Tennis positioning and balance… Balance and positioning… Yeah, I know it sounds like a broken record, but it can also mean a lot of lost points if you’re not careful.
In my opinion, I don’t think club players really see the value in it, having proper balance and body control. That’s why they don’t place as much attention and focus on it as they should.
You see, we’re always ready to smack the ball as hard as we can. That spells success for us, right? At least we think so.
But at the end of the day, we end up with fundamental failure. We end up forgetting some of the core fundamentals that make those great (…powerful) ground strokes and volleys even possible.
…Tennis positioning and body balance.
The ability to get to the ball with your weight centered and maintain excellent body control (…so you can consistently execute a rock solid return) is extremely critical to achieving tennis success.
Because hey, you can hit and have the right shot mechanics… You can have all the power in the world too… But if you’re not centered, you’re going to have a major problem.
Oh and just some FYI, your shots won’t have nearly as much juice on them anyway, if you’re not centered the right way. And believe me, frustration will quickly follow.
Now, this takes plenty of practice, and as you may have guessed (…like with many things), you’re not going to get it perfect right off the bat (…or should I say off the racquet).
But once you do start figuring out how to put yourself in the correct tennis position to rocket that ball back at your opponent, you’ll notice a big difference in your winning percentage.
Now, if my word alone isn’t good enough for you (…wink, wink), here’s some statistical proof that just might convince you further. I’m always a sucker for numbers. So check this out.
Studies show that a jaw-dropping four out of every five errors, committed by tennis players at the competitive juniors level are due to a loss of balance. Awful, isn’t it? Yeah, that’s why I was saying this subject is so awfully important.
Because hey, I’ll be the first (…and definitely not the last) to tell you that an eighty percent failure rate is inexcusable, if you plan on doing some real damage out there that is. If your feet and body weight aren’t in the right place, your shots will be very poor to say the least.
Okay, now we know how essential proper balance is and why we should work so hard to achieve it, is there any way for us to improve it efficiently and effectively?
Tennis Positioning and Balance: Quick Fix (Use Your Head)
As luck would have it, there is. It comes down to the most essential of all body parts: THE HEAD.
You might not think about your head very much, even though your head is doing the thinking. But, for better or worse, the average head weighs in at about thirteen pounds.
That said, your body is carting something that’s approximately the same weight as a sack of flour or a moderate-size dumbbell (…the kind ladies use for triceps extensions at 24hr Fitness).
Yeah, all of that is on your flimsy neck. So, your head has a lot of say as to how level and even you are.
Keeping your head balanced is the key to keeping your feet and center of gravity where they need to be. Tilt your head too high, your racquet face follows, and the tendency for your ball to go sky high goes way up.
Dip it too low, and you’ll have a tendency to lean too far forward, and the ball will barrel into the bottom of the net.
To make sure your head is where it needs to be, see to it that your noggin stays directly above your center of gravity. VISUAL KEY: You can do this by making sure your head is always over your belly button.
Don’t go in there bobbing and weaving like you’re Iron Mike Tyson. Try to keep it as still as possible when playing, so that it remains in that sweet spot.
NOTE: If you have an aggressive playing style, you can still be active out there. But try your best to avoid lunging or reaching with your upper body too much, why? Because this is notorious for taking you off balance and off your center.
I mean, if you’re out there, rushing to a shot (…at an amazing speed) and you suddenly get “OFF,” you just might end up taking an unwanted trip the floor, having to pick yourself up off the grass, clay, and cement. Ouch!
Feel free to keep your head even higher above your center of gravity. The higher it is, the better.
If you don’t pay attention to your head’s location, you may find that it veers too much off the center of gravity. When this happens, your control suffers severely.
You not only will be more likely to lose your balance, but you’ll also lose power and control, two huge necessities.
Yeah, your shots will be flying everywhere, everywhere but between the boundary lines.
Need Inspiration? Check Out Kim Clijsters Tennis Positioning:
Take a look at the impeccable Kim Clijsters for any added inspiration you may need. She is a player who consistently maintains *GREAT TENNIS POSITIONING*. Nine and a half times out of ten, she’s got the perfect head position.
She keeps her shoulders level and makes sure that her body weight (…and most importantly, head weight) doesn’t travel too far on either side or front to back.
This is one of the reasons she makes it look so easy out there. That’s why her penetrating shots look so smooth and almost effortless. She’s not playing hard, she’s playing smart. That’s one of the reasons why she’s one of the worlds best.
This may take some practice, but anything worth attaining always does. In time, it will become second nature to keep your head level and balanced. And, in turn, your shots will become more fluid, powerful, and effective.
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Have a great day and an even better game,