Hitting with no footwork

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by TeamOB, Apr 9, 2014.

  1. TeamOB

    TeamOB Professional

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    On the Kyrgios/Thiem/Zverev bandwagon!
    I discovered this drill while working at my club. My job as an assistant pro mainly involves hitting with older rec players. These guys are generally about 3.5-4.0 and don't hit with much pace. So I found that I could handle their shots pretty easily without moving my feet. Being lazy, I started doing most of my hitting lessons by moving as little as possible. I just stand still and handle their shots using my hands. After about a week I found my hands had improved tremendously. I could half-volley easily, flick backhands a la Federer, catch the ball late and flick it over using my wrist etc. I started doing this drill on purpose. I try to maintain a medium pace rally using as little footwork as possible. The improvement to my hands and improvisation has been huge. What do you think of this drill? Do you do it?
     
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  2. Topspin Shot

    Topspin Shot Legend

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    I've done it before. I did a lot of it when I was an assistant coach for the girls team at my school. Funnily enough, I thought I played better tennis when I would play a match afterward.
     
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  3. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    yep, as an instructor you get a lot more feel with the hands, but must be careful not to get too lazy and depend on it too much in matches..:)
     
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  4. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Actually, there's a lot of Fed footage where he's warming up with little to no footwork, just casual open stance, about 18" wide, but he preps early by turning shoulders fully and hitting about an......average for Fed forehand and backhand.
    I think it's part of the early prep drill he does, so in point play, the shoulder's turn first and foremost.
     
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  5. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    Interesting. Never thought of this.

    My volleying sucks. so i'm gonna give this a try.
     
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  6. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Well, lots of player's don't need to turn the shoulder's for forehand volleys, but those player DO turn a lot for backhand volleys. Could be from a grip of conti towards eForehand, could be a forehand volley is 2nd nature, but those guys also use a longer backswing and foreward swing on the backhand volleys.
     
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  7. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    I coach a ton of kids throughout the summer months, and I forsure noticed what you have said. My hands get ridiculously good since I don't hit out against them, it's mostly just feel based. The kids love it when you run them around without really blowing them off court. It definitely improves feel.

    -Fuji
     
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  8. goran_ace

    goran_ace Hall of Fame

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    Back in my teaching days we would make it a point to get in a good hitting session or play some sets at least every other day to keep from getting teaching legs.
     
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  9. hawk eye

    hawk eye Hall of Fame

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    Yes the flat footed hacks usually have the greatest hands.
    They see all this moving as a sign of weakness, and shake their heads thinking: silly bugger, all tiring himself out to compensate for his stone hands :)
     
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  10. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Haha, love it.
     
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  11. Ash_Smith

    Ash_Smith Hall of Fame

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    Sounds like my entire coaching career! :D
     
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  12. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    Haha. good one!

    I hope I'm not one of the hacks you imply, cuz in my defense I did say that this idea was new to me. hehe
     
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  13. boramiNYC

    boramiNYC Hall of Fame

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    It's called efficiency in your movement. Good footwork doesn't mean move as much as you can as fast as you can. It means move just enough and just fast enough. So many enthusiastic recs overdo their footwork.

    For example, your heels should be on the ground as much as possible for high level play for greater balance and control. You only lift them when needed either for extra power or speed. Unnecessary heels in the air sacrifices balance which is the most important aspect in tennis skill.

    Watch pros. You'd be surprised how well planted their feet are so often.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2014
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  14. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    OP is talking about hitting. Of course if you rally with old players who hit straight back to you, you will move less. The real question is why do you think you should move more in the first place in this situation?

    And why would this have any relevance to real match play?
     
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  15. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

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    This seems like a bad idea. Pros don't seem to move much while rallying but they take the perfect two or three steps to get in the exact right spot so it just looks easy..
     
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  16. Steady Eddy

    Steady Eddy Hall of Fame

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    Because old players have more accuracy?
     
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  17. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Or less adventurous
     
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