Key to Good Movement!


We have a student (a 10 year old boy) at our academy who thinks a lot.

Really.

If you ask him, ‘What’s your name?’, he would pause for two-three seconds, think, and then answer! 🙂

Really, No kidding!

Now this guy has a decent build, moves fairly well while doing fitness off-court.

However, on-court, it’s a different story altogether.

This boy would hardly reach a ball about 5 feet away from him.

And he has great trouble moving forward for drop-shots.

And (very strangely) a lot of times, he would try to guess where the opponent was going to hit the stroke and move in that direction. And I am not just talking short balls- this boy would do so even on decent rally balls or groundstrokes.

We, coaches at AUDA-PITA Academy, were at our wit’s end trying to understand what this boy was doing?

We used to feel that this boy does not work hard, does not put in enough effort,  does not ‘try’ hard.

Fortunately, I was reading this marvellous book by Nick Saviano called ‘Maximum Tennis’.

Nick has given a fabulous tip in the chapter on Movement.

He says – movement should be made at a sub-conscious level.

He goes on to add- Don’t think, just move!

Perfect!

Suddenly it struck me as to what could be ailing this student of ours.

Maybe he was thinking way too much before moving.

So the next day, I went up to him and asked him: Do you think before you move? Do you see the ball and then consciously decide whether to make an effort to reach the ball?

And he thought for a little bit (what else would you expect!) and said, ‘Yes, Sir.’

And then I told him: ‘Look, for the next set of balls that I feed you, don’t think. Just watch the ball and move!

You don’t have to decide whether to run or not.

Just watch the ball. And whatever direction the ball is headed in, run in that direction.

Just run. Don’t think whether you will reach the ball or not.

Try for every ball.’

And then we proceeded to do the drill.

At first, it took him some time to get used to the concept.

But slowly and surely, I could see improvement in his movement.

And he began to feel the improvement in his movement as well.

He competed in a tournament last week and told me over the phone that his movement was really good.

So, if you are looking for good movement, just ‘Let it flow!’

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