Do you do split step?

You have to expand your perspective a bit here. Even if I run into many much better players, what good does it do for me if I don't have the time, the energy, the incentive to learn all the advance stuff?
Perfectly reasonable. And way different connotation than "I certainly don't need anyone in this place to help me with SS, FH or whatever"

Happiness is going with the flow. Being somewhere between 3.5 and 4.0 seems like the sweetest spot. It's more effortless for me to keep up that level though I need to hit the gym for better workout.
It depends on personality and circumstance. I'm within hailing distance of 5.0 but will have to bust my butt to reach it and if I do, my playing opportunities will diminish dramatically and my tennis circle will necessarily get a lot smaller. Yet, I'm still trying because that's my nature.
 
I never liked hand feeds because they dont simulate the speed or the speed of the bounce. I guess its good for practice to move your feet but i dont see how that applies to real tennis, the ball moves so much faster.
Hand feeds are not meant to be the only solution; they are simply part of a bigger whole.

It applies to real tennis because in real tennis one doesn't always receive massive pace: sometimes, my opponent hits a floater, maybe because he was out of position. I want to be able to take advantage of that.

Great footwork is very correlated to great anticipation.
I don't know if I agree. One could have stellar footwork but poor anticipation. Generally I land from my split step after opponent contact so I can figure out where the ball is going and therefore where I have to do. That's reactive, not anticipatory.

Can the two be complementary? Sure. But they don't have to be.
 

user92626

Legend
Thought you were a very high standard person????
Correct. I prioritize my happiness and relations with those around me to a higher standard than you'd find with average people.

And, tennis skill-wise, when I still have to spot free games to the best guy in my circle so that he'd agree to play, is that not high enough? :)
 
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Chadalina

Legend
I don't know if I agree. One could have stellar footwork but poor anticipation. Generally I land from my split step after opponent contact so I can figure out where the ball is going and therefore where I have to do. That's reactive, not anticipatory.

Can the two be complementary? Sure. But they don't have to be.
The mind has to first react to tell the feet what todo. Correlate means to have a direct relationship
 

Bender

G.O.A.T.
That’s why ‘when your opponent hits the ball’ is a bad checkpoint. Hop somewhere around the forward swing of the opponent is the best reference for timing. Never fails. Yeah make sure you’re watching the opponent’s racket of course!;)
Yeah, it's more of a window than an exact moment. You just need to be in the air when contact is made, so there's actually plenty of time to get it right.

On serve returns I find myself splitting more than once, but it's partially just to get myself a bit pumped up, and partially because my timing is a bit premature.
 
Yeah, it's more of a window than an exact moment. You just need to be in the air when contact is made, so there's actually plenty of time to get it right.

On serve returns I find myself splitting more than once, but it's partially just to get myself a bit pumped up, and partially because my timing is a bit premature.
Top Tennis Training released a video of Simon working with a student and the student took two split steps when receiving.

Now, if you're doing it 17 times I'd call that extreme...
 

Curious

Legend
Yeah, it's more of a window than an exact moment. You just need to be in the air when contact is made, so there's actually plenty of time to get it right.
Well-put.
I wonder if that’s why so many people like the OP struggle so badly trying to catch the exact contact moment and finally give up.
 

Bender

G.O.A.T.
Well-put.
I wonder if that’s why so many people like the OP struggle so badly trying to catch the exact contact moment and finally give up.
It's really just a matter of logic. If you need to be airborne when contact is made by the opponent, then you can't possibly jump at the same time he hits the ball. You have to start the hop a bit earlier, or much earlier and take a huge hop--which may be the case if you're deep behind the baseline / in a defensive position.
 

user92626

Legend
Well-put.
I wonder if that’s why so many people like the OP struggle so badly trying to catch the exact contact moment and finally give up.
Yep, i gave up and stay home, join you guys on TT to * talk* tennis .

Next, i might do a few shadow serves in my room to make me feel better. ISR, bent elbow and whatnot.

All of this should be much easier. Hehe..
 

Curious

Legend
Yep, i gave up and stay home, join you guys on TT to * talk* tennis .

Next, i might do a few shadow serves in my room to make me feel better. ISR, bent elbow and whatnot.

All of this should be much easier. Hehe..
Mate, I can’t believe no one asked you the question despite all the discussion going on.
Do you split step? If you do, how often?
 

ptuanminh

Hall of Fame
Correct. I prioritize my happiness and relations with those around me to a higher standard than you'd find with average people.

And, tennis skill-wise, when I still have to spot free games to the best guy in my circle so that he'd agree to play, is that not high enough? :)
In case noone ever told you in your life, thats the exact definition of MEDIOCRE.
 

ptuanminh

Hall of Fame
You didn't ask me and I don't really know the background of the intra-debates here among the various posters (nor your own footwork history), but your footwork looks perfectly reasonable here - it looks "proper" to me (but I'm not an expert). You're moving your feet, you're in an athletic position when your opponent is hitting the ball, there's a little hop to help you accelerate toward the ball - the timing looks just fine. It looks perfectly natural to me. I suspect... that if it was learned, it was a matter of someone saying, "hey, keep your feet moving and when your opponent is about to hit the ball get in an athletic position," and the rest just came with additional playing. I never heard the term split-step when I was a kid, nor really knew what "footwork" was. I was just told to keep my feet moving and the rest just kind of fell into place. I suspect that's how it works for most folks... but I don't really know.
Thank you. user92626 said my idea of SS and stuff are totally off and mediocre. So i just show him how i move :) . I learn everything about movement on youtube and watching matches.
he claimed to have real match experience. yet when asked about his USTA record, he couldn't answer. I have a winning USTA record.
we asked him to show his high standard and real match experience footwork, he has nothing to show. Must be another keyboard warrior.
 
Well-put.
I wonder if that’s why so many people like the OP struggle so badly trying to catch the exact contact moment and finally give up.
I wonder how do people return WITHOUT a split step. I mean unless either (a) the serves are slow or (b) the serves are always straight to racquet. Even when the serve finds the net and I decide not to return, I find I have usually already jumped lightly and moved either left or right, depending on the direction of the serve. This is pretty basic, I would think. Just to emphasise that I don't consider myself a good player and even I do this. If you know how to move sideways rather than turn and run to cover court on the baseline, you probably split step anyway, even if you don't call it that.
 

Born_to_slice

Professional
I wonder how do people return WITHOUT a split step. I mean unless either (a) the serves are slow or (b) the serves are always straight to racquet. Even when the serve finds the net and I decide not to return, I find I have usually already jumped lightly and moved either left or right, depending on the direction of the serve. This is pretty basic, I would think. Just to emphasise that I don't consider myself a good player and even I do this. If you know how to move sideways rather than turn and run to cover court on the baseline, you probably split step anyway, even if you don't call it that.
Watch Federer (and other pros) return without split step sometimes on 2nd serves, which are still faster than 99% of rec 1st serves. Just make few steps without hopping and slice/chip the ball.
 
Watch Federer (and other pros) return without split step sometimes on 2nd serves, which are still faster than 99% of rec 1st serves. Just make few steps without hopping and slice/chip the ball.
Federer returning without a split step? I will see it when I believe it. And I hope we are talking about matches here, not practice.
 

Born_to_slice

Professional
Federer returning without a split step? I will see it when I believe it. And I hope we are talking about matches here, not practice.
Here's Federer. Makes few steps, initiates the hop but cancels it (never leaves the ground) IMO. I think I've seen better examples but I'm lazy to search for it now.

Here's Agut. Definitively only steps, no hops.

Here's Dzumhur. Just moves to the side without a hop. Returning Kyrgios' serve dtl no less.

Point is, it can be done, even on professional level. If one has good timing there's time to move sufficiently without hopping to return amateur serves. If one hops in rec match for 50-80 mph serves like Djokovic does when returning Raonic's 145 mph bombs... :rolleyes:
 
Here's Federer. Makes few steps, initiates the hop but cancels it (never leaves the ground) IMO. I think I've seen better examples but I'm lazy to search for it now.

Here's Agut. Definitively only steps, no hops.

Here's Dzumhur. Just moves to the side without a hop. Returning Kyrgios' serve dtl no less.

Point is, it can be done, even on professional level. If one has good timing there's time to move sufficiently without hopping to return amateur serves. If one hops in rec match for 50-80 mph serves like Djokovic does when returning Raonic's 145 mph bombs... :rolleyes:
They are all split stepping, particularly Agut and Dzumhur. And where did I say I hop the way Djokovic would for a Raonic serve? That's your own (unnecessary) inference.
 

Born_to_slice

Professional
They are all split stepping, particularly Agut and Dzumhur. And where did I say I hop the way Djokovic would for a Raonic serve? That's your own (unnecessary) inference.
IMO only Federer kind of wants to do a frontal split step but he stays grounded. Agut is doing a flow side step (landing on his right foot and pushing to the left) and Dzumhur is gambling and guessing to the T, probably with some flow side step as well (hard to see).
 

bostontennis

New User
Very good thread. I do think SS is an advanced technique. According to my experience, if your level is 3.5 and less, you don't need SS. Let's you are in your 40s and you can play tennis 2-3 hours a week and your level is 3.5, I would say don't bother. because with that time investment, you are not going to get to 4.0 or 4.5, hence no need.

However SS technique can be a dilemma for some people:
if you are 4.0 and you play tennis 3+ time a week, your age is 30s and you are very into it and you want to improve to 4.5
if you are 3.0 but you are in your 20s and you like playing tennis a lot.

Although youtube has a lot videos about SS, I think most of them don't actually address the single core issue -- timing. They tell you a fixed answer, such as jumping on your opponent's making a contact. Some coach tells you to jump before the contact, or even right after contact. The truth is, they are all WRONG.
I am not a coach but I know logical thinking, so I know they are wrong: we all agree that SS's purpose is to start running quickly. So the principle is you want to start running right after you can judge the incoming ball's direction. SEE, there are many variables! that's why the timing isn't a simple easy answer.
let's list the variables:
1. you eyesight. someone can tell the ball's direction early someone can tell late. Generally under 4.5, you only need to tell the direction when the ball is on the net because that level the balls are generally slow.
2. incoming ball's trajectory. assuming you can tell the ball's direction when the ball is above the net, then how long does the ball take to travel from opponent's racquet to the net?
3. the distance between you and your opponent.
4. the angle of the ball: the more angle, the earlier you can tell the direction

HERE, I like to ask a realistic question: In what scenario, SS has best return of benefit against effort learning?

I think everyone should learn SS on return, SS right after serve, SS on opponent's approaching shot. Beyond that, anyone can give a list and timing analysis?
 

user92626

Legend
If you are the smartest guy in the room, you are in the wrong room.

J
Yeah that's getting clearer lately. Lol. But you do have to be in the room to know, eh? U cannot know from being outside.

Not to mention you may not have a choice. You think Einstein ever thought Im on this earth with a bunch of idiots, i better kill myself? Lol
 
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user92626

Legend
IMO, being of high standard is similar to being a good kisser, or good in bed. :-D . Its something for other people to verify for you.
U got it right that its only YOUR OPINION.

and limited at that.

Smart, self aware ppl know themselves. Federer is very aware of his achievements. Doesn't need anyone to tell him.
 
IMO only Federer kind of wants to do a frontal split step but he stays grounded. Agut is doing a flow side step (landing on his right foot and pushing to the left) and Dzumhur is gambling and guessing to the T, probably with some flow side step as well (hard to see).
What is a flow side step? Never heard this terminology before. When you say Agut landed on his right foot, does it not mean he took off at some point?
 

ptuanminh

Hall of Fame
Yeah that's getting clearer lately. Lol. But you do have to be in the room to know, eh? U cannot know from being outside.

Not to mention you may not have a choice. You think Einstein ever thought Im on this earth with a bunch of idiots, i better kill myself? Lol
Lol, maybe you should get out of the room for once in a while to see the world ;) . Such a case of grandiosity.
U got it right that its only YOUR OPINION.

and limited at that.

Smart, self aware ppl know themselves. Federer is very aware of his achievements. Doesn't need anyone to tell him.
Ever heard of the Dunning Kruger effect????
I used to think you were a pretty smart person. You think you are a smart person. Guess we are both wrong. :-D :-D :-D :-D
 

user92626

Legend
Lol, maybe you should get out of the room for once in a while to see the world ;) . Such a case of grandiosity.

Ever heard of the Dunning Kruger effect????
I used to think you were a pretty smart person. You think you are a smart person. Guess we are both wrong. :-D :-D :-D :-D
Hm..now you're just being weird if not rude.

None of what you said is based on anything or witty or has any insight!

You just outrightly call someone not smart, period. That's about it.
 

ptuanminh

Hall of Fame
Hm..now you're just being weird if not rude.

None of what you said is based on anything or witty or has any insight!

You just outrightly call someone not smart, period. That's about it.
Um, since when calling somebody not smart is rude.
Let me explain it to you. I am a college professor, specializing in a technical field. I have held positions in places as good as Duke. its not harvard, but pretty good i guess. Everyday i read papers from the smartest people in the world, therefore, i really don't think myself as smart at all, not a day in life. So with the stuff that you wrote in this thread, you think it can make me think that you are smart.
Keep on dreaming :-D :-D :-D
 
What I’m interested to know is whether it can be learned intuitively without being taught at all.
What I mean is have folks like navigator and bhbh been taught somehow along the way without the term split step being used but still described or demonstrated how it’s done?
I can’t speak for Navigator but I never heard the term “split step” until after my college says were long behind me. I did learn the idea of “un-weighting” oneself when preparing to move explosively in both football (outside linebacker, tight end) and basketball (guard). I was late to the tennis party (hit my first ball at 15) but was competitive quickly at a high level, in part because the serve and a nasty flat forehand seemed to come naturally to me.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 

user92626

Legend
@ptuanminh
Interesting, calling somebody not smart out of the blue, not giving any good reason is not rude?
Alright, I'll give you that. It can be arbitrary if you insist, and I do have a different, higher standard than you do.

btw, you'll probably not get this concept but it still has to be said: I don't care that you think I'm smart or not. That opinion has no weight to me. What I like you to do, if you like, is to give tennis opinions like everyone else. That may give some value.
 
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@ptuanminh
Interesting, calling somebody not smart out of the blue, not giving any good reason is not rude?
Alright, I'll give you that. It can be arbitrary if you insist, and I do have a different, higher standard than you do.

btw, you'll probably not get this concept but it still has to be said: I don't care that you think I'm smart or not. That opinion has no weight to me. What I like you to do, if you like, is to give tennis opinions like everyone else. That may give some value.
Really? What value do you think these theoretical exercises give? Talk to 10 coaches coaching top juniors and do let me know if even a couple say you don't need to split step on the return. Yes, you can sometimes get away with not split stepping especially if the serve happens to be right in your slot. Doesn't mean it's ideal. As long as you understand that it is nothing more than a trigger movement that helps you get active, which you need to be, especially in the case of the return. Tell me do you actually go around in life thinking there are downsides to learning new things? Because if you don't, then it should not be hard to see that split step is just an enabler, it's not some fancy concept. And like anything else, it takes practice. And again, if you see practice as a waste of time....
 

user92626

Legend
As long as you understand that it is nothing more than a trigger movement that helps you get active,
Sorry, i can't debate this further with someone who understands ss as above.

Look up what SS is for.

Catch up and then i might respond with substance.

(No wonder you side with ptua. You guys have the same misinformation.)
 

user92626

Legend
Very good thread. I do think SS is an advanced technique. According to my experience, if your level is 3.5 and less, you don't need SS. Let's you are in your 40s and you can play tennis 2-3 hours a week and your level is 3.5, I would say don't bother. because with that time investment, you are not going to get to 4.0 or 4.5, hence no need.


However SS technique can be a dilemma for some people:
if you are 4.0 and you play tennis 3+ time a week, your age is 30s and you are very into it and you want to improve to 4.5
if you are 3.0 but you are in your 20s and you like playing tennis


correctamundo! Bud
On several observations, no less.

But somehow there are people that don't think your own experience is valid. As if you and others are ...sub-humans, whose experience is not counted!!!
And, I've been "fighting" with those peeps for days.. LOL.

Anyway, good post. I will read the rest and discuss it with you. Interesting!
 
Sorry, i can't debate this further with someone who understands ss as above.

Look up what SS is for.

Catch up and then i might respond with substance.

(No wonder you side with ptua. You guys have the same misinformation.)
So you will deliberately define split step as some highly exaggerated movement that even pros have no use for and then say you can't debate with us because WE are defining it incorrectly? Gotcha.
 
correctamundo! Bud
On several observations, no less.

But somehow there are people that don't think your own experience is valid. As if you and others are ...sub-humans, whose experience is not counted!!!
And, I've been "fighting" with those peeps for days.. LOL.

Anyway, good post. I will read the rest and discuss it with you. Interesting!
Again, you simply move goalposts to where you hope you get people to agree with you. You claimed 4.0s don't need split step and used a video example. When you couldn't find people who would agree there was no split step in that video, you have chosen to move to 3.5. Sure, if your goal, as it were, to remain stuck in your rut, you don't need split step but you likely don't need a lot of stuff anyway.
 

user92626

Legend
@DOL

Read again. I asserted many 4.0s and under don't play with consistent SS. There re many videos showing this.

If you're a 3.5 or 4.0 and you do SS, more power to you. That no way negates my assertion. This is like we (occasionally) find someone who can serve 100mph or FH like a 4.5, but his level is 3.5, but to say 3.5s need those serves, FHs is just wrong. 3.5s don't need them.



Those who are 4.0, 3.5s and compete without SS do exist. Their experience is no less valid.

Bostontennis is another one. He's given alot of more details from his own experience, instead of keeping arguing nonsense, armchair stuff like you and ptuaminh


Anyway, I don't know why I still post to you. From my previous post, I insisted that you look up what SS is for first, because your understanding of it is not correct to begin with.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Yes, but I find watching video of matches I miss it when closing the net. Need to work on that.
FWIW I think that is bunk when closing the net. The greats rarely do that. Its more like check step where you just change direction and not a full split. Lots of greats run through the split.
 

mcs1970

Hall of Fame
Not following you @user92626 You conclude that you don’t need to do much if you are happy with your current levels. I agree with you. But then, why another thread on how hard it is to serve?

Why not just dink serves too? At low levels you will win a ton of games that way too. Easy.
 

user92626

Legend
SEE, there are many variables! that's why the timing isn't a simple easy answer.
let's list the variables:
1. you eyesight. someone can tell the ball's direction early someone can tell late. Generally under 4.5, you only need to tell the direction when the ball is on the net because that level the balls are generally slow.
2. incoming ball's trajectory. assuming you can tell the ball's direction when the ball is above the net, then how long does the ball take to travel from opponent's racquet to the net?
3. the distance between you and your opponent.
4. the angle of the ball: the more angle, the earlier you can tell the direction


HERE, I like to ask a realistic question: In what scenario, SS has best return of benefit against effort learning?

I think everyone should learn SS on return, SS right after serve, SS on opponent's approaching shot. Beyond that, anyone can give a list and timing analysis?
Some good observations there.
In tennis, it seems like timing is everything which you have pointed out isn't a simple easy answer.

I wonder how many players spend the bulk of their practice time to improve timing's. The timing of the serve, the FH, BH, volley, everything, and not least the movements. You know, after a while I stopped working on the forms and started to focus on the timing.


Re your question (bolded), I think it can only be answered personally. Different people give different effort.
Personally, SS is my top priority at this point. I don't mind the effort spent in learning (and applying). I have a bunch of people whom I want to beat with ease. It will just feel more satisfied (benefits LOL). Can't think of any other benefits. :)
 

user92626

Legend
Not following you @user92626 You conclude that you don’t need to do much if you are happy with your current levels. I agree with you. But then, why another thread on how hard it is to serve?

Why not just dink serves too? At low levels you will win a ton of games that way too. Easy.
Good questions. If I can up my serve or my SS, it'll be easier for my other parts, say my knees. I'll be able to play more. I feel my serve and movement have alot more room to grow. Not the fh, bh or volley.

In other words, if I keep my dink serves, then, say, my FH and quickness (from relative youth) have to be kept same level to carry my games. I'm not getting younger. :)
 
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ptuanminh

Hall of Fame
@ptuanminh
Alright, I'll give you that. It can be arbitrary if you insist, and I do have a different, higher standard than you do.
That opinion has no weight to me. What I like you to do, if you like, is to give tennis opinions like everyone else. That may give some value.
Haha you are hilarious. If you are of such high standard and want some tennis opinions, why don't you show us something to comment on? Some hitting video, your usta record...
WIth all that real match experience, it is probably not too hard.
Or all you have are just.....words????
 

mcs1970

Hall of Fame
Good questions. If I can up my serve or my SS, it'll be easier for my other parts, say my knees. I'll be able to play more. I feel my serve and movement have alot more room to grow. Not the fh, bh or volley.

In other words, if I keep my dink serves, then, say, my FH and quickness (from relative youth) have to be kept same level to carry my games. I'm not getting younger. :)

You will be making it easier on yourself if you do split step. I am confused by your posts on this thread as to whether you want to learn to split step or whether you are looking for excuses for not having to do it.


Being close to 50, I am also moving my game more to something I can sustain long term. That’s why I am obsessed with 60s style all court tennis like Rosewall used to play, and also why I tend to watch videos of old timers like Abel and Tom Avery. Serve is not a big part of their games other than having a smooth decent serve that won’t hurt you.
 

user92626

Legend
You will be making it easier on yourself if you do split step. I am confused by your posts on this thread as to whether you want to learn to split step or whether you are looking for excuses for not having to do it.
Yes you're confused, like ptua, dol, when you think i was talking of my own tennis.

And naturally when you think that, you get personal and focus on me. Or like ptua, keep asking to see my tennis.

No. Again NO. I am talking about my experience with and observation on the 4.0 level where i don't see alot of SS.

4.0 and below being the larger scene. No specific to any individuals.

@bostontennis gets it and is able to talk about general ideas regarding Ss and 4.0, 3.5 players. And more broad ideas. In polite manners.

How come from my same posts you guys cannot talk like Bostontennis?

Why do guys like ptua, a college professor no less, have to get into offenses, challenges? Lol
 

user92626

Legend
And at this point in the thread, with these guys keep asking about my own tennis, my ability with ss or whatever... i no longer know their point other than its its their way to insult people. Base on one's tennis skill? Lol.

(If i cannot do it, they'll be happy? But that just proves my point that one at lower level don't need ss.

If i can do it very well,that'll put their tennis to shame? Or what? Haha)
 
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