[tennisbiz] Coordinating Balance and the Toss for the Serve
<x-charset iso-8859-1>Hi Jamie-
I would recommend that you buy the book, "Mechanics of Sport", by Gerry
Carr. In the book the description of the center of balance is described in
detail. This will help you to understand your students' problem more
A drill that I do to help my students that have this center of balance
problem is to first have them start their serve but freeze right when the
tossed ball enters the hitting zone for the serve. A player that is loaded
properly on the serve and has decent balance should be able to maintain
their center of balance for a second or more.
The second drill that I do is to have the student hit serves and tell them
that I may possibly say "freeze". You want to say "freeze" a little before
the toss enters the hitting zone of the serve because the student will need
time to process. If I don't say freeze then they are to hit the serve. If
I do say "freeze" they want to maintain their balance as long as they can
and not hit the ball. In this way the student becomes more aware of their
center balance at that point in their serve.
Do drill one but have a target on the ground. Have the player keep their
left arm up when they look down to see where the toss is landing in relation
to target. This will teach them in itself how to get the toss out at the
Do drill two but instead of saying freeze give the student feedback on their
toss. You may say 3 is a good toss and out in front enough, 2 is not bad
but still needs to be out in front more, 1 is not so hot. First give him
the feedback and then have him tell you what he thinks. When both your
scales match up farily consistently then you know this student will have a
good chance at practicing it correctly on his own.
Lastly, from what you describe, you seem to have gotten him to maintain his
balance but he does not do it all the time. In that period of time that he
was away he developed an incorrect motor program. The only way he is going
to gradually erase it is through practice and awareness of what he is doing.
Remember "practice makes permanent"--good or bad!. He practiced something
when he was away that got him off track. With good practice habits it will
just take time and you should be able to get him back on track. Good luck.
Hope this helps!
Chandronnait Tennis Academy
Received on Fri Oct 24 2003 - 08:32:37 CDT