand

bad_call
12-30-2009, 09:38 AM
I'd like to see the girl in this video actually play some real points. We'll see if all this (obviously well-practiced) complex instruction helps or hurts her game.

IMO if a player can move their feet like that then footwork wouldn't be an issue.

larry10s
12-30-2009, 09:51 AM
Any decent coach was teaching the split-step before the unit trun--a Jack Groppel term--way back in the early '80's. And before Groppel coined the term, all good coaches taught to split-step as long as I can remember in the '60's. I'm sure older players than I were taught to do so as well.

maybe i didnt get it:oops: its taken a long time to correct

TheLama
12-30-2009, 11:07 PM
What is DTM? IOFH? I don't get it.

Rallying: (DTM)...Down The Middle
FH CC....Forehand Cross Court
IOFH/BH CC.....Inside-out Forehand/Backhand Cross Court

Bud
12-30-2009, 11:10 PM
IMO if a player can move their feet like that then footwork wouldn't be an issue.

Yes, and why I'd like to see her translate that movement into a real match. It's obviously well-rehearsed and video-ready. Now, let's see the rubber hit the road :)

skiracer55
12-31-2009, 07:48 AM
I think I wasn't clear.

When I said I was "tired," I didn't mean "fatigued." I meant, "sick and tired." As in "Why can't I get this to be automatic?" I mean, I don't have to make a conscious effort to finish over my shoulder. Or point LH at incoming ball. So why won't the split step become automatic?

BHBH, that's an interesting idea about timing the split step. If anything, I wonder if I am doing it too soon rather than too late. Sometimes I feel like a parakeet on a perch, waiting for my opponent to hit the ball. This is especially a problem with S&V -- I feel frozen if I split before opponent hits.

Well, I am going off to play now. I think the theme of the day will be split-stepping. I will see if I can play for 90 minutes and never once forget to split. It would be such a relief if I can use my brain for something other than remembering to do a splitstep.

...in addition, consider the following:

- Before you think about how to split step or how to make it automatic, think about why you split step. There are really two reasons:

- First, so that you recenter your stance and balance so you can move either way. What if you already seen which way the passing shot is coming? Guess what...you don't have to split step! However...

- Reason #2 is that it's also important to recenter/reblance yourself so that you can step into the volley rather than run through it, which usually produces a miss hit. The split step, or something like it, therefore, helps you set up or prepare for the volley.

So where does that leave us? Well, consider the following:

- I, too, was having a problem with the split step when Dave Hodge was coaching me. I'd run, run, run, and split stop...clomp!...and come to a dead stop, then try to restart. Then I realized that you're not try to come to a stop, you're trying to slow down, gather yourself, then step into the volley...but it all needs to be part of a continuous movement pattern, and the feet have to keep moving.

It's a lot like playing hop scotch. You have to make the single-footed steps and the double-footed steps, but since the idea is to get through the steps the fastest, you have to keep moving...it's just at the double steps you
s l o w down your rhythm, then pick it up again in the single steps. So think about continuous steps, changing your rhythm at the split step, then changing it again as you step into the volley. I'd strongly recommend getting Pat Etcheberry's footwork DVD, because he has you working footwork patterns, not single steps....

- In general, don't think, just do. I just finished reading Open, and one of the cool things was something Steffi told Andre when he was struggling with his tennis and essentially overintellectualizing it. "Just feel what you're doing" she said, or words to that effect. Tennis, like skiing, like a lot of sports, is essentially a feel sport. Feel what your feet are doing on the court, feel what the ball is doing on the racket face, and a lot of things will sort themselves out without a lot of conscious thought.

TheLama
12-31-2009, 07:54 AM
.

I just finished reading Open, and one of the cool things was something Steffi told Andre when he was struggling with his tennis and essentially overintellectualizing it. "Just feel what you're doing" she said, or words to that effect. Tennis, like skiing, like a lot of sports, is essentially a feel sport. Feel what your feet are doing on the court, feel what the ball is doing on the racket face, and a lot of things will sort themselves out without a lot of conscious thought.

Yes, but at that level, everything is automatic.

I frequently say the same thing to all of my players, but they are also between 5.5-7.0. Talking about "feel" to solve problems always comes first.

However, if I work with a lesser player, there is need for a breakdown of technical info and much drilling to make it automatic, so that someday, when they get better, they can "feel".

Cindysphinx
12-31-2009, 02:03 PM
OK, I did 2 hour practice session with another lady today. I did what was suggested on this thread. Here's how it went.

I got two white wristbands and a sharpy. I wrote "split" on the reverse side of them (no sense ruining perfectly good wristbands, right?). Trouble is, I've never written on terrycloth before, and the first one wasn't very clear. When I put them on, one of them said "split" and the other one looked more like "sh*t." Great. Just great.

Anyway, I did find the wristbands helpful. I couldn't help seeing them before and after points. I think I will keep using them for a while. So thanks for that suggestion!

I also did the pendulum footwork in the video one of you posted, albeit with less vigor than the lady in the video. That was really helpful and seemed to require less energy than random movements or bouncing around. It was easy to stop that movement with a split than to try to split right out of the blue.

The most helpful thing, though, was that I *thought* about nothing but footwork for 2 straight hours. And I noticed some things:

1. I stop moving my feet during a rally much more often than I would have thought. Yikes.

2. When I hit a dodgy shot -- one close to the lines, one really deep, one with weird spin, a horrid floater that is going to get spanked -- I hesitate before recovering, or tend to get flat-footed, or tend to watch my shot. Utterly unhelpful.

3. The movements (or pendulum stepping) or recovery movements are just as important as the split step. It's like the split step is just one piece of a whole chain of things for effective movement. By itself, the split step doesn't achieve much. In conjunction with a good recovery and non-stop footwork, the split works beautifully in helping me achieve the goal of Overall Readiness To Play The Next Shot.

4. When I was fatigued, the first thing to go was the footwork while the ball was on the way to my opponent.

Again, thanks to all who commented. Maybe I'll get this sorted sooner rather than later. Next up -- doubles practice this weekend!

Cindysphinx
12-31-2009, 07:27 PM
Thanks, BB. I appreciate your previous post. Very nice.

Bungalo Bill
12-31-2009, 07:45 PM
Thanks, BB. I appreciate your previous post. Very nice.

Hey, you're very welcome. Hope it works out for you. Happy New Year!

TheLama
12-31-2009, 07:52 PM
Thanks, BB. I appreciate your previous post. Very nice.

One thing that I did not mention regarding split-step timing and good movement:

Your feet should be moving just as hard after contact to recover, as you did moving to hit. Additionally, as your ball is traveling to your opponent, you should be "dancing in-place", if you've already reached your optimal recovery position, and your opponent as not yet begun his/her swing to initiate your subsequent split-step process. It is very important for good rhythm.

Bungalo Bill
12-31-2009, 07:57 PM
One thing that I did not mention regarding split-step timing and good movement:

Your feet should be moving just as hard after contact to recover, as you did moving to hit.

Very true indeed.Don't dwell, keep moving.

Cindysphinx
01-01-2010, 07:44 AM
One thing that I did not mention regarding split-step timing and good movement:

Your feet should be moving just as hard after contact to recover, as you did moving to hit. Additionally, as your ball is traveling to your opponent, you should be "dancing in-place", if you've already reached your optimal recovery position, and your opponent as not yet begun his/her swing to initiate your subsequent split-step process. It is very important for good rhythm.

Yeah, that's where the pendulum step was helpful. It felt like I was doing this pendulum step thing, and it felt natural to stop when the opponent was about to hit. And the easiest way to stop was a split.

TheLama
01-01-2010, 10:20 AM
Yeah, that's where the pendulum step was helpful. It felt like I was doing this pendulum step thing, and it felt natural to stop when the opponent was about to hit. And the easiest way to stop was a split.

I looked back at the previous posts, because I am unfamiliar with the "pendulum step"--I assume that you mean dancing-in-place, side2side, from one foot to the other--which is what is always done at the highest level, especially in women's tennis.

As I looked at the previous posts, I saw that one poster mentioned jumping rope. Now I usually don't coach its use--because I almost exclusively work with male players and the ball speed is such that there never is any lag time--but of the three high level women's players that I coached who were in the Top 100, all had awesome footwork, and they all jumped rope, especially the one who was the best doubles player of the three.

Cindysphinx
01-01-2010, 12:04 PM
I called it "pendulum step" for lack of a better term. That side-to-side thing is something we used to do back in the 1980s in those Jane Fonda aerobics classes.

I don't know what you mean about jumping rope. Do you mean basically bouncing in place, with the split being the last bounce? If so, I would have more trouble with that, as there isn't as clear a demarcation between the jump rope step and the split as there is between the pendumlum step and split.

See what I mean?

TheLama
01-01-2010, 02:00 PM
I called it "pendulum step" for lack of a better term. That side-to-side thing is something we used to do back in the 1980s in those Jane Fonda aerobics classes.

I don't know what you mean about jumping rope. Do you mean basically bouncing in place, with the split being the last bounce? If so, I would have more trouble with that, as there isn't as clear a demarcation between the jump rope step and the split as there is between the pendumlum step and split.

See what I mean?

Sorry to be unclear.

I am saying that you should jump rope to train, everyday. Do so just before going on court, after you have performed your warming-up routine. However, if you just warm-up on-court, than jump rope after tennis and before you cool down.

crystal_clear
01-01-2010, 02:10 PM
One thing that I did not mention regarding split-step timing and good movement:

Your feet should be moving just as hard after contact to recover, as you did moving to hit. Additionally, as your ball is traveling to your opponent, you should be "dancing in-place", if you've already reached your optimal recovery position, and your opponent as not yet begun his/her swing to initiate your subsequent split-step process. It is very important for good rhythm.

I don't quite get this. :confused::confused:

crystal_clear
01-01-2010, 02:13 PM
Down the Middle and Inside-Out Forehand

Rallying: (DTM)...Down The Middle
FH CC....Forehand Cross Court
IOFH/BH CC.....Inside-out Forehand/Backhand Cross Court

Thank you~

crystal_clear
01-01-2010, 02:22 PM
Yes, but at that level, everything is automatic.

I frequently say the same thing to all of my players, but they are also between 5.5-7.0. Talking about "feel" to solve problems always comes first.

However, if I work with a lesser player, there is need for a breakdown of technical info and much drilling to make it automatic, so that someday, when they get better, they can "feel".
I like this explanation. People are able to "feel" at a certain level.

I hate someone told me to "feel" the car when I just started to learn how to drive.

It sounds like this person didn't know how to explain things or the person just wanted to make something mysterious.

crystal_clear
01-01-2010, 02:24 PM
How does juming rope improve split-step?

TheLama
01-01-2010, 04:34 PM
How does juming rope improve split-step?

It trains you to stay on your toes, so that it is easy to do so for long periods of time, which makes split-stepping easier.

However, my point was that these three female players moved exceptionally well, and they all jumped rope; there's a correlation.

TheLama
01-01-2010, 05:00 PM
I don't quite get this. :confused::confused:

Most people move hard to the hit, but not as they recover. Therefore, each time you move slow to recover, you will be late in starting to move to the next shot. As you are late for each subsequent ball, you will eventually lose the point through movement attrition, as you will finally be too off balance to control your final shot.

Dancing-in-Place: You called it a "Pendulum Step".

Optimal Recovery Position: This is the position on your side of the court which bisects your opponents maximum shot possibilities. This is a question for your coach, since it is best taught on-court, or as a diagram, which I cannot do here for you.

crystal_clear
01-01-2010, 05:02 PM
It trains you to stay on your toes, so that it is easy to do so for long periods of time, which makes split-stepping easier.

However, my point was that these three female players moved exceptionally well, and they all jumped rope; there's a correlation.

I see. I jumped rope less than five minutes just for warm-up before a match.

How many minutes do those three female players jump each time?

VaBeachTennis
01-01-2010, 05:08 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5qdFJ93j_s
watch even when hes relaxed he still shuffles his feet and split steps before his unit turn.( my pet peeve is when i started playing they didnt teach the split step as the FIRST move in preparation. instead the unit turn was taught)

He does make it look so easy. Notice the "fine" adjustments and movements he makes. I think some people who have problems with the split step are not being light on their feet and are making "gross" or exaggerated movements when situation doesn't warrant it.

TheLama
01-01-2010, 05:32 PM
I see. I jumped rope less than five minutes just for warm-up before a match.

How many minutes do those three female players jump each time?

5-10 minutes of jumping rope should be fine as a training period, but jumping rope should not be used as a warm-up.

The USTA has a warm-up section on their site. They call it Dynamic Stretching, but they are all basically martial arts exercises. You should take a look.

Topaz
01-01-2010, 06:01 PM
5-10 minutes of jumping rope should be fine as a training period, but jumping rope should not be used as a warm-up.

The USTA has a warm-up section on their site. They call it Dynamic Stretching, but they are all basically martial arts exercises. You should take a look.

Why can jump rope not be used as part of a warm up?

maverick66
01-01-2010, 06:11 PM
Why can jump rope not be used as part of a warm up?

Im actually interested to hear his reason because I disagree that you cant jump rope to warm up.

Topaz
01-01-2010, 06:41 PM
Im actually interested to hear his reason because I disagree that you cant jump rope to warm up.

I disagree as well, which is why I asked.

Bungalo Bill
01-01-2010, 06:58 PM
5-10 minutes of jumping rope should be fine as a training period, but jumping rope should not be used as a warm-up.

Is there a reason why this is not a good warm-up? Jump roping is used as a warm-up for athletics in general. I have not heard this is not good to do. I always thought good light jump roping to get your heart rate up is a good thing. I am not talking about power jump roping.

The USTA has a warm-up section on their site. They call it Dynamic Stretching, but they are all basically martial arts exercises. You should take a look.

Yes, dynamic stretching vs. static stretching. The benefits of dynamic stretching over static stretching for tennis is good.

crystal_clear
01-01-2010, 07:06 PM
5-10 minutes of jumping rope should be fine as a training period, but jumping rope should not be used as a warm-up.



Why not? Is it too violent? I find the five minutes of rope jump as effective dynamic warm-up (or I need to run around the court where there isn't much space on the indoor court .) followed by static stretch.

TheLama
01-01-2010, 07:25 PM
Is there a reason why this is not a good warm-up? Jump roping is used as a warm-up for athletics in general. I have not heard this is not good to do. I always thought good light jump roping to get your heart rate up is a good thing. I am not talking about power jump roping.



Yes, dynamic stretching vs. static stretching. The benefits of dynamic stretching over static stretching for tennis is good.

Training, and warming-up are not one in the same.

As far as jumping rope to warm-up: It's pretty difficult to "slow" jump rope. Therefore, IMO, you are jumping directly into training, and skipping the warm-up.

Secondly, the original poster is over 35-years old, and jumping rope puts stress on the achilles tendon, which is a big injury site for older athletes.

With that being said, I would not have my players in-general, jumping rope without a proper warm-up, as I haven't trained a player in the last 20 years who didn't have lower back issues, as it is inherent in competitive high level tennis, and jumping rope exacerbates the problem. Remember, I did state that I do not ask my players to do so, especially male players, but that three of the female players who I worked with, already did so. Injuries cost time, money, and ranking points. Be mindful that professional players usually have their own routines--that's how they got there--and female tennis players tend to be more resistant to change than male pros, and no, I don't know why, I have just experienced that they are, so if they jump rope without a problem, then there is no reason to fix what isn't broken.

Lastly, if you are not a serious player, you certainly do not want to get injured playing tennis, just so that your real world affairs are affected negatively.

Bungalo Bill
01-01-2010, 07:39 PM
Training, and warming-up are not one in the same.

As far as jumping rope to warm-up: It's pretty difficult to "slow" jump rope. Therefore, IMO, you are jumping directly into training, and skipping the warm-up.

Oh okay, so it is your opinion. Then I would disagree with you too.

Light jump rope can be used as a warm-up. If a player warms up well, I don't see an issue with light jump roping at all.

Secondly, the original poster is over 35-years old, and jumping rope puts stress on the achilles tendon, which is a big injury site for older athletes.

Well, I am 50 and still jump rope to warm-up. Geeez, we could say that for just playing tennis which can hammer the achilles and calf area. What running sport isn't?

With that being said, I would not have my players in-general, jumping rope without a proper warm-up, as I haven't trained a player in the last 20 years who didn't have lower back issues, as it is inherent in competitive high level tennis, and jumping rope exacerbates the problem.

I can see what you are saying, but we really aren't talking about jump rope training. That is a whole different story. We are just talking about getting a jump rope out of your bag and skipping a little to warm-up. A player does not have to make it a high impact in order warm-up with a jump rope.

Remember, I did state that I do not ask my players to do so, especially male players, but that three of the female players who I worked with, already did so. Injuries cost time, money, and ranking points. Be mindful that professional players usually have their own routines--that's how they got there--and female tennis players tend to be more resistant to change than male pros and no, I don't know why. I have just experienced that they do, so if they jump rope without a problem, then there is no reason to fix what isn't broken.

Ranking points? All I am saying is that warming up with a jump rope is not as bad as you are making it. I like that you aree concerned for your players and that is fine, but to say it is bad when you really have no evidence to support it except for what you perceive, well, I guess it will be a matter of preference.

Lastly, if you are not a serious player, you certainly do not want to get injured playing tennis, just so that your real world affairs are affected negatively.

Man, really now. Why would anyone want to get injured? Isn't exercise and the things we do, helping us prevent injury? If I got my jump rope out and did some like jump roping for THREE MINUTES, is this really something to blow out of porportion?

Topaz
01-01-2010, 07:56 PM
Training, and warming-up are not one in the same.

As far as jumping rope to warm-up: It's pretty difficult to "slow" jump rope. Therefore, IMO, you are jumping directly into training, and skipping the warm-up.

Secondly, the original poster is over 35-years old, and jumping rope puts stress on the achilles tendon, which is a big injury site for older athletes.

With that being said, I would not have my players in-general, jumping rope without a proper warm-up, as I haven't trained a player in the last 20 years who didn't have lower back issues, as it is inherent in competitive high level tennis, and jumping rope exacerbates the problem. Remember, I did state that I do not ask my players to do so, especially male players, but that three of the female players who I worked with, already did so. Injuries cost time, money, and ranking points. Be mindful that professional players usually have their own routines--that's how they got there--and female tennis players tend to be more resistant to change than male pros, and no, I don't know why, I have just experienced that they are, so if they jump rope without a problem, then there is no reason to fix what isn't broken.

Lastly, if you are not a serious player, you certainly do not want to get injured playing tennis, just so that your real world affairs are affected negatively.

Yes, most of us realize training and warm-up are different, but the idea that jump roping can not be used as part of an effective warm up is just wrong IMO.

And age should not be the determining factor in what a person can or can not do...there are plenty of players on this forum who are over 35 and in much better shape than the 20-somethings. (Chess springs instantly to mind, as does Moz)

As far as 'slow' jumping...couldn't it just be the difference between double skips and single skips, and/or just jumping lighter and lower?

I don't mean to pick on you so specifically...you've certainly offered a lot of great advice in this thread. Cindy may be over 35, but she's in excellent shape. However, I do know that she's posted about PF problems as well as knee problems, so jump roping may not be the best choice for her, but that doesn't mean others couldn't implement it quite effectively. (Cindy, any knee updates?!?)

Personally, in my own experience (female, and turning 35 on Tuesday!), I've been told (by a soft tissue sports specialist) that my lower back problems are a result of tight hamstrings (quite common in females, who are usually much more quad dominant). Working with my pro, we've found some areas in the technique of my strokes that could be contributing to that as well. I jump rope regularly, though, and never, ever feel pain in my back while jumping. I'm curious as to why you think jump roping exacerbates lower back pain?

Like you said, if it isn't broken, don't fix it! But I don't think 'older' (and I use that term loosely here!) players should shy away from something like jump roping if they don't have any condition that would prohibit the exercise...which is so basic, cheap, and generally a great exercise! But I also agree that, as we get older, we need to take care and not 'over do' (which many of us are prone to do)...because injuries are never any fun!

ProfoundBasic
01-01-2010, 07:58 PM
Any decent coach was teaching the split-step before the unit trun--a Jack Groppel term--way back in the early '80's. And before Groppel coined the term, all good coaches taught to split-step as long as I can remember in the '60's. I'm sure older players than I were taught to do so as well.

TheLama,
In '60's and '70's, there is no 'split-step' term!
What did we call 'the move (step)' back then?

Cindy,
Perhaps, you have learned the incorrect step of 'split-step'.
What is the exact movements of the 'spite-step'? Had Jack Groppel or anyone defined it well?

I have seen many players tired of thinking about a split step. To these players, I told them to forget about 'split-step' and just practice on 'ready, set, go'; you will find the 'feel' of the 'set' movements on your feet. When you can do the 'set' well, in tennis playing or dancing or any sports, you dont need to think about 'split-step' at all.

TheLama
01-01-2010, 08:28 PM
TheLama,
In '60's and '70's, there is no 'split-step' term!
What did we call 'the move (step)' back then?

Cindy,
Perhaps, you have learned the incorrect step of 'split-step'.
What is the exact movements of the 'spite-step'? Had Jack Groppel or anyone defined it well?

I have seen many players tired of thinking about a split step. To these players, I told them to forget about 'split-step' and just practice on 'ready, set, go'; you will find the 'feel' of the 'set' movements on your feet. When you can do the 'set' well, in tennis playing or dancing or any sports, you dont need to think about 'split-step' at all.

I always remember split-step, and I never had to be taught to do so. I played at a very competitive level as soon as I got serious in competing at 12-years old, and the term was only mentioned to me in the context of timing, once I started working Serve/Volley and Chip-n-Charge.

TheLama
01-01-2010, 08:36 PM
Yes, most of us realize training and warm-up are different, but the idea that jump roping can not be used as part of an effective warm up is just wrong IMO.

And age should not be the determining factor in what a person can or can not do...there are plenty of players on this forum who are over 35 and in much better shape than the 20-somethings. (Chess springs instantly to mind, as does Moz)

As far as 'slow' jumping...couldn't it just be the difference between double skips and single skips, and/or just jumping lighter and lower?

I don't mean to pick on you so specifically...you've certainly offered a lot of great advice in this thread. Cindy may be over 35, but she's in excellent shape. However, I do know that she's posted about PF problems as well as knee problems, so jump roping may not be the best choice for her, but that doesn't mean others couldn't implement it quite effectively. (Cindy, any knee updates?!?)

Personally, in my own experience (female, and turning 35 on Tuesday!), I've been told (by a soft tissue sports specialist) that my lower back problems are a result of tight hamstrings (quite common in females, who are usually much more quad dominant). Working with my pro, we've found some areas in the technique of my strokes that could be contributing to that as well. I jump rope regularly, though, and never, ever feel pain in my back while jumping. I'm curious as to why you think jump roping exacerbates lower back pain?

Like you said, if it isn't broken, don't fix it! But I don't think 'older' (and I use that term loosely here!) players should shy away from something like jump roping if they don't have any condition that would prohibit the exercise...which is so basic, cheap, and generally a great exercise! But I also agree that, as we get older, we need to take care and not 'over do' (which many of us are prone to do)...because injuries are never any fun!

Lower back issues which are not structural usually comes from the ground up, as yours does. With tennis players, calves and hammies are usually the problem area, and jumping rope tightens the calves.

If Cindy has knee issues, then she should also be cautious as she trains footwork, because older players--as defined by when you lose your ability to fully recover after an average match for the following round--are susceptible to bursar issues and ACL tears.

TennisCoachFLA
01-01-2010, 08:40 PM
TheLama is 100% correct.

Jump rope for warm up? On what planet? I have seen even young boxers go through a warm up first, THEN jump rope. Just because some posters do it and don't see negative effects right away does not mean its good for them.

Anyway, you are not only correct but have the same opinion on jumping rope as they do at IMG, Macci's, Evert's, and Sanchez-Casal.

At those places jumping rope is used for various purposes....AFTER a player is totally warmed up using other means. If a poster wants to jump rope for their own personal warmup, oh well. But advising others when the experts don't is irresponsible.

TheLama
01-01-2010, 08:45 PM
Oh okay, so it is your opinion. Then I would disagree with you too.

Light jump rope can be used as a warm-up. If a player warms up well, I don't see an issue with light jump roping at all.



Well, I am 50 and still jump rope to warm-up. Geeez, we could say that for just playing tennis which can hammer the achilles and calf area. What running sport isn't?



I can see what you are saying, but we really aren't talking about jump rope training. That is a whole different story. We are just talking about getting a jump rope out of your bag and skipping a little to warm-up. A player does not have to make it a high impact in order warm-up with a jump rope.



Ranking points? All I am saying is that warming up with a jump rope is not as bad as you are making it. I like that you aree concerned for your players and that is fine, but to say it is bad when you really have no evidence to support it except for what you perceive, well, I guess it will be a matter of preference.



Man, really now. Why would anyone want to get injured? Isn't exercise and the things we do, helping us prevent injury? If I got my jump rope out and did some like jump roping for THREE MINUTES, is this really something to blow out of porportion?

Whatever works for you. At 50-years old, you should know what works, what breaks down, and what is already broken. As I specifically stated, if it isn't broken....

But when I work with players, I only bring them to sit on the top of the precipice at very select events. Otherwise, the old, "better safe than sorry", is the rule that I follow, as junior's college admission and/or athletic scholarships are too life altering; collegiate tennis and its relationship to further careers are too important; and pro careers are just too short for me to be gambling with. My job is to help them win with the best that they can bring to the court, not what we are willing to gamble with at the table.

TennisCoachFLA
01-01-2010, 08:47 PM
Whatever works for you. At 50-years old, you should know what works, what breaks down, and what is already broken. As I specifically stated, if it isn't broken....

But when I work with players, I only bring them to sit on the top of the precipice at very select events. Otherwise, the old, "better safe than sorry", is the rule that I follow, as junior's college admission and/or athletic scholarships are too life altering; collegiate tennis and its relationship to further careers are too important; and pro careers are just too short for me to be gambling with.

With you 100%. Keep up the solid advice. This forum has enough of the bad advice for sure.

TheLama
01-01-2010, 08:56 PM
TheLama is 100% correct.

Jump rope for warm up? On what planet? I have seen even young boxers go through a warm up first, THEN jump rope. Just because some posters do it and don't see negative effects right away does not mean its good for them.

Anyway, you are not only correct but have the same opinion on jumping rope as they do at IMG, Macci's, Evert's, and Sanchez-Casal.

At those places jumping rope is used for various purposes....AFTER a player is totally warmed up using other means. If a poster wants to jump rope for their own personal warmup, oh well. But advising others when the experts don't is irresponsible.

I adopted my coaching opinion about jumping rope for three reasons:

Firstly, I personally developed shin-splints as a player, and lost a major sponsor who did not understand that being afflicted due to jumping rope was common. Secondly, my lower back tightened up as a result of using this training method on hardcourt, and so did any of my players who did so, including the three female players--but they all refused to stop because the benefits outweighed the side-effects in their opinion. Thirdly, I use to box with Golden Glovers, and practiced Chinese martial arts to cross train, and none of their managers nor my master would let anyone jump rope until after being properly warmed up.

Topaz
01-01-2010, 10:20 PM
With you 100%. Keep up the solid advice. This forum has enough of the bad advice for sure.

And sometimes there is more than one 'right' advice, as well.

Cindysphinx
01-01-2010, 10:23 PM
No jumping rope for me, sorry.

I don't know what it is, but I just can't do it. I feel a lot of strain, and I get a headache. Didn't have the problem as a kid, but that sort of bouncing bothers me. It also annoys me, like fingernails on a blackboard.

Weird, I know, but there you go.

TheLama
01-01-2010, 10:39 PM
No jumping rope for me, sorry.

I don't know what it is, but I just can't do it. I feel a lot of strain, and I get a headache. Didn't have the problem as a kid, but that sort of bouncing bothers me. It also annoys me, like fingernails on a blackboard.

Weird, I know, but there you go.

Then you should absolutely not do it.

Running in place would also be just as bad, but alternating left and right, as most players do while waiting for their opponent to strike the ball, should hopefully be OK.

rxs10is
01-02-2010, 12:52 AM
Lower back issues which are not structural usually comes from the ground up, as yours does. With tennis players, calves and hammies are usually the problem area, and jumping rope tightens the calves.

If Cindy has knee issues, then she should also be cautious as she trains footwork, because older players--as defined by when you lose your ability to fully recover after an average match for the following round--are susceptible to bursar issues and ACL tears.

Good advice, Lama. For some reason, skipping rope doesn't bother me, even thought I am 6'4" and heavily muscled. My friend, who is much smaller and lighter at under 6' never skips rope because it hurts his knees... but damn, he covers the court pretty good! He sprints to warm up... go figure. :confused: I would have thought sprinting would be much harder on the knees than skipping rope.

Swissv2
01-02-2010, 01:08 AM
Not being able to do a split-step consistently is hard because its not a habit yet. Let us know how you do over time.

larry10s
01-02-2010, 05:28 AM
When the ball is traveling towards you, remembering to split-step may be difficult at first. .

you should already have split step by then:confused:

Cindysphinx
01-02-2010, 07:21 AM
Then you should absolutely not do it.

Running in place would also be just as bad, but alternating left and right, as most players do while waiting for their opponent to strike the ball, should hopefully be OK.

I'd never sprint to warm up regardless of the situation with my knees. That would be like warming up your car by burning rubber out of your driveway. :)

For whatever reason, straight-ahead running doesn't bother my knees and never has. Jumping, side-stepping, cross-overs -- all of that other stuff in tennis -- does mother me. And for some reason, playing on clay is making me unhappy too. I think the unexpected twisting and suchlike (e.g. stopping on one of the lines) causes extra strain or something.

TheLama
01-02-2010, 07:32 AM
I'd never sprint to warm up regardless of the situation with my knees. That would be like warming up your car by burning rubber out of your driveway. :)

For whatever reason, straight-ahead running doesn't bother my knees and never has. Jumping, side-stepping, cross-overs -- all of that other stuff in tennis -- does mother me. And for some reason, playing on clay is making me unhappy too. I think the unexpected twisting and suchlike (e.g. stopping on one of the lines) causes extra strain or something.

You need to get them checked out. Again, my experience is more with male players, but many of my female players have had similar complaints, and are under 20-years old, but play and train for hours per day and travel constantly to compete.

If you're fortunate, just some quad and hamstring work may do the trick and take away your pain. If you have loose ligaments, which is very possible at your age--don't stress as I am older than you--you must do these weight training exercises to tighten things-up, just to stabilize the joint, because there is nothing that you can do to tighten-up your ligaments, short of surgery. Also, make sure that they check for muscle imbalances, such as extra tight hamstrings or IT band.

Topaz
01-02-2010, 07:40 AM
^^^Women's anatomical differences in the hip girdle make us more susceptible to knee injuries...could be why you see that so much more with your female athletes.

Cindy, do you have/use a foam roller?

TheLama
01-02-2010, 07:55 AM
^^^Women's anatomical differences in the hip girdle make us more susceptible to knee injuries...could be why you see that so much more with your female athletes.

Cindy, do you have/use a foam roller?

Correct and good idea regarding the roller! But that shouldn't exclude you getting your knees checked-out. OK?

Topaz
01-02-2010, 08:04 AM
^^^you mean, Cindy, right? My knees are ok (*knockonwood*).

That's why I asked her earlier...she had a post about her knees (she has had them looked at), and I was wondering if there was an update. I think she was considering surgery for torn meniscus, but I'm not sure if I'm remembering correctly.

The foam roller has been a god-send for me. We should probably ALL be using one!

Spinz
01-02-2010, 08:10 AM
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1993893/?tool=pmcentrez

This article talks about female athletes and knee issues. Many female athletes take a proactive approach and use braces and/or alter training on certain days.

TheLama
01-02-2010, 08:33 AM
^^^you mean, Cindy, right? My knees are ok (*knockonwood*).

That's why I asked her earlier...she had a post about her knees (she has had them looked at), and I was wondering if there was an update. I think she was considering surgery for torn meniscus, but I'm not sure if I'm remembering correctly.

The foam roller has been a god-send for me. We should probably ALL be using one!

If she has a torn meniscus, and loves tennis as much as she apparently does, then she needs to get the operation, work on rehabing the joint, and then go on a weight training program so that it never happens again. Lastly, if the problem is due to not being in the best of shape, then diet and nutrition need to be looked at as well.

Topaz
01-02-2010, 09:10 AM
^^^Cindy's in great shape (I've had the pleasure of meeting her in person)...and I think she was also debating the 'when' as well as the 'if' of the surgery.

I grew up watching my dad go through many, many knee problems and surgeries...learned my lesson at a young age! He ended up having to give up things like skiing and running all together, but then became a kick-azz cyclist!

TheLama
01-02-2010, 09:30 AM
^^^Cindy's in great shape (I've had the pleasure of meeting her in person)...and I think she was also debating the 'when' as well as the 'if' of the surgery.

I grew up watching my dad go through many, many knee problems and surgeries...learned my lesson at a young age! He ended up having to give up things like skiing and running all together, but then became a kick-azz cyclist!

Then she will recover very quickly. Its too bad having a meniscus problem, it is quite painful. I've always had big legs, so my knees were never an issue.

Cycling is great for knees. Great for your dad!

Cindysphinx
01-02-2010, 12:45 PM
Yeah, I have chronic knee problems. It's always something. This time around, I have been checked out and they don't know what is wrong. I think it is a meniscus. I'm planning on getting the surgery at the end of the spring season.

Doc's advice was play as long as you want until it hurts too much; come back for surgery when you're ready.

Thanks for the kind words, Topaz. I don't know about "great shape." I seem to be in perpetual decline. :(

Swissv2
01-02-2010, 01:14 PM
you should already have split step by then:confused:
Miss-worded that. I meant when opponent makes contact with the ball, one should split step.

crystal_clear
01-02-2010, 03:00 PM
If you're fortunate, just some quad and hamstring work may do the trick and take away your pain. If you have loose ligaments, which is very possible at your age--don't stress as I am older than you--you must do these weight training exercises to tighten things-up, just to stabilize the joint, because there is nothing that you can do to tighten-up your ligaments, short of surgery. Also, make sure that they check for muscle imbalances, such as extra tight hamstrings or IT band.
Well said~

Whoever has knee problems should try to improve quad and hamstring strength to stabilize the joint.

What is IT band?

Topaz
01-02-2010, 04:07 PM
Well said~

Whoever has knee problems should try to improve quad and hamstring strength to stabilize the joint.

What is IT band?

IT band is the iliotibial band, a band of fibrous tissues which run from your hip joint to your knee along the outer thigh. It is commonly a site of inflammation (and knots), which results in pain felt on the outside of the knee. Another tell-tale sign of IT problems are if you feel the pain when you go *down* stairs. It is a common issue for runners. Stretches, orthotics, different shoes, and using a foam roller can correct and alleviate the problem, though I've known runners who've had to go under the knife to have it 'released'.

I've had issues with it when training for longer road races, and it will pop up from time to time during tennis, but only when I'm also running. I started using a foam roller last fall, and have had no further problems (though I haven't been running either).

Lots more info about ITB syndrome and foam rolling can be found through google.

TheLama
01-02-2010, 06:04 PM
Yeah, I have chronic knee problems. It's always something. This time around, I have been checked out and they don't know what is wrong. I think it is a meniscus. I'm planning on getting the surgery at the end of the spring season.

Doc's advice was play as long as you want until it hurts too much; come back for surgery when you're ready.

Thanks for the kind words, Topaz. I don't know about "great shape." I seem to be in perpetual decline. :(

The younger and healthier you are, the better the time it is to get surgery. Winter is also better because you play less, and when you do, injuries are magnified due to the cold. You are usually also less active, which is good, because active people tend to be impatient, which impairs recovery.

Cindysphinx
01-02-2010, 07:08 PM
The younger and healthier you are, the better the time it is to get surgery. Winter is also better because you play less, and when you do, injuries are magnified due to the cold. You are usually also less active, which is good, because active people tend to be impatient, which impairs recovery.

Well . . . I don't know about the whole winter thing. I don't play less in winter. I'll be on 3-4 teams this winter, but only 1-2 in the spring/summer. Also, I think rehab is tougher because it is flippin' cold outside in the winter.

And let's hope I'll be just as young and healthy in five months as I am now. If not, my knee will likely be the least of my concerns. :)

Anyway, I decided to wait until spring, and there's no turning back now . . .

crystal_clear
01-02-2010, 07:20 PM
IT band is the iliotibial band, a band of fibrous tissues which run from your hip joint to your knee along the outer thigh. It is commonly a site of inflammation (and knots), which results in pain felt on the outside of the knee. Another tell-tale sign of IT problems are if you feel the pain when you go *down* stairs. It is a common issue for runners. Stretches, orthotics, different shoes, and using a foam roller can correct and alleviate the problem, though I've known runners who've had to go under the knife to have it 'released'.

I've had issues with it when training for longer road races, and it will pop up from time to time during tennis, but only when I'm also running. I started using a foam roller last fall, and have had no further problems (though I haven't been running either).

Lots more info about ITB syndrome and foam rolling can be found through google.

Thanks Topaz for the detailed info.

crystal_clear
01-02-2010, 07:29 PM
Most people move hard to the hit, but not as they recover. Therefore, each time you move slow to recover, you will be late in starting to move to the next shot. As you are late for each subsequent ball, you will eventually lose the point through movement attrition, as you will finally be too off balance to control your final shot.

Dancing-in-Place: You called it a "Pendulum Step".

Optimal Recovery Position: This is the position on your side of the court which bisects your opponents maximum shot possibilities. This is a question for your coach, since it is best taught on-court, or as a diagram, which I cannot do here for you.

Thank Lama for the explanation. I think I do recover slow.

crystal_clear
01-02-2010, 07:34 PM
Training, and warming-up are not one in the same.

As far as jumping rope to warm-up: It's pretty difficult to "slow" jump rope. Therefore, IMO, you are jumping directly into training, and skipping the warm-up.



Actually I can "slow" jump rope by alternating right and left foot touching the ground like running on the same spot.

crystal_clear
01-02-2010, 07:39 PM
I have a question. How can playing tennis (which posture) hurt the low back? What exercise can prevent the injury?

TheLama
01-03-2010, 01:15 AM
I have a question. How can playing tennis (which posture) hurt the low back? What exercise can prevent the injury?

You can protect your lower back, and you knees, by making sure that your knees are always bent, this way, when you turn your shoulders to prepare to hit, you hips, which are a ball-and-socket joint, absorb all of the stress, as opposed to L 3/4/5, and your knees, which are not designed to be twisted, but to be only moved in one direction.

Do squats, with or without resistance to train for getting low.

tennytive
01-03-2010, 07:13 AM
I thought a split step was only really necessary when on the run, such as when following a serve in to the net.

The rest of the time it would seem to me that maintaining your ready position should be sufficient as long as you can anticipate where your opponent is most likely to return your last shot. Up on the balls of your feet and balanced to move toward the ball is more important than whether or not you split step before each return. It sounds like you play more than anyone here, so it should only be a matter of time before it becomes a habit.

Athletes are trained to react, not overthink, so you may be trying too hard. Just play and let it come to you. Eventually it will.

If you have to think about every move you make, then maybe chess is the game for you. ;-)

LeeD
01-03-2010, 10:02 AM
Basically, split step is another phrase for READY POSITION.
If you don't know where your opponent is hitting the ball, the ready position is feet 22" apart, body facing the opponent, hand held waist high, rackethead just below your chin.
When you're run out into the doubles alley, you don't need a split step or ready position, you KNOW they're hitting into your open court.

crystal_clear
01-03-2010, 02:32 PM
You can protect your lower back, and you knees, by making sure that your knees are always bent, this way, when you turn your shoulders to prepare to hit, you hips, which are a ball-and-socket joint, absorb all of the stress, as opposed to L 3/4/5, and your knees, which are not designed to be twisted, but to be only moved in one direction.

Do squats, with or without resistance to train for getting low.

Thanks lama. It makes a lot of senses. Knee bent is important not only to store energy but also to protect knees.

Do kick serves hurt the back/low back?

TheLama
01-03-2010, 02:40 PM
I thought a split step was only really necessary when on the run, such as when following a serve in to the net.

The rest of the time it would seem to me that maintaining your ready position should be sufficient as long as you can anticipate where your opponent is most likely to return your last shot. Up on the balls of your feet and balanced to move toward the ball is more important than whether or not you split step before each return. It sounds like you play more than anyone here, so it should only be a matter of time before it becomes a habit.

Athletes are trained to react, not overthink, so you may be trying too hard. Just play and let it come to you. Eventually it will.

If you have to think about every move you make, then maybe chess is the game for you. ;-)

A split-step or a hop has to be performed just before your opponent contacts the ball if you want to move into position for your shot having the most amount of time to do so, especially on a faster court.

At the highest levels of play, the ball reaches your side of the net between .8-1.0 seconds. Reacting once you see where the ball is going, is already too late. You should already be moving to where the ball is headed before your opponents ball crosses his own service line.

Anticipating your opponent's shot is also critical, and by the fourth service game, including your observations during the warm-up, you should know all of your opponent's shot selection capabilities, his likes and dislikes, and his predilections of the two. That, tied into proper movement with a split-step, is what allows you to flow and to play with balance.

Lastly, players think all of the time while training, unless they are only going through the motions. A player can frequently work on something for months, before it can be used in a match situation automatically.

TheLama
01-04-2010, 08:55 AM
Thanks lama. It makes a lot of senses. Knee bent is important not only to store energy but also to protect knees.

Do kick serves hurt the back/low back?

It depends on how you hit your kick serve. Some players can bend their knees enough with their backs straight while they toss the ball behind them, and some do so with both their back and knees. If its the latter, you may aggravate an existing condition, but to actually get injured, IMO, you must have a weakness there to begin with.

skiracer55
01-04-2010, 09:33 AM
...I do all the gym rat stuff, but in the summer, I alternate days on the court with something like 50 miles or so a week on the road bike. Also mountain biking, when I can, which is really good balance and quickness training as well as strength and aerobics. A lot of days after something like two hard hours on court, I will cool down with an easy to moderate 15 to 20 mile jaunt on the road bike, which helps strengthen all the muscles and stuff that support the knees and seems to help strengthen and unkink my back. I did Ride the Rockies this year (380 miles in 6 days over 3 major Colorado mountain passes), and I really felt stronger and quicker on the court after the ride.

In the winter, I try to ride when the roads permit, sometimes we can play tennis outdoors, but mostly I'm a Masters Alpine ski racer. I'm on snow 4 to 5 days a week, training, free skiing, or racing. Slalom, especially, helps my quickness for S&V tennis, which is what I prefer. The main thing is that I don't feel like have to work at the cross-training stuff I do, it's just play in another form just like playing on a tennis court. And after a long winter of mostly skiing, I'm really antsy to get back on the court again...

crystal_clear
01-04-2010, 09:40 AM
It depends on how you hit your kick serve. Some players can bend their knees enough with their backs straight while they toss the ball behind them, and some do so with both their back and knees. If its the latter, you may aggravate an existing condition, but to actually get injured, IMO, you must have a weakness there to begin with.

I see. Keep back straight when serving is a better way unless you have a flexible back like Djokovic.

Both Roddick and Federer keep their backs straight while Djokovic bent his back as well as knees.
Andy Roddick
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91IxRV4RDt8
Roger Federer
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HW4-7uhUjdI
Novak Djokovic
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ShF5LVCi7zI

TheLama
01-05-2010, 03:07 AM
I see. Keep back straight when serving is a better way unless you have a flexible back like Djokovic.

Both Roddick and Federer keep their backs straight while Djokovic bent his back as well as knees.
Andy Roddick
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91IxRV4RDt8
Roger Federer
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HW4-7uhUjdI
Novak Djokovic
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ShF5LVCi7zI

And both Roddick and Federer have had multiple back issues which they must protect.

smoothtennis
01-05-2010, 07:55 AM
Hey Cindy,

I'd suggest to you that at our age we are better off splitting as the ball bounces on the other side of the court. This gives you more time to adjust to the ball your opponent will produce.

Best,

BHBH

Not sure I agree with this advice. Sounds good on paper, but honestly, if she split-steps too soon BEFORE the opponent strikes the ball, her weight will already be planted again when the ball comes off the strings. A tiny hop is all that is needed here and when her weight hits the court, her feet should already know which direction they are going.

TheLama
01-05-2010, 12:15 PM
Not sure I agree with this advice. Sounds good on paper, but honestly, if she split-steps too soon BEFORE the opponent strikes the ball, her weight will already be planted again when the ball comes off the strings. A tiny hop is all that is needed here and when her weight hits the court, her feet should already know which direction they are going.

For sure. Earlier posts mentioned the same.

Bungalo Bill
01-05-2010, 03:33 PM
TheLama is 100% correct.

Jump rope for warm up? On what planet? I have seen even young boxers go through a warm up first, THEN jump rope. Just because some posters do it and don't see negative effects right away does not mean its good for them.

Anyway, you are not only correct but have the same opinion on jumping rope as they do at IMG, Macci's, Evert's, and Sanchez-Casal.

At those places jumping rope is used for various purposes....AFTER a player is totally warmed up using other means. If a poster wants to jump rope for their own personal warmup, oh well. But advising others when the experts don't is irresponsible.

Actually Lama isnt 100% correct. If he was, he would have sources and all 100% of the sources would agree.

Further, we aren't talking about hardcore jump roping, we are simply talking about a light skip over a rope to get the heart rate up.

This is conjunction with other warm-up activities as well such as dynamic stretching, etc...

So actually because you indicated no error in Lama's opinion (and that is all it is) you are wrong.

I know you are new to tennis but just in case you didn't know, a WARM-UP can be a mix of:

1. Dynamic stretching

2. Light jump roping

3. Stationary cycling

Further, a warm-up can take place for 10 minutes, 15 minutes or eve 30 minutes.

The point to a warm-up is you warm-up gradually and this will also be dictated by the current physical and health condition of the athlete.

Basic stuff.

Bottom-line the use of a jump rope in warm-up is perfectly fine. Athletes do not overdo it and use it simply to get their heart rate up and for other benefits. This is one tool out of many an athlete can use to warm-up.

Bungalo Bill
01-05-2010, 03:51 PM
Whatever works for you. At 50-years old, you should know what works, what breaks down, and what is already broken. As I specifically stated, if it isn't broken....

But that is the point. People can warm-up with a jump rope if they can. It is not as hard on the body as you have implied. We are not talking about jump rope training. We are simply talking about using a jump rope during a persons warm-up.

But when I work with players, I only bring them to sit on the top of the precipice at very select events. Otherwise, the old, "better safe than sorry", is the rule that I follow, as junior's college admission and/or athletic scholarships are too life altering; collegiate tennis and its relationship to further careers are too important; and pro careers are just too short for me to be gambling with. My job is to help them win with the best that they can bring to the court, not what we are willing to gamble with at the table.

Well that is great. I am glad you are helping them win. You should be helping them win. That is your job.

However, when you waltz in here claiming the sky is falling for any athlete to not use a jump rope for warm-up which you can not prove nor have studies on it, you are blowing things out of proportion and is an unfounded opinion.

Many of us here have taught athletes and have been trained at tennis and coaching. And since jump rope is a common activity across a variety of sports, many of us can use our background and experience with the exercise to make an informed decision.

What you did not include in your opiniated is that it isn't a light jump rope that is the culprit to injury but poor technique and bad posture.

The same can be said about cycling. If you use poor technique, posture, and don't setup the bike up right, you increase the risk of injury.

The point to warm-up is you can gradually increase the exercises in a warm-up. There is nothing wrong with someone performing dynamic stretching and then some light jump rope for 2 -3 minutes. Absolutely nothing.

TennisCoachFLA
01-05-2010, 03:56 PM
But that is the point. People can warm-up with a jump rope if they can. It is not as hard on the body as you have implied. We are not talking about jump rope training. We are simply talking about using a jump rope during a persons warm-up.



Well that is great. I am glad you are helping them win. You should be helping them win. That is your job.

However, when you waltz in here claiming the sky is falling for any athlete to not use a jump rope for warm-up which you can not prove nor have studies on it, you are blowing things out of proportion and is an unfounded opinion.

Many of us here have taught athletes and have been trained at tennis and coaching. And since jump rope is a common activity across a variety of sports, many of us can use our background and experience with the exercise to make an informed decision.

What you did not included in your hyopthesis is that it isn't a light jump rope that is the culprit to injury but poor technique and bad posture.

The same can be said about cycling. If you use poor technique, posture, and don't setup the bike right, this can put a lot of unnessary pressure on the knees.

Yawn, more finding a way to argue with anyone who disagrees. Jump rope all you want for warmups.

I will go with the opinion of the IMG program, the Saddlebrook program, the Macci program, the program from 17 NCAA titles coach Dick Gould, the Sanchez-Casal program.

Every one of those programs specifically instructs players to not use jumping rope as part of a warm up.

But whatever pal, bluster away if it gets you feeling happy. You have a few poor souls here who actually can not see through your nonsense. Go preach to that choir!

Bungalo Bill
01-05-2010, 04:01 PM
Yawn, more finding a way to argue with anyone who disagrees. Jump rope all you want for warmups.

I will go with the opinion of the IMG program, the Saddlebrook program, the Macci program, the program from 17 NCAA titles coach Dick Gould, the Sanchez-Casal program.

Hahahahahaham, opinion? Who gives a darn!!!! I could care less of your little name dropping garbage.

Answer the question or provide the proof. If you can't then I would suggest not posting.

You are in an area you have no idea about. All you do is post what others have told you. You can't think for yourself can you.

Every one of those programs specifically instructs players to not use jumping rope as part of a warm up.

But whatever pal, bluster away if it gets you feeling happy. You have a few poor souls here who actually can not see through your nonsense. Go preach to that choir!

Whatever man!!! You have nothing except for your little name dropping! SHOW THE PROOF!!!!!

This is like basic stuff!!! Here is a five minute warm-up!!! My gosh this is easy.

1. Dynamic stretching: 3- 4 minutes.

2. Light jump rope: 1 minute

Done.

Bungalo Bill
01-05-2010, 04:13 PM
For those of you following this stuff on jump roping, it is utter nonsense to think you can not incorporate some jump rope in your warm-up.

We aren't talking about performing radical moves with the rope and leaping off the ground to turn the rope three times underneath you before landing. We are talking about performing summersaults in the air over your grandmother and landing on hard cement either

We are simply talking about using the jump rope to help increase blood flow and oxygen in your system. We are also talking about using a jump rope with dynamic stretching as well.

You always want to stretch the body and then use the jump rope for what I mentioned above. You should stretch no matter what and it should be a regular routine for your warm-up.

For those of you that want to incorporate a little jump rope in your wamr-up go ahead and do so.

Make sure you are skipping rope and not jumping rope. Feet should come off the ground no more than 1-2 inches.

I also do not recommend weighted ropes and that adds strain to the elbow and wrist area. Just get a good regular jump rope.

The key to preventing injury while using a jump rope is your posture while doing it. Again, we aren't talking about radical exercises performed with the jump rope.

It can be as light as turning the rope over back and forth without skipping over it and lightly coming off your heels. 'once you get your rythym and feel you are warmed-up you can then skip rope for 2 minutes or so and that is that.

Again, we aren't talking about starting cold and then jumping real high and fast right away.

We are simply talking about warm-up.

TheLama
01-05-2010, 04:58 PM
But that is the point. People can warm-up with a jump rope if they can. It is not as hard on the body as you have implied. We are not talking about jump rope training. We are simply talking about using a jump rope during a persons warm-up.



Well that is great. I am glad you are helping them win. You should be helping them win. That is your job.

However, when you waltz in here claiming the sky is falling for any athlete to not use a jump rope for warm-up which you can not prove nor have studies on it, you are blowing things out of proportion and is an unfounded opinion.

Many of us here have taught athletes and have been trained at tennis and coaching. And since jump rope is a common activity across a variety of sports, many of us can use our background and experience with the exercise to make an informed decision.

What you did not include in your opiniated is that it isn't a light jump rope that is the culprit to injury but poor technique and bad posture.

The same can be said about cycling. If you use poor technique, posture, and don't setup the bike up right, you increase the risk of injury.

The point to warm-up is you can gradually increase the exercises in a warm-up. There is nothing wrong with someone performing dynamic stretching and then some light jump rope for 2 -3 minutes. Absolutely nothing.

I'm just not having my players warming-up with a jump rope for all of the reasons previously stated.

Regarding studies: the only ones I need are what my players and other players at that level have to say, which is not to jump rope without warming-up first, especially with the conditions that they bring to the table.

Personally, I don't believe that there is such a thing as light jumping rope, hence, my caution with my players to be better off safe than sorry. Money talks, and I'm not taking any risks in losing my player's money, nor my percentage thereof. I hope that makes sense to you.

TennisCoachFLA
01-05-2010, 07:01 PM
Folks, this is a tennis forum. We talk about tennis warm ups. You guys should not keep listening to Bill who is WAY out of his area of expertise when compared to sports medicine experts who specialize in tennis players.

Why do most TENNIS experts advise against jumping rope until after you are totally warmed up? Why do some of them advise against jumping rope at all?

Accumulative effect. The best tennis players are always bouncing around and putting tons of stress on their knees. Most Americans play on hard courts. So these successful tennis programs want you to use other means as a warm up. Its simple, no use adding more wear and tear to the knees and ankles. Bad effects accumulate over time.

If we were high school wrestlers how much pounding from hard courts would our knees take? Non from our chosen sport. Thus our warm up would not add to the knee pounding. So perhaps wrestling experts would give different advice.

This is not rocket science. The sports medicine experts at major tennis programs have concluded a TENNIS player would be better off not using jumping rope as his or her warm up.

crash1929
01-05-2010, 07:30 PM
as i was playing today this thread lingered in my mind like a bad cough. why are you tired of thinking about the split step? isn't it instinctive live snapping your fingers to the rhythm of a song?