Term Paper: Tennis

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[. . .] .The common and inefficient way of moving is when the torso leans over first and then the body moves or the rear is cocked back. Remember to retain balance by moving from your body center, which means that your torso and head are back and the upper body "floating" above the lower body. (Papas) Because no imbalance occurs, the lower body and its middle part can lend maximum support to the arms, which is the stronger possible condition and foundation for hitting.

Good posture happens by standing upright on one's torso, with the head back and the shoulders pulled back and relaxed. The hips are tucked under in forward position and the tailbone points downward and the shoulder line and hip line parallel to the ground. One loses power when the hips are cocked back. Good posture likewise means that the torso does not lean over wherein the head extends beyond the toes.

Before ball contact, the weight should be shifted and the final position established. The body's center of gravity lowers before the ball is hit and the player "puts" that weight into the ball. Aggressive or professional players lengthen their shift and increase by also lengthening their step, but without extending their front knees or torso past the toes, and their tailbones remain pointed down.

Leverage has to do with vision, because what one sees determines how well he or she can judge things. If the ball is seen clearly, the reference is correct as to where the contact point mut be. If the player's head is straight before and during contact, he or she will hit the ball on time. But this is an ideal. It is popular and common to just watch that ball, but watching it well does not lead to perfect timing, but it at least leads to better concentration. The eyes must see the ball clearly and head-on in 3 dimensions. The player's eyes and nose must point straight at the ball. When the information is right, instinct will cause a swing on time, and faulty information will lead to a stroke at the wrong time.

Body rotation involves the body's rotating inwardly from the ball contact spot. If a player rotates during a swing, he or she moves away from the ball while it moves away from him or her. And if he or she is sideways, he or she will rotate his or her body to redirect the momentum more into the ball and this adversely affects the stroke. An imaginary line perpendicular from the body center has a fixed center and is easier and a more reliable source of power than angular momentum. When there is more rotation, there is less accuracy. The thing to do is to move into the ball with both feet, step into it with the front foot, shift the weight linearly into the ball without rotating the body during the swing. The contact with linear momentum as a power source will be so strong that it will amaze the player.

It is all right if the body rotates after the ball contact, but if it rotates during the swing and becomes part of the swing for power, the player sacrifices both control and power. (Experts say that the empowerment structure must be separate from the delivery structure). The best and ultimate strike, as well as its force, goes beyond the target. The first and primary target is (and will ever be) the ball at contact. This is where a tennis player focuses everything - footwork, power, vision and stroke. The thing is that there should be less rotation in order to accelerate the racket more, and the primary objective of rotation is to empower the contact spot, and secondarily, to book racket acceleration. Rotation, by definition, means moving inward from the contact spot, which defeats the purpose of empowering the shot. Rotation only acts as an initial combustion agent to racket acceleration. If the player is doing this sideways, he or she can rotate more than when open, but he or she loses control when rotating more. Tennis experts say that it becomes tempting to rotate more because the experience of awesome power comes with rotating into the direction of the ball. Rotation serves only to boost racket acceleration and when overdone, the friction slows the racket down.

V. The perfect tennis form - hitting the ball just right -- involves steps before the contact. The player keeps his or her feet just right to each other and to the flight line of the ball. He or she stands neither sideways nor open to the ball at contact, and the body empowered by linear momentum, not angular momentum.

One must also form the tennis stance, and the incoming angle of the ball's flight line is what the tennis stance is about, as it predetermines the direction in which to move the feet, body and the racket.

And in order to achieve a faster or quicker stroke, or to hit a heavy ball hard and to place it well, one way is to hit through the middle of the ball. What tennis books and tips describe a popular stroking direction that produces the opposite of the desired head-on contact for power and control. That popular but erroneous direction is an arrow perpendicular to the net or drawn down the middle of a street, which leads to misses. Swinging straight to or keeping the racket facing the net does not bring on a collision between the ball and the racket, and the stroke is unsupported and becomes weaker. Rather, shift your weight into the contact spot into the ball and the stroke heads through the middle of the ball towards your opponent. Shift linearly into the ball, rather than its flight to the opponent's court. The body heads into the contact and the stroke heads towards the other side of the net. (Papas) stroke is accelerated in an inward direction from the contact spot and is greatest when there is a common origin, i.e., the shoulder and the elbow. This means that the player should extend his or her arm away from the body and keep his or her shoulder still and the arm singing side to side. Then he or she should move his or her shoulder side to side and swing the arm. Swinging the racket and moving the shoulders will lose acceleration due to common point moves. This is true to shifting weight along the flight line of the ball as well as when rotating, because the common points move. Rotation is always counterproductive to tennis players.

Do not be confused with the standard methods on footwork. It is expert opinion to step into the ball with the front foot - with the left foot on the right side and the right foot on the left side - than by choosing an open stance. Also, start with large steps, not small ones, because large steps get a player headed into the ball or he or she will not reach it on time.

Players must not sidestep while moving forward. This is an inefficient movement pattern because one foot does not cover distance, while the other does. The front foot takes an actual step, while the back foot does not but drags behind the front foot without taking a step past it. Rather, the player's steps must continue to move forward and into the ball. It is common and erroneous to start forward, but veer off to the side and drop the advantage of moving into the ball. In the long run, balance and structure are lost.

Shift weight. Power means shifting body weight and that creates momentum into your body's power zone to empower the arms and legs. There is acceleration with the striking, but it is the weight shift that counts. Most tennis players try to shift more weight into the ball, but what they really need is a system whereby they can get more hits and can be repeated easily. All such athletes try to achieve that power with the least energy, as overdoing anything leads to point loses and injuries.

Players should move into the ball with linear momentum, as time and again stressed, as it is alsl directed into the ball, because they go hand-in-hand. Movement equals power and that movement into the ball places the contact without need for compensatory technique, and linear momentum puts power on a straight line.

In summary, soundness and flexibility of the body, especially the main parts used in the game and which the game significantly affects, is needed to play it successfully. It is more than knowing the rules, alertness, symmetry, endurance but also utilizing everything a player has in his or her power to make power hits with an economy of energy and time. The player must know and abide by the ground rules of physics and geometry and do the best he or she can. He or she… [END OF PREVIEW]

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