Relaxed Tennis, Effortless Tennis website?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by high and deep, Jan 13, 2013.

  1. high and deep

    high and deep New User

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    I saw a website a few weeks ago with videos that dedicated to teaching players to play with relaxed strokes using as little effort as possible. I was going to look through it but went to dinner and when I returned one of my kids closed the browser and I can't find it again. I searched yahoo, google etc. but the sites that came up were not the same.

    If you know of the site I am talking about or know of any, please provide a link.

    thank you.

    Paul
     
    #1
  2. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    Check your browser history, should still be there.
     
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  3. psv255

    psv255 Professional

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    I believe you are talking about feeltennis.net.
    The coach who runs the website recently put up a vid with "minimum effort" drills.
     
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  4. high and deep

    high and deep New User

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    thanks. paul
     
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  5. luvforty

    luvforty Banned

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    this is funny -

    so I watched this video on feeltennis and used the method this evening... definitely feel lot more relaxed and didn't spend nearly as much energy.. this is a great tip!

    problem is I don't feel like I was playing with any intensity... felt like relaxed sleep walk out there.
     
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  6. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Like Murray ripsawing thru Haase today in Ausieland.
    Little effort, big rewards.
     
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  7. luvforty

    luvforty Banned

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    i know - this is the way to go.... just gonna take a few hits to adjust the mentality.
     
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  8. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    He advises to get the feel by playing passively and let the ball move the racket. But after that in a real game, this is not feasible.
     
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  9. luvforty

    luvforty Banned

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    no... the point is relaxation and generate pace with minimum effort.. you can do this in game.
     
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  10. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    That is called good technique. Of course relaxed is good. For example, keeping a relaxed arm in a serve.

    But beware of anyone peddling feel, effortlessness, holistic approach, etc.

    They will twist the words to accomodate any situation. You can never prove them wrong. Saying Murray is relaxed is easy. To understand what it means and it it useful to you is a different matter. I play my best when I am relaxed on Sunday compared to on Friday night. But it is not to be made into a philosophy and packaged as some secret.

    The guy's forehand analysis is very good - rotation and extension through the ball towards the target.
     
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  11. jakeytennis

    jakeytennis Rookie

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    i like to feel relaxed physically while playing tennis. i just try to keep my face muscles relaxed
    i still run and swing hard, but i try to minimize unnecessary muscle tension
     
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  12. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    ^^^^ Sounds great. The important thing is to keep the analysis to the applicable situations. For example, if Murray wins, saying he is relaxed, and if he loses, he is not relaxed, is not right.
     
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  13. slowfox

    slowfox Professional

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    I tried the "roll the ball" mentality today. Overall positive results. I was getting some wicked top on my forehand which is usually kinda flat and blah. So I'm happy with holistic, for now...
     
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  14. toly

    toly Hall of Fame

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    Does Murray really look relaxed? What can you say about his face and left arm muscles? There is tension everywhere and no relaxation in pro tennis. :(

    [​IMG]
     
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  15. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    No relaxation in pro tennis? another great quote from toly.

    Toly, what is that a picture of? just curious.
     
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  16. toly

    toly Hall of Fame

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    There is quotation and pictures from Prof. Rod Cross article.

    He stated, “Why do players stretch the fingers of their free hand? Don’t ask me, I don’t know. My guess is that when players tense their muscles to hit a shot, they tense all their muscles, not just the ones they need to tense (about 95% of them)”. :confused:

    So, I have good company. :)

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2014
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  17. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    As you throw your free hand toward the ball, you need to tense your arm/hand to stop its motion to point at the ball.
     
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  18. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    well, i guess that proves it. there is no relaxation in pro tennis. they are all tense all the time for all shots.
     
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  19. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    they put tension in the off hand while extending in order to pull it over quicker during the swing to increase rotation speed.
     
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  20. toly

    toly Hall of Fame

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    Usually every rule has exceptions.:)
     
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  21. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    It's really a Yin-Yang/Zen kind of thing. A balance/blending of relaxation and concentration/intensity is seen in elite athletes in most sports. With black belts in martial arts, we see more efficient/effective movements as a byproduct of intensity and focused relaxation.

    For further reading on this stuff (and more), take a gander at Adam Smith's article, "Sport is a Western Yoga" (Psychology Today, Oct 1975), Michael Murphy's "Golf in the Kingdom", or Timothy Gallwey's various books on The Inner Game (such as "The Inner Game of Tennis").
    .
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2013
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  22. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Really good post here about seeking that balance between intensity and relaxed execution. What is amazing for high level athletes, is how relaxed the effort can
    be, but still get 90-95% of the results. For example as a football player, I could run the sprints at a pace that was leading the pack on each sprint, but at an
    effort that seems only about 50% & could be kept up for a long time. On the other end you had the lineman where that pace was burning them down.
    I'm sure these pro players hitting a million balls, often master that razor's edge
    of relaxed effort and to "be quick without rushing".
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2013
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  23. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    How much weight do you give to this "effortless" claim? I think effortlessness is just what happens when someone is good at what he does and is enjoying a good spell. It appears effortless to others, but apart from being a nice adjective to which we can all nod our heads in approval, what useful information does it convey?
     
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  24. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    i think the idea from the minimum effort drill is twofold:
    - to understand how little effort is needed for specific tasks: getting the ball over the net, creating topspin, hitting near the baseline, serving.
    - to have smooth movement, which gives you an understanding of how kinetic energy can be transferred from one body part movement to another

    these points allow you to Calibrate your effort to what you want to achieve in a particular shot. You can better manage your effort over a match and have improved feel as you're better able to control your power, i.e. you can hit the same shot at different paces.
     
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  25. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    Consciously focusing on relaxing has allowed me to play better.

    I found that I was physically tensing up, literally hunching slightly, in stressful games and points. The talk of "getting tight" is real for many people. So, I interpret the "minimal effort" as a trick to get your to relax the body and focus on hitting the ball.

    This relates to a lot of sports. World Class sprinters talk about being "relaxed" which is the opposite of sprinting full speed. What they mean is that they are letting the muscles that need to fire, fire, without hindering the motion by having unnecessary tension or strain in any other part of the body. Not being overly tense can also allow the body to more quickly develop the neural pathways to higher level performance.
     
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  26. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    You first must stop it moving away from the body and then pull it - it can be one motion or have a pause.
     
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  27. corners

    corners Legend

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    Toly, take a look at photos of Federer taken the moment before he starts the forward swing on his forehand. Focus on the thumb of his racquet-hand. What does this imply about the biomechanics of the stroke? Make sure you've got a solid grasp on agonist-antagonist muscle relationships, reciprocal inhibition and SSC.
     
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  28. luvforty

    luvforty Banned

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    actually fed is the only player without any strain on facial muscle... maybe that is why he is goat.
     
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  29. toly

    toly Hall of Fame

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    This is true.

    [​IMG]

    Federer face and left hand muscles very often are relaxed. Every rule has exceptions.

    Perhaps this is the reason that he has underdeveloped left arm? It seems that there is something incredibly unique (maybe “wrong”) about Federer.:confused:
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2013
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  30. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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  31. morandi

    morandi Rookie

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    The way I look at the minimal effort drill, its not so much about relaxing (though that can be a byproduct) but allowing your body to do something in the most effective and efficient way possible. The word "allowing" to me is key, as opposed to forcing yourself. Not over analyzing, but allowing your body to find what it knows how to do.
     
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  32. slowfox

    slowfox Professional

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    Great way to articulate the idea.

     
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  33. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I think that is a camera effect. Otherwise I would be seriously concerned if his arm was really like that.
     
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  34. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Much of what we think is relaxed is because the pros are prepared, physically and mentally, much earlier. It is the part we miss, giving the illusion of effortlessness.
     
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  35. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I didn't read Rafa's book because I did not think he would actually talk about technical matters. But his insight as quoted on this site is very good. The guy is really bright. There being no perfect stroke and the need for minute adjustments to every ball is a key insight from a master of the game.
     
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  36. morandi

    morandi Rookie

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    This is really true. Every time I fall into the "trap" of wanting to hit perfect strokes it leads to and creates rigidity both in mindset and physically. Does not make for good tennis.
     
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  37. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I am almost beginning to think pros are not the players with the perfect srokes but the ones who can do the minute adjustments efficiently.
     
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  38. Avles

    Avles Hall of Fame

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    The more I see of the Feel Tennis site the more I like it.

    I know nothing about coaching tennis, but I've spent some time teaching languages, and some of what he says resonates with my experiences as a teacher.

    For example this article on responding to mistakes: http://www.feeltennis.net/how-to-be-at-peace-with-mistakes-in-tennis/

    I try to get across to my students that mistakes are okay, that they are a natural and inevitable part of learning, that they are actually essential to learning, and that they can be signs of progress. But that idea is a hard sell (in part because the grade-and test-centered nature of for-credit classroom instruction encourages a focus on mistake avoidance--maybe this is comparable to an overemphasis on competitive results in tennis instruction).

    From what I've seen the students who combine a willingness to make mistakes with a fervent desire to improve are the ones who get the furthest. Maybe that applies to tennis as well...
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2013
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  39. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    I think the basic technique is very very important. Rafa's advice and the Feel Tennis site show how dynamic some shots are and yes, each shot is different. You may use a normal follow-thru by your opposite shoulder, you may use a reverse follow-thru, contact may be early or late, you may have weight on L or R foot, open or closed stance.

    But, my theory is if you learn good technique for a moderate topspin rally ball, it is the basis for almost all the topspin shots you will hit. Also, good slice technique will become the basis for all your slice shots.

    So, I think almost all tennis shots no matter how dynamic the situation benefit from good basic technique. Yes, there are loads of adjustments but the adjusted stroke is a close cousin of the basic stroke and not a new thing.

    Just my opinion but interested if others agree or disagree.
     
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  40. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    That is 100% correct.
     
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  41. TCF

    TCF Hall of Fame

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    ==========================
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2013
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  42. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    Exactly, if you cannot hit a basic slice FH, I guarantee you are not going to hit the "squash" shot from behind your body when you are on the full run. You must have the basic technique in order to "adapt" to dynamic situations.
     
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