Tired Of Thinking About A Split Step

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Cindysphinx, Dec 22, 2009.

  1. TheLama

    TheLama Banned

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    Messages:
    416
    You can protect your lower back, and you knees, by making sure that your knees are always bent, this way, when you turn your shoulders to prepare to hit, you hips, which are a ball-and-socket joint, absorb all of the stress, as opposed to L 3/4/5, and your knees, which are not designed to be twisted, but to be only moved in one direction.

    Do squats, with or without resistance to train for getting low.
     
  2. tennytive

    tennytive Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    Messages:
    727
    Back to the split step

    I thought a split step was only really necessary when on the run, such as when following a serve in to the net.

    The rest of the time it would seem to me that maintaining your ready position should be sufficient as long as you can anticipate where your opponent is most likely to return your last shot. Up on the balls of your feet and balanced to move toward the ball is more important than whether or not you split step before each return. It sounds like you play more than anyone here, so it should only be a matter of time before it becomes a habit.

    Athletes are trained to react, not overthink, so you may be trying too hard. Just play and let it come to you. Eventually it will.

    If you have to think about every move you make, then maybe chess is the game for you. ;-)
     
  3. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    35,688
    Basically, split step is another phrase for READY POSITION.
    If you don't know where your opponent is hitting the ball, the ready position is feet 22" apart, body facing the opponent, hand held waist high, rackethead just below your chin.
    When you're run out into the doubles alley, you don't need a split step or ready position, you KNOW they're hitting into your open court.
     
  4. crystal_clear

    crystal_clear Professional

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2008
    Messages:
    848
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    Thanks lama. It makes a lot of senses. Knee bent is important not only to store energy but also to protect knees.

    Do kick serves hurt the back/low back?
     
  5. TheLama

    TheLama Banned

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    Messages:
    416
    A split-step or a hop has to be performed just before your opponent contacts the ball if you want to move into position for your shot having the most amount of time to do so, especially on a faster court.

    At the highest levels of play, the ball reaches your side of the net between .8-1.0 seconds. Reacting once you see where the ball is going, is already too late. You should already be moving to where the ball is headed before your opponents ball crosses his own service line.

    Anticipating your opponent's shot is also critical, and by the fourth service game, including your observations during the warm-up, you should know all of your opponent's shot selection capabilities, his likes and dislikes, and his predilections of the two. That, tied into proper movement with a split-step, is what allows you to flow and to play with balance.

    Lastly, players think all of the time while training, unless they are only going through the motions. A player can frequently work on something for months, before it can be used in a match situation automatically.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2010
  6. TheLama

    TheLama Banned

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    Messages:
    416
    It depends on how you hit your kick serve. Some players can bend their knees enough with their backs straight while they toss the ball behind them, and some do so with both their back and knees. If its the latter, you may aggravate an existing condition, but to actually get injured, IMO, you must have a weakness there to begin with.
     
  7. skiracer55

    skiracer55 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2007
    Messages:
    2,003
    I'm heavy into cross-training...

    ...I do all the gym rat stuff, but in the summer, I alternate days on the court with something like 50 miles or so a week on the road bike. Also mountain biking, when I can, which is really good balance and quickness training as well as strength and aerobics. A lot of days after something like two hard hours on court, I will cool down with an easy to moderate 15 to 20 mile jaunt on the road bike, which helps strengthen all the muscles and stuff that support the knees and seems to help strengthen and unkink my back. I did Ride the Rockies this year (380 miles in 6 days over 3 major Colorado mountain passes), and I really felt stronger and quicker on the court after the ride.

    In the winter, I try to ride when the roads permit, sometimes we can play tennis outdoors, but mostly I'm a Masters Alpine ski racer. I'm on snow 4 to 5 days a week, training, free skiing, or racing. Slalom, especially, helps my quickness for S&V tennis, which is what I prefer. The main thing is that I don't feel like have to work at the cross-training stuff I do, it's just play in another form just like playing on a tennis court. And after a long winter of mostly skiing, I'm really antsy to get back on the court again...
     
  8. crystal_clear

    crystal_clear Professional

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2008
    Messages:
    848
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    I see. Keep back straight when serving is a better way unless you have a flexible back like Djokovic.

    Both Roddick and Federer keep their backs straight while Djokovic bent his back as well as knees.
    Andy Roddick
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91IxRV4RDt8
    Roger Federer
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HW4-7uhUjdI
    Novak Djokovic
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ShF5LVCi7zI
     
  9. TheLama

    TheLama Banned

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    Messages:
    416
    And both Roddick and Federer have had multiple back issues which they must protect.
     
  10. smoothtennis

    smoothtennis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 8, 2007
    Messages:
    1,541
    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    Not sure I agree with this advice. Sounds good on paper, but honestly, if she split-steps too soon BEFORE the opponent strikes the ball, her weight will already be planted again when the ball comes off the strings. A tiny hop is all that is needed here and when her weight hits the court, her feet should already know which direction they are going.
     
  11. TheLama

    TheLama Banned

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    Messages:
    416
    For sure. Earlier posts mentioned the same.
     
  12. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    11,885
    Actually Lama isnt 100% correct. If he was, he would have sources and all 100% of the sources would agree.

    Further, we aren't talking about hardcore jump roping, we are simply talking about a light skip over a rope to get the heart rate up.

    This is conjunction with other warm-up activities as well such as dynamic stretching, etc...

    So actually because you indicated no error in Lama's opinion (and that is all it is) you are wrong.

    I know you are new to tennis but just in case you didn't know, a WARM-UP can be a mix of:

    1. Dynamic stretching

    2. Light jump roping

    3. Stationary cycling

    Further, a warm-up can take place for 10 minutes, 15 minutes or eve 30 minutes.

    The point to a warm-up is you warm-up gradually and this will also be dictated by the current physical and health condition of the athlete.

    Basic stuff.

    Bottom-line the use of a jump rope in warm-up is perfectly fine. Athletes do not overdo it and use it simply to get their heart rate up and for other benefits. This is one tool out of many an athlete can use to warm-up.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2010
  13. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    11,885
    But that is the point. People can warm-up with a jump rope if they can. It is not as hard on the body as you have implied. We are not talking about jump rope training. We are simply talking about using a jump rope during a persons warm-up.

    Well that is great. I am glad you are helping them win. You should be helping them win. That is your job.

    However, when you waltz in here claiming the sky is falling for any athlete to not use a jump rope for warm-up which you can not prove nor have studies on it, you are blowing things out of proportion and is an unfounded opinion.

    Many of us here have taught athletes and have been trained at tennis and coaching. And since jump rope is a common activity across a variety of sports, many of us can use our background and experience with the exercise to make an informed decision.

    What you did not include in your opiniated is that it isn't a light jump rope that is the culprit to injury but poor technique and bad posture.

    The same can be said about cycling. If you use poor technique, posture, and don't setup the bike up right, you increase the risk of injury.

    The point to warm-up is you can gradually increase the exercises in a warm-up. There is nothing wrong with someone performing dynamic stretching and then some light jump rope for 2 -3 minutes. Absolutely nothing.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2010
  14. TennisCoachFLA

    TennisCoachFLA Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Messages:
    4,338
    Yawn, more finding a way to argue with anyone who disagrees. Jump rope all you want for warmups.

    I will go with the opinion of the IMG program, the Saddlebrook program, the Macci program, the program from 17 NCAA titles coach Dick Gould, the Sanchez-Casal program.

    Every one of those programs specifically instructs players to not use jumping rope as part of a warm up.

    But whatever pal, bluster away if it gets you feeling happy. You have a few poor souls here who actually can not see through your nonsense. Go preach to that choir!
     
  15. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    11,885
    Hahahahahaham, opinion? Who gives a darn!!!! I could care less of your little name dropping garbage.

    Answer the question or provide the proof. If you can't then I would suggest not posting.

    You are in an area you have no idea about. All you do is post what others have told you. You can't think for yourself can you.

    Whatever man!!! You have nothing except for your little name dropping! SHOW THE PROOF!!!!!

    This is like basic stuff!!! Here is a five minute warm-up!!! My gosh this is easy.

    1. Dynamic stretching: 3- 4 minutes.

    2. Light jump rope: 1 minute

    Done.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2010
  16. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    11,885
    For those of you following this stuff on jump roping, it is utter nonsense to think you can not incorporate some jump rope in your warm-up.

    We aren't talking about performing radical moves with the rope and leaping off the ground to turn the rope three times underneath you before landing. We are talking about performing summersaults in the air over your grandmother and landing on hard cement either

    We are simply talking about using the jump rope to help increase blood flow and oxygen in your system. We are also talking about using a jump rope with dynamic stretching as well.

    You always want to stretch the body and then use the jump rope for what I mentioned above. You should stretch no matter what and it should be a regular routine for your warm-up.

    For those of you that want to incorporate a little jump rope in your wamr-up go ahead and do so.

    Make sure you are skipping rope and not jumping rope. Feet should come off the ground no more than 1-2 inches.

    I also do not recommend weighted ropes and that adds strain to the elbow and wrist area. Just get a good regular jump rope.

    The key to preventing injury while using a jump rope is your posture while doing it. Again, we aren't talking about radical exercises performed with the jump rope.

    It can be as light as turning the rope over back and forth without skipping over it and lightly coming off your heels. 'once you get your rythym and feel you are warmed-up you can then skip rope for 2 minutes or so and that is that.

    Again, we aren't talking about starting cold and then jumping real high and fast right away.

    We are simply talking about warm-up.
     
  17. TheLama

    TheLama Banned

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    Messages:
    416
    I'm just not having my players warming-up with a jump rope for all of the reasons previously stated.

    Regarding studies: the only ones I need are what my players and other players at that level have to say, which is not to jump rope without warming-up first, especially with the conditions that they bring to the table.

    Personally, I don't believe that there is such a thing as light jumping rope, hence, my caution with my players to be better off safe than sorry. Money talks, and I'm not taking any risks in losing my player's money, nor my percentage thereof. I hope that makes sense to you.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2010
  18. TennisCoachFLA

    TennisCoachFLA Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Messages:
    4,338
    Folks, this is a tennis forum. We talk about tennis warm ups. You guys should not keep listening to Bill who is WAY out of his area of expertise when compared to sports medicine experts who specialize in tennis players.

    Why do most TENNIS experts advise against jumping rope until after you are totally warmed up? Why do some of them advise against jumping rope at all?

    Accumulative effect. The best tennis players are always bouncing around and putting tons of stress on their knees. Most Americans play on hard courts. So these successful tennis programs want you to use other means as a warm up. Its simple, no use adding more wear and tear to the knees and ankles. Bad effects accumulate over time.

    If we were high school wrestlers how much pounding from hard courts would our knees take? Non from our chosen sport. Thus our warm up would not add to the knee pounding. So perhaps wrestling experts would give different advice.

    This is not rocket science. The sports medicine experts at major tennis programs have concluded a TENNIS player would be better off not using jumping rope as his or her warm up.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2010
  19. crash1929

    crash1929 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Messages:
    1,902
    as i was playing today this thread lingered in my mind like a bad cough. why are you tired of thinking about the split step? isn't it instinctive live snapping your fingers to the rhythm of a song?
     

Share This Page