Do you do split step?

user92626

G.O.A.T.
How important is it to you?

Have you learned it? Applying it adequately or are you trying to, with mixed results?

How do you process your split step method? I assume everyone has a different timing so their SS could be a bit different.
 

Born_to_slice

Hall of Fame
Depends on the pace of the rally and on how tired my legs feel. People often forget you got to have fitness of a pro to move like a pro. If your fitness isn't good enough and you're hopping like a bunny from the start, you'll end up drained of energy at half of the match or sooner. Moving with small steps consistently without jumping is far less tiring. I guess it depends on years too.
 

TheIntrovert

Hall of Fame
Very much so. But never really learnt or practiced doing it. And never concentrate on doing it. Kinda just happens naturally when i play.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
Learned the SS back in the mid/late 1970s. But back then, we were taught use it on just on serve returns and on net approaches (which happened quite a bit in those serve & volley days of tennis)..

A decade later, many of us noticed that Steffi Graf was executing a very obvious SS all the time (every single time her opponent hit the ball). So started to make it a habit all the time abour 30 years ago.

Pretty much start the SS hop during the forward (or upward) swing of the opponent's racket so that I'm at the top of my hop as they make contact. With this timing, I am landing very shortly after the ball has left their racket (or just after I hear their contact). By that time, I have a pretty good idea which way I need to start moving (running or walking, as needed) to intercept the incoming ball.
 
Last edited:

Fairhit

Professional
Yes but not naturally, I had to invest some time and focus to make it a habit, I have to start as soon as my opponent is about to hit the ball and try not to overdo it or I'll be done by the 10th game. I have the fitness of a 3 months old.
 

TagUrIt

Hall of Fame
How important is it to you?



Have you learned it? Applying it adequately or are you trying to, with mixed results?



How do you process your split step method? I assume everyone has a different timing so their SS could be a bit different.
Very important, especially at the higher levels of tennis.

I’ve learned it and I always use it on return or serve. Honestly speaking when I play doubles, I don’t split as much.

I split when I see my opponent make contact with the ball.

I attended an adult tennis camp this summer and one of the coaches said “The difference between players that SS and don’t SS, is comparable to two cars stopped at and approaching a stop light. One car takes off when the light is green, the car approaching the green light will ALWAYS be faster”

That really resinated with me. I can’t say that I split step every single shot, but the more I play the more it becomes a habit.
Plus, if you watch the pros play, they split step and it just looks better! :cool:
 
Last edited:

Fairhit

Professional
I split when I see my opponent make contact with the ball.

I attended an adult tennis camp this summer and one of the coaches said “The difference between players that SS and don’t SS, is comparable to two cars stopped at and approaching a stop light. One car takes off when the light is green, the car approaching the green light will ALWAYS be faster”

That really resinated with me. I can’t say that I split step every single shot, but the more I play the more it becomes a habit.
Plus, if you watch the pros play, they split step and it just looks better!
:cool:
I don't worry about the looks, in a tennis court and no matter what I do, I always look uncool...
 

pabletion

Hall of Fame
How important is it to you?

Have you learned it? Applying it adequately or are you trying to, with mixed results?

How do you process your split step method? I assume everyone has a different timing so their SS could be a bit different.
Yes, all the time. I dont think about it ever, but I splitstep when returning serve, when I go to the net and opppnent is just about to hit, when Im on the baseline just as opponent is about to hit.......

Its just a way to stay on your toes, ready to explode towards any direction.

Ive played basketball and soccer on my highschool years, and I find practically in any sport where youre required to react fast and explode to different directions, you need to be on your toes, split step keeps you on your toes.

If youre found flatfooted a lot of balls are gonna pass you by.
 

Curious

Legend
Depends on the pace of the rally and on how tired my legs feel. People often forget you got to have fitness of a pro to move like a pro. If your fitness isn't good enough and you're hopping like a bunny from the start, you'll end up drained of energy at half of the match or sooner. Moving with small steps consistently without jumping is far less tiring. I guess it depends on years too.
Interesting. Do you get more tired when you play with split stepping or when you don’t split step? Never thought about that. However, if split stepping makes movement more effective , shouldn’t it be more efficient as well? Hence less energy consumed, less tiredness?
 

Fairhit

Professional
Interesting. Do you get more tired when you play with split stepping or when you don’t split step? Never thought about that. However, if split stepping makes movement more effective , shouldn’t it be more efficient as well? Hence less energy consumed, less tiredness?
You are moving more, when you split step you are not only consuming more energy than what you save at the beginning of the movement, your muscles are constantly flexing and releasing, is not that much about energy as it is about fitness.
 

user92626

G.O.A.T.
Pretty much start the SS hop during the forward (or upward) swing of the opponent's racket so that I'm at the top of my hop as they make contact. With this timing, I am landing very shortly after the ball has left their racket (or just after I hear their contact). By that time, I have a pretty good idea which way I need to start moving (running or walking, as needed) to intercept the incoming ball.
Wow, I have found the exact same thing as the most effective thing for me to use.

Do you also find that the timing can be the same consistent, ie start at that same moment, but due to various opponent's speeds, which we sort of need to time it, we can quicken or slo-motion the hopping and falling (or probably the size of the SS)?
 

user92626

G.O.A.T.
Yes, all the time. I dont think about it ever, but I splitstep when returning serve, when I go to the net and opppnent is just about to hit, when Im on the baseline just as opponent is about to hit.......

Its just a way to stay on your toes, ready to explode towards any direction.

Ive played basketball and soccer on my highschool years, and I find practically in any sport where youre required to react fast and explode to different directions, you need to be on your toes, split step keeps you on your toes.

If youre found flatfooted a lot of balls are gonna pass you by.
SS has to be a conscious thing for me, at least at this point in time. I have to think about it to execute :(

It doesn't help that I play a lot of dubs which is the only thing avail for me most of the time, and dubs don't demand huge efficiency in movement. So, SS skill is very lagging for me.
 

Born_to_slice

Hall of Fame
Interesting. Do you get more tired when you play with split stepping or when you don’t split step? Never thought about that. However, if split stepping makes movement more effective , shouldn’t it be more efficient as well? Hence less energy consumed, less tiredness?
I don't split step too much anyway but I'm a decent mover and defender. Usually find small side steps and anticipation sufficient to not get flat footed. If you know where the ball is going smallest movement is enough of a springboard to be on the ball on time. If my opponent has a short ball I'll again prefer anticipation over split step without a side flow. If I'm playing with dead legs, I won't split step at all practically. It's not a conscious decision though, just energy limitation.
 

user92626

G.O.A.T.
Depends on the pace of the rally and on how tired my legs feel. People often forget you got to have fitness of a pro to move like a pro. If your fitness isn't good enough and you're hopping like a bunny from the start, you'll end up drained of energy at half of the match or sooner. Moving with small steps consistently without jumping is far less tiring. I guess it depends on years too.
Interesting. Do you get more tired when you play with split stepping or when you don’t split step? Never thought about that. However, if split stepping makes movement more effective , shouldn’t it be more efficient as well? Hence less energy consumed, less tiredness?
Born, I don't think any one of us is asking to have something "like a pro". But, how about pro-form, skills at recreational intensity, effort?


The question over tiredness is quite interesting and complex imo. I guess, for some of us who can afford to get more tired, we still need to know a method to move faster. So, knowing SS is good here. It sucks when you lose, ie being wrong footed all the time, and still have an abundance of energy.

But generally speaking, if you want more reward, wouldn't you have to invest more? You wanna move better, faster and more, naturally you gonna spend more energy (but at least you know how), I guess you'll get more tired.

But then there's also the question of doing "less" but grossly wrong vs doing more but effective, there's gonna be a point where on the left side the former is more tiring, and on the right side the latter is more tiring. The trick is to find this point.
 

Born_to_slice

Hall of Fame
Born, I don't think any one of us is asking to have something "like a pro". But, how about pro-form, skills at recreational intensity, effort?


The question over tiredness is quite interesting and complex imo. I guess, for some of us who can afford to get more tired, we still need to know a method to move faster. So, knowing SS is good here. It sucks when you lose, ie being wrong footed all the time, and still have an abundance of energy.

But generally speaking, if you want more reward, wouldn't you have to invest more? You wanna move better, faster and more, naturally you gonna spend more energy (but at least you know how), I guess you'll get more tired.

But then there's also the question of doing "less" but grossly wrong vs doing more but effective, there's gonna be a point where on the left side the former is more tiring, and on the right side the latter is more tiring. The trick is to find this point.
I'm not saying people shouldn't SS. I just feel it's counterproductive for me personally when I'm low or out of energy. I still like to play even then but must do it more lazily.
 

ptuanminh

Hall of Fame
SS has to be a conscious thing for me, at least at this point in time. I have to think about it to execute :(

It doesn't help that I play a lot of dubs which is the only thing avail for me most of the time, and dubs don't demand huge efficiency in movement. So, SS skill is very lagging for me.
Before playing tennis, i was a bit into running. Something I took from running was: always move on the front of my feet. Seems to work out for me since i don't have to think at all when i SS.
You need to SS and move in dubs tooooo, if you want to have the chance to poach.
 

pencilcheck

Professional
Theoretically you are already split before your opponent even hit the ball back, but I guess you are talking specifically on the hopping aspect before serve return I guess, if so I only do it if the opponent can consistently hit the lines and far away from me.
 

user92626

G.O.A.T.
Before playing tennis, i was a bit into running. Something I took from running was: always move on the front of my feet. Seems to work out for me since i don't have to think at all when i SS.

You need to SS and move in dubs tooooo, if you want to have the chance to poach.
Theoretically you are already split before your opponent even hit the ball back, but I guess you are talking specifically on the hopping aspect before serve return I guess, if so I only do it if the opponent can consistently hit the lines and far away from me.
If I get my SS skill applied correctly it feels like my movements to the last set up for hitting are very smooth and most of the time give me plenty of time. It's rhythm. It's also simplified tennis, as in your mind gets into one track, thus making tennis much easy.

That's the kind of SS I'm talking about. I can probably play like pencilcheck -- sometimes do ss, sometimes don't, and move in whatever way to get to the ball -- but it can get messy and I can only play that with (much) lower level hitters.

Against same/near level opponents, after I max out the hitting parts, I need to look into optimal movement pattern to gain an edge.

@ptuanminh if your dubs opponents are low enough you can forgo a lot of things.


If SS is tiring for you guys, maybe don't hop so high? Both of your feet can stay touched to the ground but you still bounce at the knees. Even that helps a ton.
 
C

Chadalina

Guest
How important is it to you?

Have you learned it? Applying it adequately or are you trying to, with mixed results?

How do you process your split step method? I assume everyone has a different timing so their SS could be a bit different.
Have to use it when you come in or your timing is off. They volley windows is very small as it is.

Simply hop over the service line and land on two feet. Use the line as your visualization.
 

Curious

Legend
Simply hop over the service line and land on two feet.
I believe it’s better to land on one foot instead, the one on the opposite side to where you will be moving after the split step. I guess that’s a higher level split stepping.
 
C

Chadalina

Guest
I believe it’s better to land on one foot instead, the one on the opposite side to where you will be moving after the split step. I guess that’s a higher level split stepping.
Nah you wanna be squared up on the split, then turn.

Will roll your ankle doing it your way
 
C

Chadalina

Guest
I don't think you understood what I was saying.
Heard of flow split step?
Watch the video from 4.29. ( should start from there if I did it right ).

Ya, split step refers to how you approach the net, not resettting your foot work in baseline ralleys.
 

user92626

G.O.A.T.
I believe it’s better to land on one foot instead, the one on the opposite side to where you will be moving after the split step. I guess that’s a higher level split stepping.
Nah you wanna be squared up on the split, then turn.

Will roll your ankle doing it your way
I don't think you understood what I was saying.
Heard of flow split step?
Watch the video from 4.29. ( should start from there if I did it right ).

I'm with Chadalina on this.

You're making it way too complicated. I'm not sure if what's taught in that video is even applicable. That's too much!!!


Let's review a pro video. Watch Nadal in a long point, he SS and lands on both feet same time and then sprints.

 

user92626

G.O.A.T.
Oh I watched Nadal closely in slow motion I think I've identified one of his secrets. A clear edge above the rest of the fields, except Djokovic, who also has this secret.

These guys (Nadal and Djok) are soooo flexible. They can really bend low and tilt alot and don't buckle at the knees, or fall. They don't even look stiff.

Medvedev looks stiff and clunky.
 

Curious

Legend
I'm with Chadalina on this.

You're making it way too complicated. I'm not sure if what's taught in that video is even applicable. That's too much!!!


Let's review a pro video. Watch Nadal in a long point, he SS and lands on both feet same time and then sprints.

Flow split stepping is a fact, I didn’t make it up. Difficulty level, applicability is another issue.
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
Must a little.
When serving opponent catches the ball, I fall forwards just a bit, meaning I leaned forward and unweighted just a tiny bit.
 

Keendog

Professional
I've got seriously lazy feet and find it hard to break the habit. Any tips on getting more active feet?
 
Flow split stepping is a fact, I didn’t make it up. Difficulty level, applicability is another issue.
Agreed. it's simply a more advanced variation, one that allows you to get a slight edge on movement in a specific direction. More difficult because you need to interpret the opponent ball sooner in order to be able to do it. Instead of landing and then turning, you turn the outside foot as you are landing as well as make adjustments on the knee bend of each leg.

I liken it to coming in to volley and making a stutter step rather than a split step: you are partially running through the split step in order to get closer to the net. You're gambling that the opponent is not going to lob you.
 
I've got seriously lazy feet and find it hard to break the habit. Any tips on getting more active feet?
Video yourself for short segments [30s] and review frequently during your practice. Consciously think about being active; make it your prime focus, even over hitting the ball. Make it important.



 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
@user92626
I believe it’s better to land on one foot instead, the one on the opposite side to where you will be moving after the split step. I guess that’s a higher level split stepping.
I depends on the exact timing of your SS and how quickly you can determine which direction you need to move to intercept the incoming ball.

If you land just as the opponent makes contact or immediately after they make contact, you may not yet know what direction you need to move. You will likely land in a neutral 2-footed landing. However, if you land a split-second later, you may very well land on one foot in order to move in the opposite direction.

Many elite players will SS a tad on the late side and will land 1 foot rather than two. Actually, many pros will land 2-footed in some cases and 1-footed in other cases.

I teach students a neutral 2-footed landing. As they develop SS proficiency and find a timing that works for them, many well land will land 1-footed on some, if not many, situations.
 
Last edited:

Curious

Legend
I depends on the exact timing of your SS and how quickly you can determine which direction you need to move to intercept the incoming ball.

If you land just as the opponent makes contact or immediately after they make contact, you may not yet know what direction you need to move. You will likely land in a neutral 2-footed landing. However, if you land a split-second later, you may very well and on one foot in order to move in the opposite direction.

Many elite players will SS a tad on the late side and will land 1 foot rather than two. Actually, many pros will land 2-footed in aome cases and 1-footed in other cases.

I teach students a neutral 2-footed landing. As they develop SS proficiency and find a timing that works for them, many well land will land 1-footed on some, if not many, situations.
I agree it’s harder to time landing on one foot. That’s why I said it’s a higher level skill.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
Very much so. But never really learnt or practiced doing it. And never concentrate on doing it. Kinda just happens naturally when i play.
Some players, especially visual learners or (naturally) athletic types, will often pick it up on their own after being exposed to it for a while. Others never pick it up unless they are trained (and drilled) to do so. Even then, some will do it sometimes but are never able to make it a habit.
 
Last edited:

chatt_town

Hall of Fame
How important is it to you?

Have you learned it? Applying it adequately or are you trying to, with mixed results?

How do you process your split step method? I assume everyone has a different timing so their SS could be a bit different.
I love to do it. I don't think it's perfect but it helps with timing for me as well as movement...the key for me is to do as the ball is being made contact on the other side of the net as to bounce the way the ball comes off the raquet...I try to stay on my toes as much as possible...if you are doing it on the bottoms of your feet...I don't see that being good in a number of ways. I haven't watched a lot of film on it but some of the guys at the park taught it to me as I was learning how to play doubles.
 
Top