A hurdle that stumbles many a tennis and pickleball player is the paradox of where they generate power from on the court.
Joe, Billy, and Kaindi discuss how tension and relaxation provide a critical but often misunderstood role in generating power in our shots. Take a look!
The following is a transcript from video one of this Game Changers webinar.
What would you say are a few negative and positive habits that you see most players fall into?
That’s an easy question you’re asking this morning.
The first one, I think, is tension.
People grip out of anxiety, and they think they need strength in order to hit a ball, whether it be a pickleball or baseball, or tennis ball. They think they need power to hit the ball harder when, in fact, it’s the opposite.
It’s relaxation of the joints, like hinges on a door. You have either a well-oiled door or an old, rusty barn door. Relaxed or not.
So a positive thing would be relaxation. Not so much that your racket goes flying across the net.
A negative thing would be gripping too tight. On a scale of one to ten, most players shouldn’t be holding their racket at a 5 or above.
And if you can get down to a one or a two, really relaxing your hands, you may lose some control at first, but that’s just temporary, and you’ll gain a lot of permanent power instead.
Another big mistake players make is always taking the racket all the way back on every swing.
Their reaction when the ball comes in is to take their racket back to take a big swing.
It’s not always right to take a full swing, so players programmed to have their racket way back will be way behind shots the closer they are to the net. The ball will be past them as they pull the racket back; sometimes, you just need to swing.
Balancing tension and relaxation is critical to performing well and learning on the court.
Intentionally practicing taking shots with big backswings and taking shots with very small, or no, backswings will help players just relax and react during play.
Sometimes, players change their technique during big matches when they feel behind but don’t have the practice and experience with those changes, so it rarely works.
One of the best ways to improve and have a less rigid set of techniques and skills is to use kinesthetic training aids.
Cleverly designed kinesthetic tennis and pickleball training aids help accelerate learning speeds by promoting muscle micro-movements. Simply, they make learning on the court faster and easier by helping players get a feel for nuance techniques that normally take years in no time.
Check out our kinesthetic training aids that can help you with your serves, racket speed, ball tracking, court movement, and so much more! Click here
Kalindi Dinoffer is trained in multiple aspects of mindfulness in life and in sports, sharing on her blog MindfulKalindi.com. She is also certified to teach yoga, fitness, reiki, and MFR. Kalindi also serves as VP marketing at OnCourtOffCourt.com, a leading supplier of tennis, pickleball, fitness and yoga training aids and equipment and has been published in Tennis industry Magazine and Pickleball Magazine, and has conducted workshops at conferences around the world. In her spare time, Kalindi plays tennis, pickleball and table tennis and enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking and biking and cross country skiing in the winter.