October 15, 2017
Simplifying strategies in technique for tennis is difficult. There are so many variables that can influence the quality of a tennis stroke that the effort of trying to simplify an explanation often has the opposite effect. After recently watching a lot of adults and juniors play in one of my drills, I tried to find something that everyone could benefit from. This posed a difficult challenge as there was a variety of ages and levels on the courts. After watching for a good half hour I found a common theme that the players all could benefit from. As far as the degree of help it would provide depended not only on the level but also the situation. Let me explain.
Racquet head speed is essential for players to hit the ball hard in any stroke from the baseline, including the serve. Without racquet head speed you are unable to create a shot that your opponent will be challenged to hit. High racquet head speed, if done correctly, can also be a way to prevent injuries as well. It all boils down to tension. How much you have and when you have it.
Tension While Learning
When learning gets difficult, we tend to try harder, making our muscles tighten. You can even see that in someone’s face when they are focusing hard on something. This is exactly what I see when players are learning a new stroke or trying to improve an old one. To combat this, try to isolate the stroke and limit the variables. This will allow you to focus on one thing in your swing; relaxing. To do this, have someone feed (or use the ball machine) to the stroke you are working on with a consistent rhythm and pace. This will help you relax more and get you to focus on one thing rather than multiple elements that can occur when you are hitting with someone.
Tension In Crisis
For the more experienced players, tension happens more in situations rather than the average stroke that they use during their matches. For example, I have a hard ti