The Long Term Development Of Tennis Technique (Part 2)

The Long Term Development Of Tennis Technique (Part 2)

– [Tomaz] The body is very complex.
– [Colin] Okay.
We have a lot of joints here in the arm.
We have three joints.
All these three joints move.
How many options are there to
move the racket incorrectly?
– Many.
– Infinitely. You see.
– Infinitely. Yeah.
– That’s true.
– Now?
– Even more infinitely!
– Then how are you going to find
among this infinite amount of choices
– There’s only one.
– The right one.
It’s not just one but basically
something must be in place
very stable, very repeatable.
These movements are not repeatable.
How are you– you understand?
But you need a consistent swing that is
more or less the same
because more or less the same swing
will going to give you
more or less the same ball.
– Okay.
– You understand?
– That’s true.

– So now we need to find a way.
How do we put the body in these positions
so that we find this swing?
– Okay.
– Okay. So now we do have one advantage.
That’s why I still have a job, right.

We have one advantage
if we use it as a coach or as a player.
And that is
– Feel. Okay.
– Feel and biomechanics.
Now biomechanics is sometimes
a big scary word, right?
What does that mean?
It’s biological mechanics.

You’re an engineer you understand.
– [Colin] … joints and muscles.
– [Tomaz] That’s right. So
you must look at your body
like an engineer.
And you look at it more through
bones, through skeleton,
not through muscles.
All right?
– [Colin] Yeah.
– So you’re thinking, how would
my body move without muscles?
Like just the skeleton?
How would it naturally move?
How would the joints naturally move
with no muscles or minimal muscles
just that everything is
holding together, right?
– Yeah.
– So you see here’s my arm.
You think, how is the
shoulder joint built,
and how would the shoulder like to move?
– [Colin] Without muscles.
– [Tomaz] Yes.
We only create rotations and swings.
– I don’t know.
– Like this
– Just like this.
– Yeah, but, what is–?
Sorry, I’m seeing–
I’m always imagining the
skeleton just dropping
like the entire (mumbles)
– Imagine the skeleton is standing.
There’s a minimum amount
of muscles and ligaments–
– [Colin] Okay, minimum. Okay, okay, okay.
– It’s standing there.
Now what we can do is we can
rotate the pelvis of the skeleton
and we let the arm swing.
– Okay.
– Okay? So the arm would
like to go like this.
The arm would love to go like this.
There’s no muscle.
The arm would like to go like this.
– Just hit the ball like that.
– So now we introduce rotation.
I just hold the skeleton by the pelvis
and I rotate the pelvis of the skeleton
while the arm is dangling.
So the arm is going to start
to make a certain shape.
– Shape. Yeah.
– Yeah. Like this.
So that is biomechanics.
I’m working just with
the mechanical structure
of the body, right?
– Yeah.
– And so,
if I get my tennis technique
as close as possible
to the natural biomechanical
movements of the body,
I will struggle the least.
– Okay, I see.
– I won’t fight my body’s natural–
I won’t fight physics. It’s physics.
I won’t fight momentums.
I won’t fight gravity.
You understand?
– I use it.
– I use it.
– And make my life easier.
– Yes, I amplify it.
– Okay.
– You understand?
– I do.
– So tennis technique must
be based on biomechanics
to function repeatedly, effortlessly
because look, is this movement repeatable?
– Yeah. All the time.
– Of course, because it
just, one screw here.
And I don’t use other things
and I don’t use muscles
so I go like this.
– But do you think
professional tennis players
have a better, natural
understanding of biomechanics?
– No, they were trained.
– As well?
– Since they were six.

They were trained. Yes,
they might be more talented.
They have higher sense of–
– Hand-eye coordination.
– Feel.
– Feel.

– They feel better.
They have a more refined feel.
For when it’s right.
Because we cannot teach in
English to such high level.
– No.

– You understand.
– You just have to watch–
– So they can reach higher level
because they sense that
this, when they make a stroke
and it feels like this and
then they make another stroke
and they feel a small difference
they feel that this’s one’s better.
The difference is minute.
But because they have
very high level of feel
that means they’re talented.
– Yeah. It is born–
– It is talent, yeah.
– It is something born but we try
to increase it through training.
Then they feel the small
difference and it’s better.
– So it’s the way they strike the ball.
That’s the difference.
– It’s the way, how they move their body.
They swing. How they swing.
How they transfer energy to the ball.
Or how they transfer energy
from the racket to the ball.
They feel how to do it through their body.
– Better than?
– Better than someone ranked 1000.

– And better than a person
who is not involved in sports.
– That is true. Much better.
– So they feel a higher level.
An analogy would be,
let’s say, a blind person.
They can read with fingers.
Braille. You cannot.
Because you don’t feel the dots.
But if you practice long
enough, you will feel.
If you lose sight, you’re gonna practice,
you will start to feel.
Which means at the moment,
your sense of feel is not high enough.
You understand?
– Yeah, I understand.
– You don’t feel. They feel.
Their sense of touch
is a very, very high level, you know?
You understand what I mean?
– I understand.
– Now, apply this to the whole body.
– Okay.
– Apply this to the whole body.
How well do you feel the hips?
How well do you feel the shoulders?
How well do you feel the connection
through the core from hips to shoulders?
How well do you feel the shoulder?
How well do you feel the
hand, the wrist, and so on?
So through years of training,
we develop this feel in players.
Not in English. (Colin laughs)
– Through playing and–
– Through drills, through exercises.
Throwing medicine balls,
pulling rubber bands,
doing million exercises,
hitting the ball with the ball.
You name it, man, we are just thinking
how to stimulate the brain so
that it’s adapting to feel.
– Okay.
– Okay?
– Okay.
– So that’s how you develop.
That’s why they’re better than you.
Because they are doing this
since they were six or seven.
You understand?
Or even if you’re involved
in different sports.
If they play table tennis,
they have very refined feel for the ball.
Then they play badminton,
it’s a different feel.
Then they play squash,
they have a different feel.
Now their brain is very
smart or very
able to adapt to different
speeds, different balls.
They know the force,
this force, that force.
You understand?
– They’re very, they adjust very quickly.
– Yes. So they can adjust
if they return a 200 serve,
they know how much to push the ball.
If the ball is slow, they
know how much to hit the ball.
Because they have so much
practice with adapting
to different force, weight,
ball, speed, and so on.
You understand?
They have, let’s say, high
level of adaptability.
Very high, very refined, very precise.
It’s why they can control
the ball so their ball–
– Extremely, extremely
refined dial with lots of…
– That’s right.
– …very small intervals.
– That’s right. That’s why–
how many times do you see a pro
hit the stroke in good conditions
and miss by three meters?
– Never?
– Never. Unless it’s like-
– Because they are so refined,
so they miss by half a meter,
20 centimeters, by one meter.
So there it means
they missed by one degree.
Maybe the height. Do you understand?
And this one degree mistake,
will make the ball go long.
But by a little bit. If it’s
wide, it’s a little bit wide.
Because they are so refined.
– Right.
Because they’ve been developing that.
– Skill.
– Yes. Skill. Abilities.

13 Comments on “The Long Term Development Of Tennis Technique (Part 2)”

  1. Tomaz, there is some strange noise in the video, somewhat irritating, like a motor. Your video is great, thank you.

  2. Thank you for the in-depth, scientific analysis of why I stink at tennis! I found that one of the fastest ways to improve my hand eye coordination and technique is to find a small brick wall (I have one at work) and practice half volley strokes with full follow throughs. This forces me to hit the ball out in front of me while keeping very loose and using a slight forward weight transfer. You really get to feel your body move through the ball and practice hitting the ball in the sweet spot in front of you. My ground strokes, half volleys, and volleys have really improved with fewer mishits and better balance and bio-mechanics. Plus it’s fun to get off your butt at work and you don’t get too sweaty.

  3. I'm wondering something. For example I'm playing tennis for 6 months and I've watched all of your videos like "How to handle short balls", "Early preparation", "Why swinging low to high doesn't work " etc.
    The problem is I feel like I know all of these things theoretically but not practically. Therefore I can't apply all of these things at once.
    Last of all my question is:
    2 days of training in a week isn't enough or I'm overwhelming myself and maybe I just need leave it to the time and see the progress later?
    Thank you. Great video by the way.

  4. Thank you for all your insight and awesome videos. I understand how a baseline stroke can be comfortable on the shoulder, but what about the high short ball put away shot? It feels very anti- bio mechanically comfortable. I feel very tight on that shot.

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