Visual Learning - Stroke Comparison Engine
We learn by touch, sound, sight. But experts say, mostly by sight. Our new Stroke Comparison Engine provides a great visual learning tool. You can compare the strokes and footwork of great players from different generations, men versus women, serve-and-volleyers versus baseline groundstrokers. “Watch and learn” with the new Stroke Comparison Engine.
Fundamentals of the Overhead
For some the overhead is one of the most erratic shots in both singles and doubles and one of the most difficult to consistently hit well time and time again. Unfortunately it is very easy for most of us to get very lazy on the overhead because when that lollypop of a ball is just floating our way, our eyes tend to get as big as soccer balls and all we want to do is hit the living daylights out of it. When this happens, typically all of our learned technique goes right out the window.
The "L" position
If this scenario sounds all too familiar, then you may want to pay particular attention. Today, using the
ACE System, I will show you the same fundamental biomechanical reference points the best players in the world use on their overheads. I will break these reference points down into three easy to learn steps consisting of the preparation, hitting zone (contact), and the ending of the overhead. So let's get started.
The first reference point for you to mimic is the "L" position achieved by the upper arm and forearm as you see illustrated above.
You will want to achieve this position at approximately the time the incoming lob or high ball reaches it's apex or highest point.
The Contact Zone
Many people simply miss overheads due to late preparation so this is a good visual cue for you to remember.
The second reference point to mimic that goes hand in hand with the "L" position is the racquet head pointing to the sky. This means one's wrist will be in a neutral position while waiting in preparation. Many people lose power because they cock their wrist while in preparation and have their racquet head pointing to the back fence. When this happens, they lose the use of the stretch shortening cycle and with that, much of their power. So make sure the racquet stays pointing up to the sky until you are ready to uncoil and begin the upswing to the ball.
The third reference point is simply to get sideways to the net and the left arm should point up to the ball with the left (or non dominant) arm. You have probably heard this one a million times but it can truly help you track the ball better.
The Arc Shape Ending
Hitting Zone (Contact)
Reach up as high as you can to make contact with the ball. This is the single most important reference point to mimic at contact. The right arm (right-handers) should be fully extended or straight at the time of contact and, if at all possible, contact should be made out in front of the body. However, this is not always possible when using the scissor kick on overheads but on many overheads out in front contact is possible. So, after you prepare, you should think to yourself uncoil and extend up to the ball. Make contact with the ball as high as you can possibly reach.
The first reference point in the ending to mimic is the arc shape that the upper arm, elbow, and forearm form as you see illustrated above.
Taylor Dent overhead; L position, contact zone, arc shape ending.
You will want a nice bit of space between the upper arm and the torso as illustrated by the yellow line.
The second reference point is the pronation of the forearm and wrist as shown by the green arrow. Notice how the hand is pronated and we can see the palm.
The third reference point goes along with the pronation. If you properly pronate then the contact side of the strings will be pointing to the side or back fence behind you. These are very good visual reference points that will inform you if you are executing the proper technique on the overhead ending. Simply freeze in your ending and observe your arm and racquet to make sure you are meeting each ending reference point correctly.
So there you have it. I have broken down the overhead into three easy to learn steps consisting of biomechanical reference points that you can immediately take and go out and apply to your own game or coaching. Remember to practice one step at a time mastering the reference points for each step and then move on to the next.
Until next time.
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Virtual Tennis Academy
Current professional tour coach, Heath Waters and wife, top 100 and former no. 33 in the world ranked tour player, Lindsay Lee-Waters, are proud to release the first predominantly all streaming video based e-learning tennis instructional website at www.virtualtennisacademy.com
Subscribers will receive personal video tennis instruction directly from Heath and Lindsay as well as mental coaching, sports performance training, and much, more from a hand chosen team of experts currently working with professional tennis players on tour. Now anyone in the world, no matter what level, can receive the same world class training the world's best tennis players receive right from the convenience of their own home.
The Etcheberry Experience DVD
For more than twenty years Pat Etcheberry has been providing athletes from around the world with the winning edge. We call this the Etcheberry Experience, and players with an Etcheberry experience have hoisted Championship Trophies at over one hundred major championships, including 28 Australian Opens, 18 Wimbledons, 22 UP Opens, 22 French Opens and 15 Olympic medals.
And now it's your turn! This is your chance to experience the same drills, exercises and words of tennis wisdom that Pat gave to Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Jennifer Capriati, Martina Hingis, Jim Courier, Justine Henin-Hardenne, and others, that helped launch them on their incredible careers. For the first time, Pat Etcheberry shares his training secrets in a series of DVDs for players of all ages, their coaches, and trainers
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