Anyone ever used math in tennis instruction ?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by MAXXply, Nov 2, 2009.

  1. MAXXply

    MAXXply Hall of Fame

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    :):-? I'm just curious......in the history of tennis instruction or sports science have there ever been attempts by coaches or sports scientists to calculate players optimum hitting zones in relation to the dimensions of the court ?

    In plain English, I mean for example, using mathematical analysis to work out how high I should toss the ball on my serve if I know I'm 183cms tall, the racket will extend about a further 70cms above my head at impact, and the opponent's service line is "x" metres/feet in front of me...where should I hit it to prevent it going long or into the net?

    Have any sports sci geeks ever used math to work out such methods to aid in player instruction ? I'm not a math or science person. It's just that if we are certain of some things - court dimensions, common players heights (mean/average height) etc, that we could calculate and extract a bit of extra certainty into what's a highly variable sport. I've probably forgot to mention force and velocity here - I'm sure physics plays a big part in any analysis as well.
    Any insights welcome, I've always wondered about this aspect of the game.
     
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  2. Blake0

    Blake0 Hall of Fame

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    I'm pretty sure math and physics have been used in tennis. Can't find examples of it though..i think i saw some on revolutionary tennis..
     
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  3. spacediver

    spacediver Hall of Fame

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    interesting question...

    for the optimal tossing height in a service motion, I suspect one would have to tailor each analysis to the individual's biomechanics. I don't think everyone has the same temporal dynamics in their kinetic chain, and thus, while the ideal contact height may be simple enough to assess, the tossing height needs to account for the time it takes for the motion to unfold.

    Furthermore, I'm not sure how useful such analyses would be. The body seems to learn best through experimentation, quality feedback, and guiding principles. Let's suppose that someone's service motion was analyzed, and the ideal tossing height was calculated. It's hard (for me) to imagine how this information would be of any use to that player.
     
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  4. MAXXply

    MAXXply Hall of Fame

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    Yes, I appreciate these analyses could only be of use to the subject in question, as it would probably be a highly tailored exercise in personal biomechanics. I just always thought it could be found as some sport sci's PhD research paper and end up as a niche instruction book.
     
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  5. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    Of course. One of the main components of tennis is geometry (of the court).
     
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  6. Solat

    Solat Professional

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    i use geometry all the time in my coaching, it is the fundamentals of shot selection
     
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  7. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

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    If you are interested in this subject, buy "Technical Tennis" by Rod Cross and Crawford Lindsey: http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/Technical_Tennis/descpage-TECHTENNIS.html
    It is a summary in a more readable format than Rod Cross's earlier book, "The Physics and Technology of Tennis."

    There are a number of practical applications including information on racquet selection, string selection and tension, serving and forehand technique, ball toss, and effects of spin and pace.

    Another area for you to take advantage of is the Tennis Univerisity site at Tennis Warehouse: http://twu.tennis-warehouse.com/learning_center/index.php If you like math, you've got to appreciate the Shot Maker section that allows you to input different racquet head and incoming ball speeds, hitting angles, etc. to compare different racquets.

    And tennis play is built all around probability theory in terms of shot selection and positioning.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2009
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  8. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation Legend

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    The one observation that I like to point out is the difference between a cross court shot vs. a down the line shot on a singles court. Corner to corner gives you a 82' 6" court over a 36" net while down the line gives you a shorter 78' court over a net that's several inches higher (depending on whether you've got singles sticks, etc.). Pretty easy to appreciate the percentages there.

    I also like that saying, "Approximately fifty percent of all players in tennis matches lose." It makes the winning end seem a little less exclusive and not so far out of reach, right?
     
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  9. tennisdad65

    tennisdad65 Hall of Fame

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    yep.. my coach used it all the time with me.
    Examples:
    this is the 1000+1 time you have missed that shot.
    that forehand missed by a million feet.
    that's your 9th or 10th unforced error in a row?
     
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  10. enishi1357

    enishi1357 Rookie

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    dude, dont go there. tennis is hard enough with all these gay scoring rules and the nose rule and whatnot and then you have to bring math into this. Why just why. Just enjoy tennis as it is cuz physics and math can't help you more than actually practicing on a court
     
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  11. chess9

    chess9 Hall of Fame

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    The Prince Of Tennis doesn't have such mundane worries! :)

    Just leap a few feet on your serve and double faults will be history.

    -Robert
     
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  12. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Yup. Geometry mostly. One application is used to determine the ideal recovery base after a given shot placement that you've made.
     
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  13. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    I'm with you fellas.

    J
     
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  14. Clintspin

    Clintspin Semi-Pro

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    I seen math used several times. Easi Tennis web-site had a really good math equation showing why a ball hit hard but short in the court is less effective than a slower ball hit deep in the court. Milliseconds are everything in tennis.
     
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