Tennis Footwork Quiz – See How You Do & leave your answers in the comment section below.
Q1. During the course of your matches do you….
1. hope the ball comes to you?
2. react on instinct….sometimes it works out but other times you find yourself out of position?
3. have some movement strategies, but you don’t really know how to fit them in or progress them?
4. have specific movement strategies based on each situation I find myself in but they are not “grooved in” yet?
5. have specific movement strategies based on each situation I find myself in & they run on auto pilot?
The vast majority of players respond with 1, 2 or 3, a few with response 4 & almost nobody with 5.
Q2.Given that you probably answered 1 to 3 (maybe 4) when did you realize this fact?
Q3. What specific match/incident brought this fact to your attention?
Q4. If I was to tell you that research suggests that up to 80% of errors are linked to being off balance during the shot (Lawn Tennis Association) & that many technical issues arise from poor foundational footwork skills, would you be surprised?
Q5. Now you realize that it’s a problem and how important footwork is, how important do you feel that you prioritize footwork training into your plan/schedule?
Q6. How do you think even partial implementation & improvement of the 7 Golden keys would impact your game?
Leave your answers in the comment section below
Good or bad, we are not all created equal with similar amounts of tennis skills and even if we are someone else is physically more gifted. Even if you can overcome that, you find someone else has better tennis mental strength………….and so the list goes on!
But, wait a minute.
Even before you start worrying about how you measure up against others, there are plenty of other things to worry about….for example, do you make the most of your own game?
Do you know your strengths and weaknesses?
Do you understand them well enough so that you are able to make your strengths as strong as they could be?
Can you see that maximizing your tennis strength or tennis strengths (if you are lucky enough!!) could actually rank pretty high, if not at the top when it comes to things that you might need to do to move your tennis game on?
If not, then think about it for a minute, if you do then carry on.
I was working with a player recently. I watched her play some singles and asked her about the tennis match I just watched.
She then proceeded to explain the match in terms of what her opponent did and didn’t do. When I asked her about what she was able to do during the game I came up against a baffled silence.
I then asked her about what she thought her strengths were and whether she was able to implement them in the game and again I got some puzzled looks. ”I don’t really know” she said, “I never really think about things that way!!”
Out goes the No1 Principle from my “Beat All The Tennis Players You Want” Matchplay System, which talks about trying to impose your tennis strength onto your opponent.
If you don’t know what it is, how can you impose it?
Anyway, I thought she played the volley and played around the net prety well and wondered why she didn’t do it more.
She said, she thought she had a good volley but felt a bit strange because all the other ladies tend to play from the back of the tennis court. She also felt like she was put off when she was passed or missed a volley.
I agreed with her but told her she didn’t set the points up well enough and that was the real reason why her net play was a bit “sketchy”.
This is what we did (and you can do the same if your net play could/should be your A game).
You serve and play out the point – BUT……you have to get to the net by your 3rd shot or you lose the point.
This will force you to serve well enough to get to the net straight away or get your opponent out of court to allow you to hit a telling approach to get “in” on one the following balls.
Of course she messed up early on, but pretty soon she began to think about what it took to get to the net on “her terms” from the beginning of the point and sure enough things were soon falling into place.
Pick something in your game that you know is a strength and think about how you can work things so that you can get yourself in “that” situation more often in matches.
Remember that Beat All The Tennis Players You Want 1st Principle of Tennis Warfare – Deploy your weapons & work out how to diffuse your opponents weapons!!
I have a tennis elbow question here….which for simplification is often confused with golfers elbow (similar pain but slightly different location and sometimes cause).
Q. Paul, friend of mine just started playing again.
Playing a lot now, USTA league and stuff, and is starting to complain about tennis elbow. I asked about the racket and found out it is an old one that they just picked up from one of their kids when they were playing in high school.
What advice would you have.
A. Tom, thanks for the email and the question.
It’s took me longer than I wanted to get back to you so a quick sorry to start off with.
Anyway, tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) is something that is not that simple to pinpoint and can be caused by several factors or indeed several of them combined.
The main ones that could be in play here are the racket (could be too heavy, too light, wrong grip size, poor vibration damping because it’s a bit old….even poor construction if it was cheap).
Other factors could be that your friend just hasn’t played for a long time and hasn’t got the built in resistance that playing consistently provides.
Age is another factor that is linked to the fact that they may not have played for a while because we see many players over the age of 40 suffering more from tennis elbow.
They really need to try and eliminate all of these asap to isolate the culprit and try and get on top of the injury so it doesn’t get too bad, so icing and anti-inflammatories are the normal treatment first steps along with some basic strengthening and flexibility exercises. These are important to avoid the last resort of having to have surgery.
They could obviously look at using a good tennis elbow support or strap
A good physio should be able to point them in the right direction here.
Hope that helps….sorry I couldn’t be more specific but please let me know how they get on and whether this answer was ok for you.
Tennis matches are the ultimate test of your skills as a tennis player.
Not only do you have to pull out all of the shots (serves, forehands, backhands, volleys) you have been honing over the last few weeks, months, years………decades, but you also have to deal with what your opponent brings to the table…..the tennis court.
This is exactly the same connundrum that plays out on every tennis court (Wimbledon, Roland Garros, US Open, Melbourne Park, local club, park court) and between all players (Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Murray, you & me).
Almost all tennis matches are won and lost as a direct result of other factors other than your shots……sorry you lot who think technique is everything
Yes shots are in the mix but all the other factors surrounding your game determine whether or not you get to play your shots well enough or not and this is where In Game Flexibility comes into play.
Your ability to move with the flow of the game, to get ahead of the wave, to roll with the punches determines how successful you are in the match.
Think about a skateboarder, they have to move with the flow of the terrain otherwise they are off the board.
If you surf you had better be ahead of the wave if you want the longest ride all the way to the beach and the boxer can’t stand still while their opponent throws punches especially when the opponent has the upper hand…….rolling in & out of the punches helps you to ride out the storm until you can get on top.
This leads me onto a really popular question that gets sent in (don’t forget you can send questions in whenever you want to email@example.com).
Q. What do I do when my opponent tries to disrupt the game by throwing tantrums, taking too long etc?
I have a couple of people in particular who seem to do this whenever I get ahead in the match. I can’t prove it but it does seem that whenever I am doing well in the game they react in a negative way which I feel is as much about putting me off as it is about being angry with themselves.
What can I do to stop myself being affected?
A. Great question.
This is all about In Game Flexibility!!
Your ability to ride the wave when playing well, yet not get derailed when all this other stuff is happening is key.
I can give you my take on it…….I used to play a guy regularly in tournaments…..we almost always got drawn to play each other or we’d be in the same side of the draw and would meet after a round or two.
He was a terrible loser (I hate losing but he took it to another level) and would always make bad calls, take ages between points or scream at himself about how he couldn’t believe he was losing to me etc. It was a nightmare & it took me a while to get my head around everything so that it didn’t affect me too much.
My main adaptations were the following
1. I reframed the situation so that I could channel the frustration that used to make me lose control & the match.
I worked on focusing on the upcoming point and what I wanted to do rather than dealing with what was not under my control (him & his behaviour).
2. I told myself that his behaviour was only as a direct result of my good play and because I had the control in the match.
It was his negativity at play here and he should be left to deal with it.
I kind of played it out in my head that if I got involved then the negativity could flow from him to me, whereas if I stayed away the negative emotions would have nowhere to escape to so it would be left to burn & destroy him (sounds a bit like a superhero movie but it worked for me).
I also think he hated seeing me not react….it kind of made him even more angry.
Hopefully you can use my experiences to help you in similar situations or to think about your own individual coping strategies when similar situations occur.
This is exactly why the Black Book strategy I use as part of Beat All The Tennis Players You Want works so well….it helps you track and build up your experiences as you go so you grow as a player and hence your In Game Flexibility improves.
Let me know below in the comments about your similar experiences & how you coped with it (or didn’t)…also let me know if this (mental matchplay strategies etc) is an area you would like me to go into more regularly.
Yesterday I told you about the tennis analogy I gave my wife that turned the school fundraiser into a “success” & how you could use the very same analogy in your game.
If you remember, they had some spoon rests that weren’t selling. Quite simply I told her that they were a weak choice (who would want a spoon rest?), but all she had to do was to couple them with a strong choice to see a difference.
She found some ribbon and tied some brightly coloured dummies to the spoon rests and they flew off the shelves……but how does that help you?
Well, every player has something in their game that they feel or know is poor. The mistake is though, that they only end up using it when they have to or are forced to and the chances are that the result is poor and the confidence in it drops even lower.
How about this though.
How about coupling it with a strong option (just like the dummy in the school example)?
Here’s an example.
Many players struggle with their volley and as such never use it unless they have to…….they play them under pressure and the ball flies out of court. What about pairing it with that powerful forehand you have?
You could unleash that forehand (cross court or down the line), get your opponent moving off the court and then move into the net. The shot that comes back is likely to be pretty defensive & you are left with a relatively easy volley into the open court……less pressure to make it and a larger margin for error.
This normally means more success and with it more confidence. What weak area(s) of your game can you pair up with a strong area in the same way?
There’s always something you can do….just think about it today or drop me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org…..I have some consultation slots available in the New Year where I will de-construct your game & your schedule with you before putting it back together so it’s even stronger and built to withstand whatever your opponents & life throws at it!! Just email me & I’ll do the rest.
Some of you may know that we started publishing a digital magazine for iPads – Tennis Tribe Magazine.
The magazine is full of coaching tips (some in video format) on technical, strategic and the mental game of tennis as well as nutrition tips, fitness programs and lots more.
However, in September we had the amazing opportunity of interviewing some of the paralympian tennis players at the London Games. This issue is FREE so for those with iPads simply download the free App and then the free Special Issue on Wheelchair Tennis. No need to subscribe or provide any details.
For those without iPads, we have posted the magazine on our site as a pdf. As the videos are not live on the pdf, we have added those to our site.
Please check it out. You will not be asked to sign up to anything, it’s all free.
We are hoping to publish another issue in the summer of 2013 with a focus on wheelchair tennis around the world; any level and any age groups. If you’re a player, a parent of a player, part of the support team, a fan…send us your stories!! We accept text, video and all photos!
This video taken from the WTA tour finals 2012 held in Istanbul shows how Petra Kvitova uses opposing forces in her footwork to help her return serve and then recover back towards the middle of the court for the next ball.
Understanding opposing forces is crucial if you want to maximize your footwork and therefore your tennis…….so pay close attention!
I have just shot over 30 video clips of some crucial & transformational footwork drills & patterns to go inside the members area of The Tennis Footwork Formula course…………Check the course out by Clicking HERE
If you want to watch the video on my YouTube channel click here – Tennis Footwork
I played in a “friendly” singles match during the week…..I say friendly, there was a wager on it as normal but I’ll explain all that later on.
Anyway, I won the spin, served the first game and won the first point (15-love)…..and then went on to win the game without losing a point. Nothing unusual there, we have all been there haven’t we (on both sides of the fence).
Please forget the fact that it was me playing for the moment because it could have been anyone, because what’s interesting here is what is being said and understood at each stage by each tennis player in any match around the world.
At the end of each point the world over the same language is being used (15-0, 30-15 etc) to tell one player that he or she has won the point while the other is having it confirmed that they didn’t win the point. This also occurs at the end of the game when the game score is shouted out.
Now the fact is that tennis is unlike most other sports in the fact that scores are changed and announced after each “play” & like NO other sport (correct me if I’m wrong please) where you can win less points but win overall & win more points but lose overall.
Did you know you can lose 6-4, 6-4 and win nearly as many points as your opponent?
I know many (not all) of you will know this already but what most people don’t know or appreciate is the mental gymnastics that take place during a tennis match because of this and how certain things can work in your favour or against you if you are not careful. This (mental game) is of course a massive subject area and one I am happy to delve further into but let me just skim over one of the key areas that is not only in play here but is a key area to ALL of your tennis success – SELF CONFIDENCE!!
How you perceive the information given to you after each point can play a massive part to the success of your performance.
In the first example (however extreme you may think it is) of winning far less points but winning the set, you can see that that would have taken a lot of self confidence for that player to have struggled on their serve, game after game and not got anywhere when receiving serve and yet still come out on top.
On the flip side, what about the self confidence issues surrounding the player who is clearly winning more points, having it announced and reaffirmed continually throughout the set and yet they come away with a loss??
If I was talking about a Rafa Nadal or Roger Federer in the first example (behind all the way yet winning) you would not be too surprised…….because they are Rafa & Roger!! Yes that is a big part of what makes them the champions they are but you can improve on how you deal with and improve self confidence with some very simple tools (and yes the top players use them too).
I’ll show you one really powerful one tomorrow, but let me know in the comments section at the bottom if this kind of thing is a hurdle for you and if you would like lots more stuff on the mental side of things….remember the mental game is HUGE if you want to play anywhere near your best so let me know below.
Oh, before I forget……..the wager – well I lost the set 7-4 in the tie break & had to do our time-honoured forfeit of 50 pushups…..not fun….my arms are still hurting me now and typing this out is a real struggle
Take my advice always go for the $25 (or whatever currency) wager with your friends. it’s a lot easier to deal with and the pain is over and done with in seconds.
I WILL NOT be losing next week….believe me!!!
Don’t forget to check out the Halloween Special I put together the other day………I will be taking it down tomorrow & everything goes back to their original price…………Prices So Low It’s SCARY!!!
One of the biggest problems in club and recreational doubles is having to counter the lobber and their continual lobs.
You are doing your best to improve your doubles game by getting to the net to volley and poach more and all they do is lob, lob, lob.
Players get frustrated because they feel like there is no point playing a game nearer the net because they keep losing points & matches.
Here are a couple of things you can do and why coming to the net IS the right thing to be doing.
You can get heaps more free doubles videos to help you play better doubles over at tennisdoublesmastery.com
Well done to Andy Murray for his first Grand Slam win at the US Open in New York.
I can’t say I was surprised because as some people will testify, I did call the outcome before the tournament
As he stepped up to serve for the match I couldn’t help but think back to the times I saw him as a kid growing up as a talented tennis player and wondering “if he really could do it”.
Anyway, he has now but I have one question for you that is dividing the tennis community and I would love to know your take on it.
Was the decision to take on Ivan Lendl as his coach what made the difference this year or was it always just a matter of time for Murray and finally that time arrived irrespective of Lendl??Is there a Lendl factor in play here? Everyone seems to have a different opinion so let me hear yours. Let me know in the comment boxes below please!!