|06-10-2004, 10:58 PM||#1|
Bungalo Bill, help please
I was wondering if there were any excercises that you could advise me to do that would improve my footwork, i sometimes have trouble consistently hittin balls with a lot of spin, and balls that force me to hit a shot while i am unbalanced, i really need to correct this because once my opponent see's that it is my weakness it gets exploited and it costs me quite a few points!
|06-14-2004, 11:12 AM||#3|
Join Date: Feb 2004
I am so sorry it took me so long to respond to this email. This weekend has been extremely busy reviewing pro videos (courtesy of John Yandell).
In fact, my mind was working overtime rehearsing the things I saw on the videos for analysis that I had a problem keeping my focus on the tennis ball during some tennis matches I played.
Oh well, at least I can try and help you play better tennis!
I pulled this off of About.com at http://tennis.about.com/library/weekly/aa052902.htm.
This is a good place to start to improve your footwork. Later, I will recommend some specific footwork patterns to use during your stroke production in a match. However, the most important footwork pattern is to be able to step out with the foot closest to the ball for both forehand and backhand. You can hop on one leg, then when a ball is hit to whichever side you chose, you step out first with the leg that is up. For example, if your hitting backhands and your righthanded, you will hop on your right leg, when the ball is coming, you step first with your left leg (or the one that is up).
Tennis Footwork Drills:
These tennis footwork drills, adapted from a USTA sequence, are gentle enough to use as a first activity on the court. If you have two courts available, use the distance from the outer doubles line of one to the other. Most of the exercises go this full length, except where noted as "(half)." If you only have one court, go to the net and back for full-length exercises.
Doing these in order is recommended, but not crucial. Use a relaxed pace throughout.
"I" am the coach leading the drill, doing each exercise along with you. You can do this sequence alone or take turns within a group acting as the leader.
1. Jog: Jog one full length.
2. Backwards Jog
3. Slides: Sliding, or side-stepping, is like a sideways gallop, where your feet come together, then one foot steps sideways so that your feet are widely separated. Face me. We'll slide along sideways, and each time I say "turn," we'll face the opposite way as we continue to slide.
4. Butt Kicks: (half) Place your hands on your rear, palms out. Jog so that you kick your palm with your heel on each step.
5. Backwards Skip: (half)
6. Carioca: The carioca step is a way to move sideways at a constant speed. Your left foot crosses in front of your right, your right foot steps right, your left foot crosses behind your right, then your right foot steps right, and the pattern repeats. Face me. Each time I say "turn," we'll face the opposite way as we continue to carioca.
7. Wedel: (half) Keeping your feet together, make small jumps slightly more sideways than forward, as if you were making quick turns on downhill skis.
8. High-Knee Jog: (half) On each step, lift your knee as close to your chest as possible. Leaning back helps.
9. Angle Slides: Facing backwards, do two fairly long slides at a 45-degree angle to your right, then two left, and so on.
10. Jog and High Hop: Jog along slowly, then when I say "left" or "right," get as high a hop as you can off that foot.
11. Backwards Snake: Jog backwards, completing an S-turn with every ten small steps or so.
12. Baby Bounds: Facing forward, make fairly large jumps, more sideways than forward, from the ball of one foot to the ball of the other.
13. Slide and Sprint Face me: We'll slide along sideways, and each time I say "turn," we'll face the opposite way as we continue to slide along, but if I say "sprint," we'll sprint forward until I say "slide," at which time, you'll face me and slide again.
14. Back, Split, and Sprint: Jog backward very slowly, then when I say "hold," maintain a bouncing split step. If I say "back," continue jogging backward slowly, but if I say "sprint," turn and sprint forward until I say "hold," after which I might say "sprint" or "back" again.
I have more and will post soon again. So stay tuned. The next stuff will be specific to tennis strokes and preparation. SOme of these (if done right) will knock you out.
Former USPTA Teaching Professional
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