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View Full Version : Doubles: To split step or not to split step....that is the question.


Burt Turkoglu
10-13-2005, 07:56 PM
For all you tennis experts out there.....do you really need to split step in dubs? I don't really split step....it's more like a stutter step (short steps) when I see where the ball is headed on the return.....my forward momentum slows slightly before I move quickly toward the return.....and I move thru the volley instead of stopping to hit it.....I've tried slowing down to split step then trying to reaccelerate but it just slows me down too much and I'm more apt to get caught in the transition area instead of just inside the service line.....I'm 4.5-5.0 player....all feedback is welcome....thanx.....

nickybol
10-13-2005, 11:59 PM
You should split step at the moment your oponent hits the ball. With the splitstep you put your gastrocnemicus, soleus and quadriceps muscles on stretch so you can move faster in any direction. But if your volleys are working right now, why change it? Change it when it doesn`t work. Does it work?

Burt Turkoglu
10-14-2005, 09:53 AM
...it does for me.....the split step is the traditional teaching. I'm wondering if it's all that necessary in dubs.

nickybol
10-14-2005, 01:36 PM
So your current technique of not split-stepping works, you don`t have to change it...

rfederer32291
10-14-2005, 01:59 PM
i always split-step

Bungalo Bill
10-14-2005, 03:46 PM
For all you tennis experts out there.....do you really need to split step in dubs? I don't really split step....it's more like a stutter step (short steps) when I see where the ball is headed on the return.....my forward momentum slows slightly before I move quickly toward the return.....and I move thru the volley instead of stopping to hit it.....I've tried slowing down to split step then trying to reaccelerate but it just slows me down too much and I'm more apt to get caught in the transition area instead of just inside the service line.....I'm 4.5-5.0 player....all feedback is welcome....thanx.....

You do not have to split step to be effective in changing directions in doubles. You do not have to split step to be effective in singles either for coming forward to net. Let's be clear though, we are talking about the split step that is used when coming to net, not rallying at the baseline.

The split step is an advanced footwork pattern that needs to be practiced and requires a player to develop their timing with the split step. Split steps can be seen in:

1. Service returns

2. Groundstroke movement

3. Approaching the net (what my thread is about and which can be replaced with those real short "squeeky" shoes movements),

All the split step does is unweight the feet so you can press and push off the other way with the outside foot.

Many times players do not have the time to develop the split step with timing. Pretty much anyone can perform a split step on its own. Where the split step becomes more difficult is when you have ot do it at a certain time. This takes a good amount of practice for most people.

If you don't have the time to get your timing down with the split step or you just simply "can't get it", then by all means use very quick short steps to unweight and ready yourself for a change in direction.

There is nothing wrong with very quick feet movement to prepare for the change of direction if it is needed. It keeps your feet moving, it prepares your momentum for a change in either direction, it is not slower, and it is much easier to time and perform .

Also, sometimes it pays dividends to come in and not perform the split step but to make those shoes squeeke loud! If a player is going to hit a defensive ball and he hears those shoes squeek, he could look up to see where you are and make an error. Also, it does place pressure on your opponent when he hears you coming in.

Marius_Hancu
10-14-2005, 04:00 PM
There is nothing wrong with very quick feet movement to prepare for the change of direction if it is needed. It keeps your feet moving, it prepares your momentum for a change in either direction, it is not slower, and it is much easier to time and perform .

Also, sometimes it pays dividends to come in and not perform the split step but to make those shoes squeeke loud! If a player is going to hit a defensive ball and he hears those shoes squeek, he could look up to see where you are and make an error. Also, it does place pressure on your opponent when he hears you coming in.

Right on in the first para: Edberg and Rafter were using a lot of "friction steps."

On the 2nd para: similarly, I am sometimes coming to the net and make an aggressive/audible split step and yes, the passer is missing:-)

Burt Turkoglu
10-14-2005, 08:19 PM
Also, sometimes it pays dividends to come in and not perform the split step but to make those shoes squeeke loud! If a player is going to hit a defensive ball and he hears those shoes squeek, he could look up to see where you are and make an error. Also, it does place pressure on your opponent when he hears you coming in.
....they never hear me.....we play on clay.....lol....anyway, point well taken....I'm over 50 now and my footwork and inability to re-accellerate after a traditional split-step adversely affects my transitional volley with the loss of momentum....the friction step or stutter step seems all that is needed.....

Bungalo Bill
10-15-2005, 09:03 PM
Right on in the first para: Edberg and Rafter were using a lot of "friction steps."

On the 2nd para: similarly, I am sometimes coming to the net and make an aggressive/audible split step and yes, the passer is missing:-)


Great name for this Marius (FRICTION STEPS), hope you don't mind me "borrowing" the term or phrase.