Tennis Technique is crucial for every player on the tennis Forehand, Backhand and Serve. Top professional tennis players have tennis technique that is explosive, efficient and adaptable.
What is tennis technique, and why is it important for tennis players?
Tennis technique is commonly referred to a tennis player’s own tennis strokes and swing style. Tennis technique can include everything from the tennis forehand, backhand, serve and net game. Tennis technique is a crucial area for tennis players looking to improve. This is particularly true at the club and recreational levels where tennis players usually have less than ideal tennis technique.
Professional tennis players on the other hand have tennis technique that is virtually flawless
This allows them to maximize their power, spin and accuracy potential. The important point to understand is that each tennis player will have their own hitting style, tennis strategy and tennis strokes, but they all adhere to distinct commonalities of tennis technique. These basic fundamentals of tennis technique are shared by high level tennis players, college tennis players and professional tennis players.
In Tennis Technique, I have broken the secrets of world class tennis technique down into three main qualities.
These foundational qualities make up tennis technique and which a player should strive to achieve.
Explosive tennis technique is the first foundational quality necessary to play at a high level of tennis. Explosive tennis technique means that the tennis stroke, whether it’s your forehand, backhand or serve should have an element of explosiveness. Explosiveness can be seen in the tennis technique of the top professional players, particularly on the ATP tour. It’s easy to see how much racket head speed top pros achieve in all of their tennis strokes. Explosiveness in the ground strokes is accomplished through unique biomechanical elements.
Efficient tennis technique is defined by smooth, effortless yet powerful tennis strokes that are able to achieve maximum racket head speed and topspin with the least amount of energy. Overly large backswings, hitches or unnecessary movement will hinder tennis technique. You’ll notice how top pros like Federer, Nadal, Safin, Roddick all have tennis strokes that are efficient. They are able to get the job done without wasting energy.
Watching professional tennis players practice can be a very eye opening experience. When you watch pros play, it’s easy to see how they are able to hit massive shots time and time again; while at the same time it appears like only a portion of their total strength. They are simply getting a lot more efficiency with a lot less work.
Inefficient or improper tennis technique can also result in injury. This is why the most common injury of club players is tennis elbow. Having poor tennis strokes and incorrect tennis technique, they will frequently be unable to maximize the power on their shots. Instead, they may be forced to muscle the ball and over time, this puts additional strain on the arm, eventually causing the condition known as tennis elbow.
The club players themselves may blame the tennis racket or the grips, or the tennis strings – but in actuality they have never seen themselves practice. While a head heavy, or oversize racket may be to blame, it is frequently a result of having faulty tennis technique.
At the pro levels, it is extremely rare to encounter tennis elbow. They may have other various injuries, but these injuries are normally a result of overtraining rather than faulty tennis technique.
The ability to adjust to adverse conditions and still being able to execute the shot is what constitutes adaptable tennis technique. There is always a day where the wind blows the tennis ball further than one would expect, or a day where the tennis balls don’t bounce the way they normally do on a warm day. This is where having adaptable tennis technique comes in. The ability to make fine adjustments without drastically altering the tennis technique makes up the key foundational aspects of adaptable tennis technique. Having flaws in tennis technique will prevent a tennis player from fully capitalizing on their maximum ability on the court. It may become difficult to adapt to certain conditions if there are foundational problems in the tennis swing shape itself. These problems usually come out during match play – – Which is why so many tennis players complain of playing “much worse” in matches than they do in practice. The weaknesses are exploited in matchplay, and they really come out to haunt you in key moments in the match – where your body may be tighter than normal.
Tennis Technique: Why It’s Important
Tennis Technique is one of the main areas to focus on if a tennis player desires to improve. Just as in Golf, players analyze their golf swing, Baseball players record their pitches, Quarterbacks work on their throwing mechanics, Bowlers fix their bowling technique – It’s the same for tennis. Tennis players (particularly at the club level) have the tendency to neglect working on their tennis strokes. The emphasis is by most mainstream tennis instruction is getting tennis players to learn the game and play the game, but rarely do these sources mention the exact methods of tennis technique.
While there are variations among professional tennis players and their tennis technique, there are striking basic commonalities that high level tennis players share. These commonalities seperate the elite from the amateurs, and why they are able to maximize power, topspin and accuracy. The irony here though, is that these commonalities often go unrecognized and very rarely taught to tennis players in traditional tennis lessons.
Tennis Technique can be taught and developed
So we all know that professional tennis players like Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Andre Agassi seem to have that special talent in tennis that makes them stand out from their opponents. Does that mean that the average tennis player has no chance of developing technically sound tennis strokes? Is having a powerful, consistent forehand out of the question for the ordinary player? Is developing an astute tennis serve reserved just for big strong giants like John Isner’s serve, or Ivo Karlovic?
The good news is that having technically sound tennis technique is not impossible, nor does it require that a tennis player be born with a special “gift.”
The key to having sound tennis technique is recognizing what the key elements of proper and efficient tennis strokes are, and reproducing them with positive repetition.
Learn Tennis Technique
Learning and understanding the fundamental key elements of tennis technique can make the difference between staying at the same level, or drastically taking a climb in terms of power and topspin potential. The reason most tennis player stay at the same level for months and years is simply because they are reproducing the exact same flaws over and over by swinging away with incorrect tennis technique
By swinging the tennis racket over and over with the flawed technique, all the tennis player is doing is burning the exact same muscle memory – the brain’s taking in the same stimuli resulting in the same poor results day in and day out
The Key to Improve Tennis Technique
The only way to improve tennis technique is to first recognize the tennis stroke that needs to be fixed. The brain is a very complicated organ, and the only way to improve is to feed it correct information through visualizing the ideal tennis technique or tennis stroke that needs to be mastered. Hitting thousands of tennis balls, playing tons of competitive matches and traditional tennis lessons alone may not be enough to reinforce the positive repetitions needed to really fix a tennis stroke. Improving tennis technique is a time consuming process, and the flaws in tennis strokes usually do not go away on it’s own without the proper work ethic and attention to the stroke that needs to be fixed
The Tennis Technique of Great Tennis Players
High performance tennis technique is a result of hours of studying and working hard. Having a good solid foundation is the only way to progress to a higher level. At the club level, we may see a tennis player with inferior strokes beat a tennis player with better tennis technique but the tennis player is still limited at the end of the day as to who he can defeat. That same club tennis player is unlikely able to defeat a college tennis player, or a junior tennis player with refined tennis strokes.
Development of Tennis Technique
Frequently, commentators on TV and in tennis magazines convince the audience that professional tennis players and having great tennis technique is something a person must be born with.
But in reality, it is a product of hours of refinement and practice. I was inspired by an older tennis documentary that revealed some of America’s Top Juniors. In that video, Andy Roddick was quoted for saying, “There is alot more training that is involved, because you’re still learning and building your strokes and technique – – That’s when the work is put in.”
Tennis Technique: A reality
It may be too much to expect that everyone can develop and produce world class tennis strokes even with the necessary refinement; however, even a slight adjustment can result in big improvements to one’s tennis game. The tennis technique involved may require a higher degree of athleticism that what you may be accustomed to, but a prerequisite to play better tennis.
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