TRUTH - Most top players do what is necessary for a
particular shot. If the ball is low they bend their knees
more, if the ball is higher they do not bend as much.
Some players dip the racket head down instead of bending
their knees quite as much. Some pros bend more from the
waist on certain shots than would be accepted in conventional
wisdom. Actually if a top pro were to take a conventional
tennis lesson he or she would be completely incorrect in
most of his technique because he or she has their own
style...NOW, I TELL YOU WHAT - I'M NOT GOING TO TELL
THEM...YOU TELL THEM!
Can't you just hear the conventional coach giving a lesson
to a top pro? "You know Pete, you have a few problems here.
You jump off the ground on most of your shots, you swing
upward instead of outward, you hit entirely too much with
the open stance, your racket preparation is much too late,
you are not staying still and balanced on each shot, you
definitely are not staying down through the stroke, you are
hitting too many times with your body weight moving backward,
your knees are not always bent, your racket head drops below
your wrist too many times, and you are rolling your wrist on
your groundstrokes just about every time. In short, you are
a mess! I think you need about ten hours of lessons a week
for the next year to straighten all of this out."
PETE SAMPRAS ANSWERS, "BUT COACH, I JUST WON WIMBLEDON!"
Yes, sometimes you bend your knees and sometimes you do not
bend quite as much. Avoid the pitfall of making "bending
the knees" a rigid axiom that has to be followed before you
can play tennis well. Play relaxed and look like an athlete
bending naturally and when necessary.
Personally I rarely tell any of my students to bend their
knees. Actually, I believe it has been years since I have
uttered the words "bend your knees." I have discovered
that in time most players begin bending their knees
automatically and naturally without having to mention it.
So, I leave them alone and let the natural process teach
them when to bend a little and when to bend more. It works!
Think about it. Did you ever approach a low ball when
playing tennis and think to yourself, "that ball is REALLY
low, I believe I will stand straight up to hit it." Of
course not! If you know the ball is low the tendency would
be to bend down to reach it. The problem is most players,
especially beginners, intermediates, and some advance players
do not know the ball is low until they get close to it. As
time goes on, as you practice and play, you will recognize
that the ball is going to be low ahead of time and begin
bending you're knees automatically.
How's that! One less thing to think about. We will have you
playing relaxed, automatic, and instinctive tennis in no time.