Truth - Staying anchored to the ground may be good for golf,
billiards, weightlifting, and fishing, but it does not work
well in tennis. I love giving lessons to players who have
been told over and over again to stay on the ground when
hitting their shots. I love to see the expression on their
faces when I say, "I do not care if you jump off the ground
or not, whatever it takes to make the shot, just let your
body go!" Most of my students feel like a huge burden has been
lifted off their shoulders. Now they can relax, play tennis,
and jump off the ground if they wish.
The pros jump off the ground on most of their groundstrokes,
especially their power topspin shots. Jumping off the ground
is a natural result of letting go and offers three important
1) more power, 2) improved fluency, and 3) better balance.
Here is the bottom line. The pros jump off the ground because
they know instinctively that it is beneficial. You should do the
same. Play without forcing yourself to stay on the ground and,
as a result, jumping will occur naturally and instinctively. You
will be playing and thinking like a pro!
- More Power
In jumping up, the upward burst of force adds power to your
groundstrokes. Staying on the ground loses that extra power
that can be beneficial in match play. Watch the pros jump off
the ground as they hit harder and with more topspin on their
- Improved Fluency
If you hit a ball and let your body come to a screeching halt,
you will lose the fluency of motion in that particular shot. If
you let yourself go and your body leaves the ground, the natural
result will be a more fluid shot. Contrary to popular belief,
jumping off the ground maintains fluency, it does not destroy
it. If jumping off the ground destroys fluency, then why would
the pros be jumping all over the place on many of their shots?
- Better Balance
This follows the same principle as improved fluency. If you come
to an abrupt stop while you are hitting the ball, you will have
a difficult time regaining your balance after the shot. If you
let yourself go and jump off the ground when hitting the ball,
your balance will be more natural and much easier to maintain.