Things are really starting to turn around. As I said in my previous blog, my biggest goal for the week was to find a way to improve my movement, and I’m happy to say that I have done just that. After writing my previous entry I went onto YouTube and I searched for movement exercises, and what I found was an analysis of Roger Federer‘s movement. Now we all know that Roger is one of the greatest movers of all time. He makes it all look so effortless, cat like. What really struck me and has stayed with me throughout the week is a slow motion image of Federer split stepping. Federer jumps off the ground and lands his split step with his feet almost double shoulder width apart. He times it perfectly so that as he lands his opponent is making contact. All the while he’s tracking the ball with his eyes.
I tried this on Wednesday morning. As simple as it sounds, I focused on exaggerating my split step, jumping up and landing with a wide base. I cannot put into words the difference it has made to my movement. Whereas before I felt slow, crouched over, out of position and off balance, now I feel more upright, more explosive and much more athletic. This is something I must have done naturally as a junior, but lost somewhere along the way between knee injuries and taking time off. For the first time in a long time I feel like I can really move and really chase down balls. This in turn helps with confidence and shot selection during the point and allows me the long forgotten luxury of playing the game, and constructing the point.
I urge all of you to try this in your practice or match. It’s a simple tip but it will make your court movement seem so much more natural. Jump up, land with a wide base, explode into your split step, and see the difference it will make to your game!
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