Focus on ball trajectory and how cleanly you hit the ball – this will then allow your brain to merge the technical instruction you’ve been working on with the natural way of movement that creates effortless power – and eventually sound tennis techniques will emerge that simultaneously produce a lot of effortless power and allow easy adjustments to different situations in the game.
"The biggest drawback of asphalt courts is not that they crack, for even a post-tensioned slab may crack from shrinkage or even develop minor structural cracking, but that the cracks continue to widen year after year," says Kolkmann. "I have seen asphalt courts with cracks as wide as 2 to 3 inches, making them a hazard to the players. The advantage with a post-tensioned slab is that it will not allow the crack to widen, but will keep it compressed to a very thin line."
You have my dad and brother’s name! Yes, I agree that tennis becomes very technical. I have also struggled with being too technique oriented with my kids. Thanks to Tomaz, I have used feel and imitation a lot more. I think many people in the US are plagued with the notion that faster is better. There is this sense that children should grow up faster and that learning more earlier is better. This turns into the mentality of winning now is better than playing as well as you can later. The two-handed backhand is an example of this. A younger player is much more likely to win with a two-handed backhand at a younger age. The one-hander is very difficult to learn and requires strength and very good footwork. But as I told a local pro I think there is also a downside. By using two forehands it allows people to “cheat” on both sides. My son recently switched to a one-hander just before turning thirteen. It’s hard but he now realizes how important footwork is and his forehand has gotten better because the steps he uses for his backhand have transferred to his forehand. But he is like an alien. He faces almost no other one-handed backhands in competition. So yes, tennis teaching becomes technical because the adult (pros) forget how to think like kids. They also tend to want success fast. Europeans seem to take a longer view. Maybe because their cultures are much older than the American culture.
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From a poor defensive position on the baseline, the lob can be used as either an offensive or defensive weapon, hitting the ball high and deep into the opponent's court to either enable the lobber to get into better defensive position or to win the point outright by hitting it over the opponent's head. If the lob is not hit deeply enough into the other court, however, an opponent near the net may then hit an overhead smash, a hard, serve-like shot, to try to end the point.
Advanced players improve their performance through a number of accoutrements. Vibration dampeners may be interlaced in the proximal part of the string array for improved feel. Racket handles may be customized with absorbent or rubber-like materials to improve the players' grip. Players often use sweat bands on their wrists to keep their hands dry and head bands or bandanas to keep the sweat out of their eyes as well. Finally, although the game can be played in a variety of shoes, specialized tennis shoes have wide, flat soles for stability and a built-up front structure to avoid excess wear.
Tie-break sets are now nearly universal in all levels of play, for all sets in a match; however, the tie-break is not a compulsory element in any set, and the actual formatting of sets and tie-breaks depends on the tournament director in tournaments, and, in private matches, on the players' agreement before play begins. Tie-breaks are not used in the final set in the Australian Open for singles before 2019, the French Open for singles, Wimbledon before 2019, or the Fed Cup, nor were they used for final sets in Davis Cup play or the Olympics before 2016. The US Open now uses a tiebreak in the final set, both in singles and in doubles, and was the only major tournament to use a tiebreak in the final set for singles before 2019, but the Australian Open and French Open do use a final set tiebreak in both men's and women's doubles.
A tennis match is composed of points, games, and sets. A set consists of a number of games (a minimum of six), which in turn each consist of points. A set is won by the first side to win 6 games, with a margin of at least 2 games over the other side (e.g. 6–3 or 7–5). If the set is tied at six games each, a tie-break is usually played to decide the set. A match is won when a player or a doubles team has won the majority of the prescribed number of sets. Matches employ either a best-of-three (first to two sets wins) or best-of-five (first to three sets wins) set format. The best-of-five set format is usually only used in the men's singles or doubles matches at Grand Slam and Davis Cup matches.
The stiffest graphite racket that has been sold is the Prince More Game MP, which is rated at 80 RA on the industry-standard Babolat measuring equipment. The Prince More series used two pieces (a top side and bottom side of the racket, or a left side and a right side) and no grommet strip. Prince had briefly used a design without a grommet strip in an early version of its "original" graphite oversize. The most famous user of a More series racket was Martina Navratilova, who returned to play doubles in her 40s, using a Prince More Control DB (a midplus) for her initial wins in the mixed doubles at Wimbledon and the Australian Open with Leander Paes. She had used the stiffer More Game MP prior. Navratilova later switched to a design by Warren Bosworth (the founder of Bosworth Tennis) which had a customized asymmetric grip and an unusual geometric head shape. Stiffer rackets typically offer more power and control at the expense of increased ball shock, which can lead to injury or tennis elbow aggravation. Typically, power and control are at odds. However, in the case of stiff rackets, less energy is dissipated by the racket deforming, transmitting it back to the ball. Control is improved because there is less deformation. However, a player's overall power level may decrease due to the need to moderate ball striking effort to reduce discomfort and even injury. Although known as a hard hitter in her younger years, in her 40s she was known more as a precision player who used finesse (and especially tactics) more than power. In fact, the last doubles partner she won a major with in mixed, Bob Bryan, remarked on how slow her serve was, despite how effective she was on the court. Navratilova also used string that was much softer than what anyone else on tour used (thick uncoated natural gut), to help compensate for the stiffness of her racket. The vastly higher injury rate in tennis (when compared with the wood era) is, in part, due to the increase in stiffness, both of the racket and of the strings.
Moving, always moving, and all the time thinking and checking off: Maintain the continental grip, the base knuckle of the index finger of my left hand resting on the bevel one notch counterclockwise from the racket handle’s high noon. (Check.) Keep the racket in front and the racket head up. (Check.) Knees slightly bent. (Check.) Turn sideways quickly, and punch with your shoulder, don’t swing; and tighten your grip at the moment the ball is about to hit the strings.
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