Monday, February 20, 2017

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Tennis Topic of the Day: The Power of Efficiency of Movement

(Click Image to Enlarge)

Roger Federer averages fewer meters of movement on points than any major rival. Efficiency of movement helps to explain the appearance of ease and fluidity. 
Courtesy: Fedegraphica: A Graphic Biography of the Genius of Roger Federer by Mark Hodgkinson (Arum Press: 2016)

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Tennis Topic of the Day: Learning from Karolina Pliskova

"The Czech power hitter proves that the simplest answer is usually the right one." 
-- Steve Tignor, Tennis Magazine

1. Stramline Your Serve - Pliskova makes the most complicated shot in tennis - the serve - look easy, smooth and uncluttered. She avoids extra movement. Lesson: Try to cut out all wasted motion out of your delivery. "Toss, reach and hit; that's all you need to do."
2. Work on Your Timing - Pliskova proves that tennis, like life, is all about timing. She is lanky and slight of build, but still hits with all the easy power and penetration of the top power players. How? Clean ball-striking, rather than strength. Keep your head still and focus on watching the ball into the strings of the racket.
3. Hit Flat - If You Can (with safety) - Pliskova hits a flat, but safe, ball. Flat power, if controlled, is hard to beat. The swing path runs parallel to the court, and the ball moves through the court more quickly, thus taking time away for the opponent.
4. Tailor Your Technique to Your Physical Strengths - The 6'1" Czech appears to barely bend on her shots, but hits a great ball. Her style is to maximize her height advantage on her shots. Lesson: Use your particular physical advantages to leverage up your game.

5. Keep an Even Keel - Pliskova maintains the constant "poker face." You can never see her emotions or what she's thinking. Never allowing your opponent or others to see weakness builds your strength. 

Excerpts from:
"Learning from . . . Karolina Pliskova", Steve Tignor, Tennis Magazine (Jan.-Feb. 2017), Page 55.