When do you Hop on a Split Step

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by kenshireen, Sep 9, 2004.

  1. kenshireen

    kenshireen Professional

    Aug 25, 2004
    I have been watching USO and am trying to understand when do you hop. My coach said you should get off your feet right before the server is making contact and land when contact is made.
    The key is that your feet should land on the ground when the ball is striking the servers racket.

    Does this make any sense?

    Thanks, ken
  2. Ben42

    Ben42 Semi-Pro

    Feb 19, 2004
    That's what I was always taught too.

    But I've found that splitting so that I come down just *before* my opponent makes contact (on serves and groundies) works better for me.
  3. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

    Feb 19, 2004
    That is correct and the reason why is you are unloading the weight from your feet and allowing your body to move in any direction. IF your weight has settled over your feet and towards your heels it is hard to move quickly for a service return.

    The key is to unsettle the weight off of your feet and not let it settle before you make your move. The term many sport disciplines call it is "being light on your feet."
  4. Puma

    Puma Rookie

    Feb 25, 2004
    I know this is an old post, but I wanted to re-visit it.

    As far as the hop and split step goes, tape Federer in a match or if you have one already, watch it in frame by frame speed. Here you will see one thing that Roger does so very well. It takes me several minutes to watch one point played out. I go back and watch the opponent hit, recover, move, hop to split step and then go back and watch Federer do the same. There is a lot that can be learned from watching this.

    It is not so much that he does it so well over and over again, it is how well "timed" his motion is. He seems to gain time each time the ball crosses the net during a point. If the opponent does not hit a really good shot (deep in a corner or a wrong foot shot), Federer gains time and gets set and then there is no telling where he might hit the ball.

    Conversly, when you watch the opponent you can really see the difference such as how long it takes for them to recover, move back to center etc. Roger is way ahead of the field in this category.

    People have talked about his speed, but I don't think he has to use his speed all that much because of relentless recovery, movement back to center and the timing of his footwork.

    I recorded the Roddick and Federer Wimby final. It is neat to see early in the match how Roddicks pace was so fast that even Roger could not get behind the ball well enough to defend. But, once Roddick cooled off a little and he missed some he began to hit more (some) to the center of the court. And, that all it took for Roger to begin to do his thing. Next thing you know it is all over. Watching this in frame by frame really tells the story. And a big part of the story begins with Rogers recovery, movement back toward center and timing of his split step in my opinion.
  5. kevhen

    kevhen Hall of Fame

    Feb 20, 2004
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Yes, tennis is like dancing where the timing needs to be near perfection with the feet and hands and also the rest of the body. With Federer it's like poetry in motion.

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