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-   -   Optimal Footwork, Step Patterns?? (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=478852)

user92626 10-01-2013 03:14 PM

Optimal Footwork, Step Patterns??
 
I don't know why I feel I'm very slow to get to shots hit to my FH side!

Let's say I am at the center mark, I hop/split step as my opponent hits to my fh corner requiring me to move laterally, which foot should push as the first step? Is there an optimal pattern?

MurrayMyInspiration 10-01-2013 03:21 PM

I dont follow any specific tennis footwork, I just move naturally. I have been watching tennis pros for years so I have subconciously learned footwork patterns. ie moving in for short balls, cross steps for inside out forehand or whatever.

Is there a problem with never actually learning footwork/step patterns?

I just learned how to move better as I grew older. My body tells me the fastest way to get to the ball naturally, cross steps or sprint or whatever.

MurrayMyInspiration 10-01-2013 03:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by user92626 (Post 7791810)
I don't know why I feel I'm very slow to get to shots hit to my FH side!

Let's say I am at the center mark, I hop/split step as my opponent hits to my fh corner requiring me to move laterally, which foot should push as the first step? Is there an optimal pattern?

I do know this though so take note.

After you split step the fastest way to get to the ball is as follows.
If ball is on right side of you and you split step the first foot to move off the ground at moment of impact after split is the LEFT foot.

If the ball is on your left side at moment of impact after split you should move your right leg.

Also remember this is the fastest way to get to balls when returning!

If ball is on right side move left leg if ball is on left side of body move your right leg.

Topspin Shot 10-01-2013 03:27 PM

Crossover step with the left foot. Last step before contact should be with the right foot, so you can pivot into the shot and recover more easily.

Tight Lines 10-01-2013 03:30 PM

If you need to be on a dead run to even get to the ball, try this. Pivot and at the same time bring your right foot in. And then push off on your right foot. That is the fastest way IMO.

http://www.essentialtennisinstructio...l-turn-and-go/

I seem to recall the serve doctor (Pat Dougherty) saying the same thing. I am sure he has a youtube video on it.

Harry

Lukhas 10-01-2013 03:38 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5CWAwtijVI
A bit long, but full of valuable tips IMO.

user92626 10-01-2013 03:47 PM

So, coming out of a split step the first foot to move is the crossover foot, correct?

I tend to swing with my weight planted on the left foot (I'm lefty). So somehow I need to arrive with that foot as the last step!

Topspin Shot 10-01-2013 04:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by user92626 (Post 7791880)
So, coming out of a split step the first foot to move is the crossover foot, correct?

I tend to swing with my weight planted on the left foot (I'm lefty). So somehow I need to arrive with that foot as the last step!

In a nutshell, yes. Since you're a lefty, cross over with the right foot and arrive with the left. Tight Lines is talking about something called the drop or gravity step, which can work as well or better than the crossover step but is more complicated. I would recommend sticking to the crossover step for now, but you can give the drop step a go if you like.

WildVolley 10-01-2013 05:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by user92626 (Post 7791810)
I don't know why I feel I'm very slow to get to shots hit to my FH side!

Let's say I am at the center mark, I hop/split step as my opponent hits to my fh corner requiring me to move laterally, which foot should push as the first step? Is there an optimal pattern?

If you have to move far, a drop step is the optimal first movement. For example, I'm right handed and I want to move to the right (my forehand). As I'm dropping down toward the ground out of the split step (assuming I've read the ball in the air), I'll land on my left foot which will start pushing me to the right as my right foot drops under the center of gravity and allows me to start running to the right. My left leg will then cross over.

If you have more time and the ball is close you can sometimes just shuffle to the right or do a small cross over step.

user92626 10-01-2013 09:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lukhas (Post 7791859)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5CWAwtijVI
A bit long, but full of valuable tips IMO.

Pretty good. This one has more action.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agkP1i2Ljto

Whether my footwork was optimal or not, I used to follow only one pattern very consistently which was always planting the back foot and hitting off of it. Hitting felt very easy.

The above video shows some very advanced and optimal movements. At first the walking step makes me feel like hitting off foot, but after a while it feels very efficient.

5263 10-01-2013 09:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by user92626 (Post 7791810)
I don't know why I feel I'm very slow to get to shots hit to my FH side!

Let's say I am at the center mark, I hop/split step as my opponent hits to my fh corner requiring me to move laterally, which foot should push as the first step? Is there an optimal pattern?

I'm a righty and if moving fast to my right...I lift my right foot and push with my left for a quick 1st step before crossing over. That right foot move is short and more of a slide and pivot sometimes. Since it seemed others are telling you the opposite, I watched several games of Fed against Murray. Each time I saw him pushed to cover ground quick, he did it as I explained. I'll look into this more. Is this what some call a gravity step?

user92626 10-01-2013 10:16 PM

5263

You made me go and look up youtube :)

Does this guy have a particular pattern on his FH and BH side or it's all random?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2lK09iYdhJs

It seems like he just hits off whichever foot the timing of his shot dictates :)

Tight Lines 10-02-2013 06:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by user92626 (Post 7792549)
5263

You made me go and look up youtube :)

Does this guy have a particular pattern on his FH and BH side or it's all random?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2lK09iYdhJs

It seems like he just hits off whichever foot the timing of his shot dictates :)

Look at the one forehand hit at 0:28 when he is being pulled wide. He is doing the drop step/gravity turn.

Harry

5263 10-02-2013 08:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by user92626 (Post 7792549)
5263

You made me go and look up youtube :)

Does this guy have a particular pattern on his FH and BH side or it's all random?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2lK09iYdhJs

It seems like he just hits off whichever foot the timing of his shot dictates :)

Imo the key is there are many variations and situations. Often you can anticipate your move as you settle in on your split step and already have the weight shifted and ready for your move. Also most of those in the vid don't require fast or far movement.

0:10 secs was an excellent example of what I'm stating. I think it is a serve rtn, where His split is deep, balanced and strong, looking like the situation you asked about initially. Left leg starts to push as the right foot lifts slightly and the hips and body pivot as the right foot step out. Imo, this is for the strongest, fastest move to the right and how we did it as a running back in football.

5263 10-02-2013 08:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tight Lines (Post 7793019)
Look at the one forehand hit at 0:28 when he is being pulled wide. He is doing the drop step/gravity turn.

Harry

I agree. There he is using a variation of moving the rt foot first. Seems he sort of steps out with the right to get his wt in that direction, but then the rt foot doesn't quite hit the ground till it's lost ground and actually seems to touch closer to the left foot it had moved or started. Maybe that is what is called as a drop step.

jakeytennis 10-02-2013 08:55 AM

i move naturally too i react quickly and get to every ball while taking efficient steps. i never really learned "patterns" but while playing a ton a tennis while moving naturally, my footwork got really good/effecient

JackB1 10-02-2013 09:11 AM

pay attention to your footwork and balance AFTER you hit your shot. This will aid your recovery greatly.

TimeSpiral 10-02-2013 09:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by user92626 (Post 7791810)
I don't know why I feel I'm very slow to get to shots hit to my FH side!

Let's say I am at the center mark, I hop/split step as my opponent hits to my fh corner requiring me to move laterally, which foot should push as the first step? Is there an optimal pattern?

Let's start with this. Maybe you're just painting the picture for us, but the center mark is not typically the proper recovery position.

Take a look at the two diagrams below (sorry, it's for Righty's, just invert it). If your opponent is going to have to hit an outside FH, then you FH recovery looks about like this, depending on the angle you give him:



In the above, you have to cover the same distance for the FH angle, and the COD DTL shot. If you recover to the center mark--given the same scenario--now you've given yourself a situation ripe with potential disaster. Check it out:



In this instance, you're covering the COD DTL shot which is a lower percentage shot. The more likely shot is CC, and you could be a full step or more short if it's a good angle.

The recovery positions all depend on where your opponent is likely to have to hit the ball, and based on his playing patterns, the shot he is most likely to hit. Sometimes people will purposefully recover to the "wrong" positions because they are "cheating" (as it is sometimes called). They've read their opponent to the point where they are willing to gamble with their court positioning in order to get an inside ball.

Oh, shoot ... but to answer your question about the lead foot: If I have to run down a ball, then I split > full turn > run. The turn / run dynamic is something you've been doing since you were a tiny child. Don't over think it. You really just need to cover the max amount of ground in the shortest period of time possible. In other words: just run!

user92626 10-02-2013 02:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TimeSpiral (Post 7793348)

Oh, shoot ... but to answer your question about the lead foot: If I have to run down a ball, then I split > full turn > run. The turn / run dynamic is something you've been doing since you were a tiny child. Don't over think it. You really just need to cover the max amount of ground in the shortest period of time possible. In other words: just run!

Nice diagrams, TimeS

That's what I initially thought also. Just run. But since asking my question I have figured out my problem and the solution I need!!!

It's not that i'm not fast enough or don't know the best coverage spot. My problem was that I was too rigid and one dimensional with my hitting stance*, meaning, I used only one stance to hit and if I didn't arrive at the same step I'd need adjustment (ie slowing down) or to hit off foot (ie feel weaken). I'm going to start hitting with more stands and different movement directions.

(*It makes sense because I had had a lot of success being consistent though it only worked against average hitter. So never had the need for more. I start to play with better guys now...)

Thanks, everyone

Greg G 10-02-2013 05:56 PM

This is a great video to complement TimeSpiral's diagrams:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2oATunPKM4


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