Hand-in-Hand with good footwork – goes good balance.
Today article deals with the Balance aspect in Tennis.
It is necessary to observe that a player who is
properly balanced look great on the court, whereas a player who is unbalanced
When a player is balanced it is great to see – everything looks effortless and power is achieved through balance as against the use of force.
When a player masters court coverage together with
balance they can master singles play in addition to doubles. It does not matter
quickly you get to the ball or even recover after a shot, if you are not balanced on contact with the ball it is very difficult to be an effective player.
If we look at balance training it covers a different
area to footwork training although they go together. Balance is the control of
either when stationary or when moving and includes fundamentals such as controlling the centre of gravity, sinking into an athletic position,
centring the weight over a wide base, good alighment of the bodywith goof posture, including the aspect of footwork, using the non-dominant
arm and a steady head. If a player synchronizes feet, hands and eyes together it will create smooth and flowing movement with rhythm and
To help a player achieve great balance the following should be incorporated into practice and games.
1/. Good use of the non-dominant arm – most beginners
do not realise that they should use the non-dominant arm correctly with all of
strokes – either as a counter balance or to aid good front shoulder rotation, keeping the body side on, and the correct dropping of the arm on
2/. All players should be taught to maintain a low
centre of gravity (an athletic stance) like riding a surf bord) to keep the feet
and to not bring them together on contacting the ball.
3/. Go beyond the ball (after contact) when shifting
your weight sideways and assist your recovery back into the court as the leg
the ground. See previous item regarding mogul step and lateral hop assisting recovery.
4/. Keep the body aligned i.e. get the upper body to sit nice and straight on top of the legs. Symmetry creates balance, balance creates control.
5/. Get the outside foot behind the ball and pointing
at the side fence, this will enable you to step straight into the ball and put
your hips into
a strong position and you will generate power from the legs. (remember – 65% of power is generated from the ground up through the legs.
6/. Keep your head still – this will enable you to
watch the ball closely with your eyes and therefore have a better chance to hit
the ball in
the middle of the racquet. Many beginners do not have a steady head and the ball flies everywhere.
7/. Keep the shoulders level. By dropping one shoulder
you will lose balance – keep the shoulder blades down and together with a
back and chest up.
8/. Stay on your toes. Constantly ensure you are not
flat footed on the court it has been said that to move from a position with the
placed on the court, it is like someone pressing down on the top of your head with your full body weight. It is essential to keep on the toes
moving with small quick adjusting steps.