PDA

View Full Version : the stigma of jumping


bobby
10-11-2005, 09:33 PM
I was reading the thread, "springing with the ball?", and followed Marius's link to the thread, "jumping when hitting groundstrokes." It seemed like few people were willing to admit that tennis players jump on their groundstrokes. For example, alan-n wrote (and I'm not trying to pick on alan, many other people wrote the exact same thing)It really isn't jumping at all. I do this on all ground strokes that I can. Basically what your doing is bending down and turning your body and then thrusting your legs / uncoiling your body and weight into the forehand..... just like you do when you are serving. You just happen to come off the ground 4-5 inches.
Funny thing. When I want to jump (say, in Basketball, a sport that, as far as I know, "allows" its players to jump) I bend down, then thrust up with my legs, and magically, I seem to come off the ground by 4-5 inches!

Come on! Why can't we just call it jumping? Why does it have to be the mysterious result of some twisting or turning or coiling somewhere in the legs or hips?

troytennisbum
10-11-2005, 09:46 PM
fair question.

Let me just say that the short answer to this question is simply that "coming off the ground" in the game of tennis, when hitting a groundstroke, is quite different then coming off the ground to grab a rebound in Basketball or going airborne to catch a high pass in football.

In the situations that I mentioned above in other sports like basketball/football, you are simply jumping as HIGH as you can. Not so in hitting groundies. Alan's response is fairly accurate as to what is happening. When I come off the ground, as a result of uncoiling when hitting a forehand, I am only coming off the ground a few "inches". That's a much lower/different kind of jump then when you are trying to go over someone in basketball.

Another way of phrasing this idea is this:
In basketball or football, the higher a player can jump, the better (you always hear comentators rave about a great basketball player's "air-time"). Vertical leap is very important when jumping over a guy to hit a jump shot or when trying to grab a rebound. But this is not the case in the sport of tennis when hitting groundies (of course, jumping high can be advantageous when trying to reach a really high lobs, but we are not talking about that situation here). The higher you "jump" when hitting a goundstroke in tennis does not mean that your shot is any better.

grimmbomb21
10-11-2005, 09:53 PM
I agree. When a lot of people dunk a basketball, they crouch down, bring their arms down into a ready position, then swing their arms up and, " uncoil their body toward the basket";) . Yeah, call it what you will. You bend your legs then push off toward the ball with your feet leaving the ground...Congratulations, ya just jumped!

This refers to serves, not groundstrokes.

FiveO
10-11-2005, 10:38 PM
There's a difference between jumping and the kinetic chain causing one's feet to leave the court. The best example I can think of are Jim Courier's ground strokes. I can't furnish the photos but there are many of Courier hitting groundies off low balls to either wing where his feet have left the court surface without extending his knees. The force of his leg drive, uncoil, etc., the kinetic chain through to the follow through has pulled him off the court while maintaining a lowered athletic stance. His head would remain a foot or more lower throughout the stroke than it would be when standing erect. If he were "jumping" he had less ups than Larry Bird.

The mental image of 'Jumping' on the serve is another subject I'm a little leary about. Yes, you should bend your knees as a segment of your pre-launch coil/hip stretch. Yes, during the un-coil, your legs straighten as the kinetic chain rotates and extends toward contact. And yes, your feet should leave the court. But, it's not an active jump. Firstly letting your focus go to your feet/legs, while trying to focus on contact happening above your head, can be distracting. Also an active, mis-timed "jump" interrupts that kinetic chain. Leaving the court surface happens as the result of un-coiling the body snapping back to its pre-stretched position which was "loaded" while reaching the pre-launch or "trophy position". As you extend up through contact the force of the uncoil and body snapping upward to extension, pulls your body weight and feet up off the court and forward.

I happen to share the belief of many excellent coaches/players:


From the June 2004 issue of TENNIS Magazine

Clinic: The Serve
Stan Smith

Advanced
Objective: Utilize a significant shoulder turn and knee bend to make both first and second serves difficult for your opponent to return.

....With regards to the knee bend, if you use your legs properly, you should be jumping off the ground as you make contact with the ball. It's not something you do intentionally; it happens because you're aggressively going up after the ball and your body naturally lifts off the ground and lands inside the court....



From John Yandell's excellent site, www.tennisplayer.net.

In an article describing this element of Sampras's serve, Yandell advises not trying to jump or to throw oneself into the court, that the uncoiling from the deep knee bend position will occur naturally.


Also, in the September 1997 issue of Tennis Mag article "Secrets of the Serve" by Pete Sampras, Sampras describes the transition from deep knee bend up to contact as "lean and lift". The "lift" (not a jump) describing how his feet leave the court surface.

The concern I have for using the term "jump" in the serve is that it may be mis-interpreted. It's too easy to mis-time, and the person working on his serve may never be aware why he gets poor results trying to incorporate an active jump into his motion.

You're going to use whatever swing thought you want. But I'll guarantee if you go to a pro who shares this view, especially on the serve, he/she will convince you of the difference within the first hopper of balls.

Good luck.

Tennis Ball Hitter
10-11-2005, 11:08 PM
i agree with whats said above. And also its more of like a step. Would you consider sprinters/runners "jumping" at each step ... since both feet leave the ground.

I think there is a similar problem with the knee bend. Tell people to bend their knees and that is exactly what they do. I see alot of girls and juniors at my club who bend their knees, straighten and then serve. Not real useful.

bobby
10-12-2005, 11:17 AM
Jump, v.
1. a. To make a spring from the ground or other base by flexion and sudden muscular extension of the legs, Oxford English Dictionary.

Let's analyze this definition. Does it say, "to make a spring from the ground with the intention of maximum height?" No. Does it say, "this spring from the ground must be the result of an active focus on the completion of this motion and this motion alone?" No. This definition merely mentions a result, making a spring from the ground, and the means by which that result is achieved, flexion and sudden muscular extension of the legs.

This is unequivocally what happens in tennis on many ground strokes or serves.



Also, it seems that many people's explanation of the mysterious "lifting" in tennis defies the rules of physics. The force of his leg drive, uncoil, etc., the kinetic chain through to the follow through has pulled him off the court while maintaining a lowered athletic stance.As you extend up through contact the force of the uncoil and body snapping upward to extension, pulls your body weight and feet up off the court and forward. I'm sure we all know that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Thus, when our feet apply a force against the ground, the ground pushes back and we move into the air. There is no force with which we can pull ourselves into the air.

Also, I definitely agree that the wide-receiver's jump for a football is a lot different from a tennis player's jump during a ground stroke. While the wide-receiver usually jumps to obtain maximum vertical distance, the tennis player jumps to transfer energy into his stroke. They are different types of jumps, but both are still jumps.

Finally, Tennis Ball Hitter, I'm sure that if you read the definition of jumping that I just posted, you'll realize that I don't consider what runners do to be jumping. I consider that running.

Slice Approach
10-12-2005, 01:30 PM
I think there is a hesitancy to use the word "jumping" when describing groundstrokes because the term may be misleading. I believe this is what some of the posters are talking about. Junior players or others looking to improve their games may believe that the act of jumping is what enables pro players to hit powerful groundstrokes when, in fact, it is the end result of the mechanics necessary to execute the stroke. If you stand sideways on your forehand and just jump up and hit the ball you will lose a tremendous amount of power from the kinetic chain that FiveO was talking about. Most of the elevation or "jumping" happens after contact with the ball. Pros and others that uncoil strongly into the ball do jump but it is not the act of jumping that provides power.

TennsDog
10-12-2005, 01:36 PM
Jumping tends to imply a certain intent to leaving the ground. When I have a high volley coming right at my chest, yes, I jump because I cannot get my racket head high enough if I don't. However, when I hit a groundstroke that takes me off the ground, it isn't for the sake of leaving the ground. There is no actual use to the airborneness, it is simply a biproduct of the muscular activity. When getting higher is the goal, it is jumping. When adding muscles and using them effectively is the goal, it is not really "jumping."

bobby
10-12-2005, 03:44 PM
Jumping tends to imply a certain intent to leaving the ground. When I have a high volley coming right at my chest, yes, I jump because I cannot get my racket head high enough if I don't. However, when I hit a groundstroke that takes me off the ground, it isn't for the sake of leaving the ground. There is no actual use to the airborneness, it is simply a biproduct of the muscular activity. When getting higher is the goal, it is jumping. When adding muscles and using them effectively is the goal, it is not really "jumping."
That's your definition of jumping, and it is quite different from the definition of jumping given by the dictionary.

Tim Tennis
10-12-2005, 05:14 PM
Well I just could not resist. I just had to jump at the chance to respond to this thread. My apologies if I jumped over some of the posts. I really don't mean to jump on anyones posts and I am trying not to jump to any conclusions. You see there are all kinds of definitions of jump.

Jump, v.
1. a. To make a spring from the ground or other base by flexion and sudden muscular extension of the legs, Oxford English Dictionary.

You see Bobby, if you use a strict interpertation of this definition then you are not allowed to use your arms, stomach muscles, shoulder muscles, no uncoiling and cetrainly a whole lot more then just the legs is involved in a tennis stroke.

As FiveO said, "Leaving the court surface happens as the result of un-coiling the body snapping back to its pre-stretched position which was "loaded" while reaching the pre-launch or "trophy position". As you extend up through contact the force of the uncoil and body snapping upward to extension, pulls your body weight and feet up off the court and forward."

You got to love the game.

FiveO
10-12-2005, 05:29 PM
A jump is a jump? Not really. Because in the context of a well performed kinetic chain the intent of the leg flexion and sudden extension is to transfer the nrg created there into the next link up the chain, the hips. From the hips into the trunk (or core). The core into the upper limb. The upper limb finally transfering the optimal nrg from the racquet into the ball. A rose is a rose? No. It's much more like "the ankle bone's connected to the shin bone, the shin bone's connected to the knee bone, the knee bone....."

To use your football analogy: a defensive back performing a form tackle is more analogous to the use of the legs in tennis than a wide receiver leaping vertically for a high pass. In a form tackle the player gets low (leg flexion) with his head and eyes up. He then explodes diagonally up and forward (sudden leg extension) through the opponent while he wraps up. Similar mechanism to a jump but the intent is not to jump or leave the ground. The intent is to transfer that nrg directly and forcefully into the ball carrier. While doing all things similar to a jump its not the intent. The intent is to transfer the nrg stored in and released from the legs, directly into the ball carrier. In fact "jumping" at the ball carrier is the worst thing he do, the tackler would lose his base and the ability to transfer the nrg from the "flexion and sudden muscular extension of the legs" in his effort to de-cleat the ball carrier.

In tennis strokes the nrg resulting from the flexion and sudden extension of the legs is not intended to be used to jump from the ground. Instead the legs are the initial nrg source in a long kinetic chain which ends in hitting a ball. In a kinetic chain performed in synchrony the legs transfer their nrg into the hips, the hips into the trunk, the trunk into the upper limb, and the upper limb into the ball. The transfer is one segment to the other, and one after the other, in sequence, legs to hips, hips to trunk....and so on. The entire action may result in the feet being lifted up from the court surface. When one's feet don't lift off the court does that mean the player didn't use his legs in the same manner? No. The legs were part of the same kinetic chain. The force of the entire body involved in the stroke will cause you to lift off the court or not. It should not happen because a player consciously decides to jump a little on this shot and a lot on the next one. It's the total nrg of the entire chain which results in the lift off. This is why Courier would leave the court on low groundies w/o full extension of his legs. It's the same reason one doesn't leave the ground when hitting a hard sliced groundie.

The Kinetic Chain:


Legs>>>Hips>>>Trunk>>>Upper Limb

The reason many coaches don't like their players "jumping" is because in practice it tends to isolate the action of the legs. Thoughts of the legs when striking a ball also puts the players concentration in the wrong place. Isolating the legs, jumping for jumping's sake, will also likely result in wild variances in the application of force derived from the nrg they can supply. Leaping from the ground early can result in one losing the ability to push against the court to initiate the kinetic chain. Isolating the legs also divorces them from their relationship to and synchrony with the kinetic chain, likely breaking it. In certain instances do some players actually jump and hit a groundie? Yes. Rios and Safin are examples of players who by choice will jump and........THEN hit a high bouncing ball to their two handers. The difference between that and the legs being used as part of the Kinetic Chain is perceptible.

bobby
10-12-2005, 05:41 PM
I'm not trying to say that the jump is the only thing that happens during a tennis stroke, just that it does happen. I understand the kinetic chain and its role in the tennis stroke. As part of the kinetic chain, you have the flexion and then extension of the legs. This extension exerts a downward force on the ground, and in turn the ground exerts an upward force on your feet, sometimes causing your entire body to leave the ground. This to me is jumping.

How else could Federer end up in this position?



http://media.mnginteractive.com/media/paper101/federer012605.jpg


Similar mechanism to a jump but the intent is not to jump or leave the ground.
I don't think that intent has anything to do with it. If you flex your legs, forcibly extend them, and leave the ground as a result, you have jumped. In the football analogy, if the tackler "intended" to tackle a player who wasn't there, the tackler would in fact leave the ground. Without the force of the opposing player to keep to tackler on the ground, the tackler's extension would propell him off of the ground. Instead, the tackler times the extension of his legs so that all of his energy will be transfered into the opposing player. If he mis-times that extension, he will jump and then make contact, which would be a weak tackle.

Likewise, in tennis, we time the extension of our legs so that all of our energy from that extension is transfered into the swing. When Safin or Rios "actually jump" and then hit their groundstrokes, is anything really different other than the timing of the extension of their legs and perhaps additional force in the vertical instead of horizontal direction?

Bungalo Bill
10-12-2005, 07:11 PM
I was reading the thread, "springing with the ball?", and followed Marius's link to the thread, "jumping when hitting groundstrokes." It seemed like few people were willing to admit that tennis players jump on their groundstrokes. For example, alan-n wrote (and I'm not trying to pick on alan, many other people wrote the exact same thing)
Funny thing. When I want to jump (say, in Basketball, a sport that, as far as I know, "allows" its players to jump) I bend down, then thrust up with my legs, and magically, I seem to come off the ground by 4-5 inches!

Come on! Why can't we just call it jumping? Why does it have to be the mysterious result of some twisting or turning or coiling somewhere in the legs or hips?

The reason it is not called jumping is because of what the people said above and because it isn't jumping - period. When you lift a box from the ground you don't jump. You use your thigh muscles and raise your butt or in tennis is this often referred as the "center of gravity".

FiveO
10-12-2005, 07:34 PM
I'm not trying to say that the jump is the only thing that happens during a tennis stroke, just that it does happen. I understand the kinetic chain and its role in the tennis stroke. As part of the kinetic chain, you have the flexion and then extension of the legs. This extension exerts a downward force on the ground, and in turn the ground exerts an upward force on your feet, sometimes causing your entire body to leave the ground. This to me is jumping.

How else could Federer end up in this position?



http://media.mnginteractive.com/media/paper101/federer012605.jpg

One last try using Fed as an example. How did he end up in this position?

Simple, full pre-launch position, kinetic chaing performed in synchrony, full acceleration to contact. Simple.

The pre-launch or trophy position consists of flexed knees, weight shifting over the forward foot with the toss arm extended non-hitting side hip forward causing a vaulter's pole flex or coil of the left (forward) side of his body where a 'stretch' is felt down that side of his body focused over the left hip. As the toss arm extended after releasing the ball, the shoulder line has gone from horizontal to vertical with the toss shoulder now almost in-line over the hitting shoulder.

With the impetus of the stroke being up and outward as Fed initiates the massive acceleration of the upward and forward swing every element of the forward swing moves in that direction: Up and outward toward the tossed ball. The knees extend (most of the push coming from the forward or left leg), the hips followed by the trunk then rotate around an axis drawn vertically down the center line of his body, the body also snaps back to straight line from that flexed vaulter's pole position, the hitting shoulder rotates over the toss shoulder about 180 degrees (cartwheeling) and the arm extends from around a 90 degree flexed elbow position in the pre-launch to full extension UP and forward at contact. All the force of the kinetic chain moving up and forward is what pulls his body weight in the same direction up and outward. Hence his feet leave the court. Again, not an active jump.

Now think back to when you watched Fed (or any other bigger server) hit his first few pre-match warm-up serves. Feet don't leave the court. Why? Because the machine is not fully loaded and can't accelerate to full speed in the move toward contact. Without the full pre-load, even Fed can't generate the forces necessary to cause his body weight and feet to be pulled upward and outward into the court. No snap, no full speed acceleration toward the tossed ball.

Fed doesn't consciously chose not to jump on his warm-ups and then to start jumping into his serves during the match.

Fed's intent is not merely to "get up" like that wide receiver does when leaping to reach a high thrown ball. His intent is to use his legs and every other part of the kinetic chain, in synchrony, to APPLY FORCE TO AN OBJECT. THAT OBJECT BEING THE BALL.

If you don't agree, that's fine. I just hope others don't adopt the view that actively jumping on the court is the proper approach or "swing thought" to stroke technique because "they 'think' they see the pros doing it." I've seen too many lessons trying to do it with negative results.

Tennis Ball Hitter
10-12-2005, 08:22 PM
Jump, v.
1. a. To make a spring from the ground or other base by flexion and sudden muscular extension of the legs, Oxford English Dictionary.

Finally, Tennis Ball Hitter, I'm sure that if you read the definition of jumping that I just posted, you'll realize that I don't consider what runners do to be jumping. I consider that running.

I don't consider hitting a groundstroke to be jumping. I consider that hitting a groundstroke. http://e.deviantart.com/emoticons/r/rofl.gif

sorry couldn't resist. :)

MTChong
10-12-2005, 10:06 PM
Jump, v.
1. a. To make a spring from the ground or other base by flexion and sudden muscular extension of the legs, Oxford English Dictionary.



Unfortunately, the dictionary doesn't necessarily reign supreme and cannot be considered the law of the land. I think that it really is most based on the usage of the word by common folk than a "dictionary" definition.


And I'm going to have to agree with FiveO and BungaloBill on this case; the air that comes from a groundstroke is really just a natural kinetic chain - not intentional or forced in any way.

bobby
10-13-2005, 12:29 AM
The pre-launch or trophy position consists of flexed knees, weight shifting over the forward foot with the toss arm extended non-hitting side hip forward causing a vaulter's pole flex or coil of the left (forward) side of his body where a 'stretch' is felt down that side of his body focused over the left hip. As the toss arm extended after releasing the ball, the shoulder line has gone from horizontal to vertical with the toss shoulder now almost in-line over the hitting shoulder.

With the impetus of the stroke being up and outward as Fed initiates the massive acceleration of the upward and forward swing every element of the forward swing moves in that direction: Up and outward toward the tossed ball. The knees extend (most of the push coming from the forward or left leg), the hips followed by the trunk then rotate around an axis drawn vertically down the center line of his body, the body also snaps back to straight line from that flexed vaulter's pole position, the hitting shoulder rotates over the toss shoulder about 180 degrees (cartwheeling) and the arm extends from around a 90 degree flexed elbow position in the pre-launch to full extension UP and forward at contact. All the force of the kinetic chain moving up and forward is what pulls his body weight in the same direction up and outward. Hence his feet leave the court. Again, not an active jump.
Five0,

First, let me begin by saying that this is probably the best two paragraph description of the serve that I have ever read. I only have one problem with what you wrote. To my knowledge, you can't create a force that will pull your body into the air. That force has to come from a downward push of your feet upon the ground.

In terms of the definition of jumping, I think that the only thing that we will be able to agree on is that what happens when Federer leaves the ground on a serve is different from what happens when T.O. jumps over the head of a safety to catch the football. Fed doesn't consciously chose not to jump on his warm-ups and then to start jumping into his serves during the match.

Fed's intent is not merely to "get up" like that wide receiver does when leaping to reach a high thrown ball. His intent is to use his legs and every other part of the kinetic chain, in synchrony, to APPLY FORCE TO AN OBJECT. THAT OBJECT BEING THE BALL.

In fact, I agree with every word that you said above. Where we differ is that while we both view his leaving the ground as a part of powering his serve and not an attempt to gain "air," I call part, and may I emphasize part, of the serve a jump, not because of the intent, but because of the result (the feet leaving the ground after a flexion and extension of the legs).

Bungalo Bill
10-13-2005, 08:55 AM
I call part, and may I emphasize part, of the serve a jump, not because of the intent, but because of the result (the feet leaving the ground after a flexion and extension of the legs).

I think if you call "part" of the serve movement jumping then no one will convince you otherwise.

The reason most of us coaches do not call it jumping is because of the deterimental affects "jumping" has on the serve.

The whole body needs to be involved with the push off.

1. The bending of the knees comes from the stretch of the front side of the body. It is not an equal bend. That back leg will bend more to counterbalance.

2. The side of the body creates a "pole vaulters" effect.

3. The torso and the shoulders coil

4. When the body is released upward, it creates a pull with the final "pushoff" coming from a light push from the toes.

This is much different then jumping. People who jump on their serves do not serve well. They lose power. This has been researched for a long time. So if you want to call the serving motion - jumping - no one will stop you. We may roll our eyes at you but we wont stop you.

stephenf
10-27-2005, 04:48 AM
I have read that big servers come off the ground because they push hard against the ground with their legs to generate forward momentum in their bodies. I was writing to ask if the push into the ground is straight down or do the hips turn and push down such as screwing down into the court. I have tried the hip rotation method and it seems if the hips are turned to the right as far as they can turn they automatically start turning left or forward by themselves would this be the correct motion to use?

ohplease
10-27-2005, 04:57 AM
There's a difference between jumping as side-effect and jumping as the point.

You might leave the ground in trying to make a tennis ball go somewhere, you might not. You definitely leaving the ground if you trying to dunk.

D-man
10-27-2005, 10:37 AM
so the term jumping might screw some tennis noobs up, but come on if you leave the ground with your own force from your legs it's a "jump" period, that's what a jump is. it is amazing and crazy thing bobby has pointed out and all these poster have confirmed, almost hilarious that they go to such extreme lengths to huffily and indignantly say it's not a "jump"

GuillermoGoreya
10-27-2005, 10:53 AM
People do lots of things without consciously "intending" to do them. Breathing, thinking, blinking, and (while hitting some groundies and serving) jumping. Now, it is certainly confusing to some people who can't grasp the difference between intentional and un-intentional actions.

However, how much of a game of tennis happens with conscious "intention?" Most often, the game happens much too fast for me to think about it; when I do think about it too much, I tend to perform poorly and get tight. When I'm playing well, almost all of my strokes happen without conscious intention. I see the court, the ball, and swing naturally. But peoples' egos--my own included--are very often tied up in "their game." It's not good enough to hit a beautiful winner down the line. They have to also claim credit for planning it out and intending it to happen just so.

Back to the point of the thread... So what if it's a jump? (And I agree that it is a jump.) If someone is confused enough that they are consciously trying to jump during their serve, they're probably overthinking so many aspects of the game that a more fundamental re-evaluation of their approach to tennis is in order. What are they going to do when a blistering serve is coming to their backhand? If they think that much, it's going to be by them before they react.

Just relax, see the ball, and "uncoil your kinetic chain" (or whatever you want to call it). Just don't *think about it* while you're doing it!

Bungalo Bill
10-27-2005, 12:36 PM
So what if it's a jump? (And I agree that it is a jump.) If someone is confused enough that they are consciously trying to jump during their serve, they're probably overthinking so many aspects of the game that a more fundamental re-evaluation of their approach to tennis is in order.

Because they are not jumping. They are confused because people think they should jump when they shouldn't thanks to people like you. :)

What are they going to do when a blistering serve is coming to their backhand? If they think that much, it's going to be by them before they react.

Nothing wrong with thinking too much. It is how people learn. When I studied calculus or physics I had to think too much until I passed over the mountain and went AHHH HAAAA, I see what this is all about. But it took the brain to create the signals and struggle with the learning curve to be able to master it. It is the same with tennis.

Just relax, see the ball, and "uncoil your kinetic chain" (or whatever you want to call it). Just don't *think about it* while you're doing it!

Yeah here we go again. What is wrong with struggling while you are learning? It is how people learn. When you tell a person to "jump" during his serve, this could mean many things to people based on thier experiences.

I can buy that after you have performed certain movements for the serve that you will push off from your toes but the push off is a by-product of a good kinetic chain or a series of events, it is not the main attraction!

When you tell a person to jump, they tend to focus on the jumping as the center of events. When you tell a person to swing up and at the last moment push off from their toes to support their UPWARD swing, that presents a whole different picture.

The "do it if it feels good" mentality is for the birds. :)

GuillermoGoreya
10-27-2005, 03:09 PM
Because they are not jumping. They are confused because people think they should jump when they shouldn't thanks to people like you.


Ok. So leaving the ground propelled by one's feet is *not jumping*. And I'm the one confusing people? ;)


Nothing wrong with thinking too much. It is how people learn.

Thinking about things is how people learn some skills. Calculus, physics--I totally agree. Do people learn to walk by "thinking about things?" To throw? To kick a ball?

People often learn by imitation, practice, and failure. They learn by understanding what they are doing, and by experimenting with the process to better understand what they are doing. This is one of the fundamental points of the Inner Game method, as I understand it. Not everyone teaches tennis this way, or learns tennis this way. I'm not a teaching pro, nor would I claim to be, but it does work very well for many people.


I can buy that after you have performed certain movements for the serve that you will push off from your toes but the push off is a by-product of a good kinetic chain or a series of events, it is not the main attraction!

When you tell a person to jump, they tend to focus on the jumping as the center of events.

I am certainly not telling anyone to jump to serve or hit a groundstroke. But my eyes are not lying to me either when people's feet pop off the ground and their entire bodies float in the air for a split-second. That's a jump.

The "do it if it feels good" mentality is for the birds.

That's a misinterpretation of what I'm saying. The two things I would say are:

1. Be aware of what you are doing.
2. Don't cloud your mind with so many instructions that it interferes with your ability to *play* tennis.

And it is "play." Two of the definitions of "play" are "to occupy oneself in amusement, sport, or other recreation" and "to act in jest or sport." Enjoy yourself on the court!

fastdunn
10-27-2005, 04:33 PM
"Jump" action is mainly to reach vertical (sometimes horizontal) "distance".
This is not the "main" purpose of up-thrusting action in serves and ground strokes.
Therefore, the word "jump" is more likely to "mislead" students of tennis.
So let's not use "jump" to describe the leg actions....

TennsDog
10-27-2005, 05:29 PM
We should probably discontinue this thread, as it seems no concensus will be reached. If you go by the strict definition of "jump" (i.e. using your legs to propel yourself upward off the ground), then yes, people often do jump when hitting serves or groundstrokes. However, this can be misleading since mostly when we jump it is specifically to leave the ground, when in tennis that is not the purpose. Blinking and breathing were mentioned earlier, and, while I understand the point, those are involuntary muscular activities (the subconscious part of the brain takes over them and no conscious thought). Jumping does require the conscious part of the brain to activate, so that is an invalid comparison.

So, to conclude, people do "jump" by definition in tennis when they leave the ground. People do not intentionally leave the ground when they play tennis.

Bungalo Bill
10-27-2005, 09:53 PM
Ok. So leaving the ground propelled by one's feet is *not jumping*. And I'm the one confusing people? ;)

Yes you are confusing people. Because it is not jumping. You are not leaping off the ground.

Thinking about things is how people learn some skills. Calculus, physics--I totally agree. Do people learn to walk by "thinking about things?" To throw? To kick a ball?

Guess you don't have kids. I have three. Ever teach a kid how to hit a baseball? Ever teach a kid basic math? When a person is learning the brain needs to be engaged in the activity of learning. It needs to create all the nerve connections to perform any activity whether it is mental, physical, or both. Ever teach a baby how to walk? People learn to do EVERYTHING by thinking. The brain is what controls the central nervous system and is what mocves the muscles in a certain good or bad to accomplish a certain activity. For goodness sakes, this is so elementary it is ridiculous.

People often learn by imitation, practice, and failure. They learn by understanding what they are doing

You have got to be kidding me? You dont think people are using their brains during each of your examples? You dont think the brain is actively thinking about what they are practicing, or failing in, or imitating?

When you are imitating you have analyzed a mental series of images in your head that you are trying to program in your muscles. You dont think thinking is involved? You dont think the brain is involved?

This is one of the fundamental points of the Inner Game method, as I understand it. Not everyone teaches tennis this way, or learns tennis this way. I'm not a teaching pro, nor would I claim to be, but it does work very well for many people.

There is no way you can not avoid engaging the brain to learn. There is not way you can not engage the brain while throwing a baseball. If throwing a baseball or walking was a BRAINLESS activity, people in car accidents sustaining head injuries would be able to keep right on walking. The brain controls everything both voluntary and involuntary actions many of which are taken for granted until something bad happens.

I dont think brainless motion is what Inner Game is trying to teach. If it is, there is no way you would say to me "I am not thinking when I play, I just don't think, I dont use my brain". I would laugh in your face! It would also show me how entirely ignorant you are about how the brain works with the central nervous system.

I am certainly not telling anyone to jump to serve or hit a groundstroke. But my eyes are not lying to me either when people's feet pop off the ground and their entire bodies float in the air for a split-second. That's a jump.

Like I said, it is not jumping. If you are seeing everyone "jump" off the ground then you should tell everyone to jump.

That's a misinterpretation of what I'm saying. The two things I would say are:

1. Be aware of what you are doing.
2. Don't cloud your mind with so many instructions that it interferes with your ability to *play* tennis.

Well here you are confusing two different things which is typical from those that have a hard time learning tennis. Instruction is good and it is right. There aren't too many instructions for one to follow and the brain is actually very capable of sorting and organizing the different motions and developing the nervous system to fire the right muscles for the proper movement. So again, you are wrong.

Dont confuse "playing a match" and "learning". They are related but they are also seperate processes. One shouldnt think ciritcally about their strokes in a match situation but they should take note of the things they didnt do well in. When they get to practice they can slow things down and build "muscle memory" to execute a certain movement properly. If they dont get it this time because the brain is still processing and sorting - repetition is in order to allow the information to settle into the nervous system and become programmed.

You obviously have a lot to learn on this subject of how the brain works. It is very easy for someone who thinks they know something on how people learn to take a book like Inner Game and take it to an extreme.

You should study books in biology, human learning theory, how the brain works and how it manages the involuntary and voluntary systems.

And it is "play." Two of the definitions of "play" are "to occupy oneself in amusement, sport, or other recreation" and "to act in jest or sport." Enjoy yourself on the court!

Well this is a blind blanket "play naked if it feels right" statement. Geeez.

GuillermoGoreya
10-28-2005, 12:20 PM
I was hoping this discussion would die out, because I actually agree with most things you say in the forums, and I have been reading them for months before posting. However you have to turn this into an attack, so I will point out the glaring inconsistency in your statements.

So... it's NOT JUMPING when you jump without intending to jump, but it IS THINKING when your brain is involved without your will or intention. Which is it, Bungalo Bill? You can't have it both ways! Either when you do something without intention, you do it, or when you do something without intention, you don't do it. Right now the answer I'm getting is: It depends what Bungalo Bill wants!

Nor do I appreciate being patronized or having words put into my mouth about "brainless" activities. There is a world of difference between CONSCIOUS THOUGHT and INVOLUNTARY BRAIN ACTIVITY. Involuntary brain activities are not thoughts. To again refer to the dictionary:

think
1. To have or formulate in the mind.
2. To reason about or reflect on; ponder: Think how complex language is. Think the matter through.
3. To decide by reasoning, reflection, or pondering: thinking what to do.
4. To judge or regard; look upon: I think it only fair.
5. To believe; suppose: always thought he was right.
6. To expect; hope: They thought she'd arrive early.
7. To intend: They thought they'd take their time.
8. To call to mind; remember: I can't think what her name was.
9. To visualize; imagine: Think what a scene it will be at the reunion.
10. To devise or evolve; invent: thought up a plan to get rich quick.

And finally, I am not going to respond to your speculation on my personal life, education, or reading habits; I would not presume to speculate on yours.

FiveO
10-29-2005, 02:31 AM
From a coaching perspective there is no "stigma" attached to the word jump.

There are reasons many teaching pros believe "jump" is misused, misunderstood and detrimental. Many students looking at pro players leave the ground on serves or groundies interpret "jumping" as they are familiar with it. 1) Jumping from a platform where the weight is evenly distributed with both legs pushing equally against the ground to gain height, as described in a dictionary definition of a jump provided in an earlier post. Or, 2) pushing off one leg as the opposite hip flexor lifts the opposite leg to aid in "unweighting" one's body weight in a running leap (basketball lay-up, a football receiver or baseball fielder leaping on the run, even a high jumper). Neither has any relation or positive effect on efficiently striking a tennis ball.

When serving, the two footed jump will almost always prevent the person thinking "jump" from allowing their forward hip to displace forward of the front foot and will block the weight shift onto the front foot. For most people it is unnatural to jump from a position where the body is bowed like a flexed pole vaulter's pole, with 80-90% of one's weight over one foot. Someone trying to "jump" is unlikely to ever achieve that bowed position, a pre-launch position common to all of the most efficient servers. It is also likely that the "jumper" will remain upright, perhaps lean, forward shoulder first, over the baseline and/or block the hips from ever having the freedom to coil/uncoil, thus breaking the chain at that link.

Lifting the back foot in a one footed jump on the serve won't help because it will likely cause the server's body to straighten and stay back to maintain balance. With one foot in the air there is no way to trigger the forward rotation of the hips common to good serves, again severing the kinetic chain.

Unfortunately this is how many have and will interpret "jumping". Most people tend to add these types of "jumps" they have been familiar with since childhood to their serves with bad or no result.

The same holds true on groundies. Say "jump" on groundies because the pros do, and people are most likely to do just that, JUMP, pushing equally off both feet thus without any linear weight transfer or off one foot likely leaning to the back or side fence. Angular transfer is difficult without a balanced pivot point. Unfortunately most will jump in the manner with which they are most familiar and unrelated to applying force to a tennis ball.

Tell people its okay to jump and people will jump. From experience, there will be a disconnect between the jump and striking a ball and without a nuetral outcome. It is usually disruptive of any kinetic chain and, more often than not, detrimental to striking a tennis ball efficiently.

Obviously some of you are staunch defenders of employing an active jump based on what you see in vids and stop action photos of the pros and disagree with me, BB and some other posters here. If you can't accept it from us I'd encourage you to go back and look at the names and sources I quoted earlier in this thread who describe the involvement of the legs similarly:

Stan Smith, former number 1 in the world, winner of the US Open and Wimbledon, and a coach with the USTA junior development program.

John Yandell, author of Visual Tennis, and founder of www.tennisplayer.net, who has devoted himself to scientific analysis of stroke production.

Pete Sampras. Yeah that Pete Sampras.

No one here is trying to lead anyone astray. Many of us are basing our comments on personal experience from years of coaching and studying the sport.

Those with the opposing view, keep in mind that it was once a commonly held belief that one should actively scratch one's back on the serve like the stop action photos showed the pros doing. Another was the belief that one should actively snap the wrist on a forehand like the pros appeared to do when hitting their fh's at full tilt. These are just two tennis beliefs which were based on what "we saw" and which after analysis and explanation were later exposed as the myths they are.

TennsDog
10-29-2005, 10:12 AM
Very well put, FiveO.

fist pump
10-29-2005, 11:37 AM
When doing groundies or when serving - the intent really in not to jump but to do the technique of the stroke where limbs move and body uncoil.


Because of the body movements and limb movements - one need to move the legs to prevent being off balanced. Either the limbs will slide or the limbs will spring up to move to be balanced.


when i hit my serve - i dont want to jump - i wanna do the technique but since my body in moving forward , limbs moving , body uncoiling in a rapid motion , i have to compensate to regain my balance and the most efficient and effective way is for my legs to spring up and forward sometime

No i dont want to jump but i have to spring up a little .
call it jumping but thats not what im intending to do.

when you hit a samprs smash - then that i can call jumping

Bungalo Bill
10-29-2005, 01:08 PM
From a coaching perspective there is no "stigma" attached to the word jump.

There are reasons many teaching pros believe "jump" is misused, misunderstood and detrimental. Many students looking at pro players leave the ground on serves or groundies interpret "jumping" as they are familiar with it.

I think FiveO put it very nicely in his post. Even though we could argue that the serve motion has a "jump" in it and can disect this to the nth degree, coaches do not use the word jump in that it could present a learning issue for the student and some unlearning later on.

Sometimes we use phrases or words to describe something that gives us a little more meaning or to provide us with a better "clue" as to what needs to happen. This is true in math, instruction, and many other things in life.

For example, a PAIR of shoes and TWIN engines both mean TWO objects, but no one ever says "A TWIN OF SHOES." The same thing is true in this case with the word "jump" vs. "push off".

Since coaches have a collective avoidance or experience in this area and some have had detrimental effects using the word "jump", good coaching and good instruction calls for the use of other words that "paint" the issue in a different way. In this case, the words "push off" tends to soften the action so that it is not the main attraction.

So the term jump, is not the best way to describe what needs to happen from an instructional perspective and a learning perspective. Maybe in Webster's Dictionary it is but Webster's Dictionary is not using the word in a tennis serve context and certainly not using it with any experience with teaching a tennis serve.

max
10-29-2005, 01:25 PM
I jump all the time, when I'm changing over and when I win the match.

Bungalo Bill
10-29-2005, 01:27 PM
I jump all the time, when I'm changing over and when I win the match.

lol, yeah when I win the match I am applying equal pressure over both legs and pushing off using my buttocks muscles and my upper leg muscles. I am also throwing my arms up as I jump for joy! Very good and funny!

tennisplayer
10-29-2005, 02:22 PM
I asked a friend to watch me when I served and tell me how my legs moved. To my surprise, he said I come a few inches off the ground, and land on my left foot. And I was under the impression that I never left the ground. The funny thing is, when I think about knee bend and such, my serve goes down the toilet. To me, it feels like I never leave the ground when I serve... so I can agree that this "jump" is a side-effect of other movements.

Bungalo Bill
10-29-2005, 03:17 PM
I asked a friend to watch me when I served and tell me how my legs moved. To my surprise, he said I come a few inches off the ground, and land on my left foot. And I was under the impression that I never left the ground. The funny thing is, when I think about knee bend and such, my serve goes down the toilet. To me, it feels like I never leave the ground when I serve... so I can agree that this "jump" is a side-effect of other movements.

You got it! That is exactly what FiveO and I agree on. It is a by-product of other motions, it is not the main attraction. Excellent!