defeating split step

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by dozu, Oct 18, 2011.

  1. dozu

    dozu Banned

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    here is a secret from the community park king - do not watch the ball !

    conventional teaching says that the split step is taken just before the opp makes contact, and you are supposed to be in the air when the opp makes contact.

    so - if you focus on his footwork, and use peripheral vision just to make sure you don't wiff on the ball.... then you can basically hold the shot and fire when he lands flat footed.

    it takes some practice to play this way... but give it a try you will see how awkward your opp become... he will move like a drunken sailor.

    conventional wisdom is to really watch the ball, there is no way you can be aware what the opp is doing, and usually he ends up split stepping on the perfect beat.

    now, I am not talking about when you are scrambling like mad... I am saying any ball that you have a split second to spare, then use it to hold the shot.
     
    #1
  2. Jonny S&V

    Jonny S&V Hall of Fame

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    Umm, you're supposed to be on your toes (landed from your split-step) when your opponent makes contact as far as I know... Nice try dozu...
     
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  3. dozu

    dozu Banned

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    yes, so you can push off to the side where the ball is hit... but, if you hold, he's gonna land, and you haven't fired yet, and he can't STAY on his toe... in any case, he's gonna be flat footed (or flat toed lol).... that's when you fire.

    it's a very very subtle timing difference.... give it a try, you may like it.
     
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  4. fruitytennis1

    fruitytennis1 Professional

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    I think this is more applicable to a high bouncing short-ball when you have leisure time.
     
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  5. Jonny S&V

    Jonny S&V Hall of Fame

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    ...or he'll make another small split-step after the first...
     
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  6. sepidoel

    sepidoel Rookie

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    I think that's applicable for a few shots in a match. The split step is usually done when the ball almost reach the opponent, so if one always wait for opponent's split step to be done he/she will mostly get late ball even in split second. IMO it's good for fake, but not regular shots.
     
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  7. onehandbh

    onehandbh Hall of Fame

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    dozu,
    that won't work against me. I stand flat-footed while I wait for my opponent
    to hit the ball. Then I wait until the ball has crossed the net and make
    a mad dash for it.
     
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  8. dozu

    dozu Banned

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    yes, that's the point, now his 2nd split is AFTER you have fired, hence the drunken sailor.
     
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  9. dozu

    dozu Banned

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    what ????????
     
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  10. dozu

    dozu Banned

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    that's right, you can't make a drunken sailor more drunk !
     
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  11. dozu

    dozu Banned

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    the idea is - a split step is quite a lengthy process (the more lengthy for the more powerful splits)... someone here has posted an extremely long mule kick split video...

    you basically need to lower your center of gravity to load the legs and then unload to split... so you cannot load faster than gravity allows you.

    so if you get him to unload the first split, and force him to reload the 2nd, it will throw him off.

    some might say a split can simply be a slight raise of the heels.... but that is the hacker version, it doesn't get the player to a fast first step to the ball.
     
    #11
  12. spaceman_spiff

    spaceman_spiff Professional

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    Here's the thing. If the ball is travelling towards you with any significant amount of pace on it, then it will only be in the optimal strike zone for a fraction of a second. If you try to hold your swing long enough for your opponent to land from his split step and go flat footed, then by the time you swing for the ball, you'll be so late you'll end up hitting it into the side fence.

    And, if you do manage to swing fast/soon enough to get the ball back in the court, then your opponent will just adjust his split step to your new timing for future shots. And, even if he doesn't, the difference will be hundredths of a second, which is not enough time for someone to go from complete ready state to completely flat footed.

    It seems like an awfully small amount of reward for an awfully large risk of messing up your timing.
     
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  13. dozu

    dozu Banned

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    good point, if incoming ball is flat, there will be almost no time to do this, but incoming loopy balls will allow time.
     
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