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View Full Version : Footwork: big steps -v- little steps


Torres
01-12-2012, 05:51 AM
What do you think of this video?

http://www.jeffsalzensteintennis.com/tennis-training-big-steps/

I was always taught to use a mixture of both depending on the particular stroke and the positioning of the ball.

BobFL
01-12-2012, 08:56 AM
I am not competent to comment on that but for me personally it is not either/or but first big steps and then little steps...

mikeler
01-12-2012, 09:23 AM
I am not competent to comment on that but for me personally it is not either/or but first big steps and then little steps...


At your size, there are no little steps. :)

maxpotapov
01-12-2012, 09:26 AM
What do you think of this video?

http://www.jeffsalzensteintennis.com/tennis-training-big-steps/

I was always taught to use a mixture of both depending on the particular stroke and the positioning of the ball.

The problem with this approach (take little/big steps or mixture) is that it does not serve particular purpose. If I know where I want to put my foot and how I want to place it in regards to hitting zone, balance etc., those big/little/mixed steps come naturally.

And anyway, it takes more little steps to maintain proper balance than what's shown in the video. No wonder Jeff hits most of the time off balance, taking his feet off the ground to compensate for that.

Federerkblade
01-12-2012, 02:04 PM
jeff, in my opinion is a great coach and goes against traditional teaching. what are others opinions of jeffs coaching

BobFL
01-12-2012, 04:03 PM
At your size, there are no little steps. :)

Hahahahahahhahaha, I cannot believe you said that because lodeen said the same thing :D

Rui
01-12-2012, 04:17 PM
And anyway, it takes more little steps to maintain proper balance than what's shown in the video. No wonder Jeff hits most of the time off balance, taking his feet off the ground to compensate for that.

Don't your feet come off the ground when you hit?

Zachol82
01-12-2012, 04:19 PM
What do you think of this video?

http://www.jeffsalzensteintennis.com/tennis-training-big-steps/

I was always taught to use a mixture of both depending on the particular stroke and the positioning of the ball.

It just makes sense to me that a mixture of both should be used depending on the situation.

If a ball is coming straight at me, of course I'll be taking little steps to fine tune my position. If a ball is landing far away from me, I will start with a big step, get there, then maybe take a couple smaller steps to fine tune my position.

maxpotapov
01-12-2012, 04:33 PM
Don't your feet come off the ground when you hit?

Well, yes, but not for the same reason - not because my body developed unnecessary momentum because of those leaps and jumps and now I have to hit "on the fly" just to balance myself.

Ash_Smith
01-12-2012, 11:25 PM
I have no problem with that video.

cheers

GuyClinch
01-13-2012, 06:07 AM
I dunno.. Isn't there lots of studies which talk about how the pros take so many steps..

I don't think you need to take a ton of tiny steps - but some little set up steps seems fine to me .. That experiment seemed a little contrived. What if the ball is hit right near you...then you might need little steps to get in the perfect spot.

spaceman_spiff
01-13-2012, 08:02 AM
First of all, I've never seen or heard a coach say to turn sideways (unless running a large distance) and take little steps all the way to the ball. The ones I've seen have only said to take little steps and turn your shoulders as you approach the ball so that you can get set up just right to hit your shot (assuming you don't have to hit on the run).

Secondly, this guy says to take big steps to the ball, and yet he himself takes little steps right as he's about to step in and hit his backhand. Take a look at 1:40. He shuffles a bit with reasonably large steps and then takes a couple of very small steps to correct his position before stepping in to hit his backhand.

So, he debunks a myth I've never heard anyone teach, and then he does exactly what all the pros I've seen tell their students to do.

tennis_balla
01-13-2012, 08:07 AM
I have no problem with that video.

cheers

I was about to post the same thing.

I do believe he mentions little steps do have their time and place (mostly on shorter mid-court balls for example) which is true. If people watch how the pro's move and load their legs, they always have a nice wide stance and move with their feet wide. If a player moves to the side to hit a groundie and takes those little steps their feet have to come closer together which is incorrect or rather not as efficient and they won't be as balance and won't be able to load as well into their shot.

sureshs
01-13-2012, 08:08 AM
I was thinking the same myself last couple of weeks. Pro steps are huge, especially the Djoker, and they seem less turned to the side.

arche3
01-13-2012, 11:12 AM
I like the guy and his way of speaking about movement. I have never seen his website before. Just shows you there are a lot of great teachers out there.

Torres
01-13-2012, 01:22 PM
jeff, in my opinion is a great coach and goes against traditional teaching. what are others opinions of jeffs coaching

Salzenstein is fantastic. It's impossible not to admire and respect someone who grafted his way up through sheer hard work, working on continued technique development well into his late 20s / early 30s, and turned himself from journeyman into a top 100 pro. I like the fact that he cuts straight to the chase and has always remained a student of the game.

There are only two serious online instructional sites worth paying attention to in my opinion - this one and the John Yandell site.

r2473
01-13-2012, 01:28 PM
What do you think of this video?

http://www.jeffsalzensteintennis.com/tennis-training-big-steps/

I was always taught to use a mixture of both depending on the particular stroke and the positioning of the ball.

I always pay attention to Pat. Foot pivot. Drop step and drive.

http://www.apbelt.com/Technique_Lab/ARSteps3.html

tennis_balla
01-13-2012, 01:55 PM
I always pay attention to Pat. Foot pivot. Drop step and drive.

http://www.apbelt.com/Technique_Lab/ARSteps3.html

Great link, thanks for that.

papa
01-13-2012, 03:55 PM
As usual, so much of discussions like this are dependent on how far you have to move, how much time you have and what kind of ball your dealing with. Big steps might be appropriate when you have to cover a big area - smaller steps in other situations when you have more time and shorter distances to travel. I just don't think one solution covers every sitation.

I do not like a crossover step especially for rec/club players. You see a lot of it and IMO is the chief cause of being mis-footed

WildVolley
01-13-2012, 04:10 PM
I always pay attention to Pat. Foot pivot. Drop step and drive.

http://www.apbelt.com/Technique_Lab/ARSteps3.html

It is interesting that this needs to be taught. This is what I naturally do when going fast to a ball. I guess that's just a result of playing basketball, soccer, and touch American football as a child.

tennis_balla
01-13-2012, 04:53 PM
The best line from that Pat Dougherty article is this one:

Recently, I was fortunate to spend time with one of the all time greats, Ivan Lendl. One question I asked him: "What is the greatest strength shared by the best players of any era?" Ivan didn't hesitate: "Movement," he answered. "The best players of every era have also been the players with the best movement."


Yet the majority of threads posted here and private lessons at clubs focus mainly on stroke technique.

r2473
01-13-2012, 05:05 PM
And movement is partially about this sort of stuff, partially about anticipation, and partially about just being in good enough shape to be able to do it all match long.

Doesn't matter how good your technique is if you are always reaching for the ball or hitting it out of your stike zone because you failed to get to the ball in the first place.

thug the bunny
01-13-2012, 08:54 PM
It is interesting that this needs to be taught. This is what I naturally do when going fast to a ball. I guess that's just a result of playing basketball, soccer, and touch American football as a child.

Umh yeah, IMO if you have decent athletic skillls your main thought should be to get your torso to the right position relative to how you want to hit the ball. I could not concieve of 'long, long, long, short, short'. One of the neat things about tennis is that it is a reaction sport, unlike golf where the ball just sits there waiting for you to initiate contact. So, just watch the ball, react, get to the ball, and hit it!

papa
01-14-2012, 04:40 AM
The best line from that Pat Dougherty article is this one:




Yet the majority of threads posted here and private lessons at clubs focus mainly on stroke technique.

Well, your right but it doesn't do any good to get to the ball if you can't hitit. The other factor is that movement, although still important, is not as critical in doubles - at least in lower levels.

Cavaleer
01-14-2012, 01:11 PM
As usual, so much of discussions like this are dependent on how far you have to move, how much time you have and what kind of ball your dealing with. Big steps might be appropriate when you have to cover a big area - smaller steps in other situations when you have more time and shorter distances to travel. I just don't think one solution covers every sitation.

I do not like a crossover step especially for rec/club players. You see a lot of it and IMO is the chief cause of being mis-footed

There it is.

Crossovers require real agility and balance, not something most club players have.

sabala
01-14-2012, 10:08 PM
Am I seeing this wrong or is Blake turning sideways at some points in the rally -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Z1eQIf3Hx8#t=12s