In the previous blogs, it was written about the importance of the kinetic chain.
Kinetic chain is the path of energy transfer from the toes to the pressure points on the racquet grip. Therefore it’s very important to understand it in details (more of it in the previous blogs but I will mention it briefly here as well).
Pressing downwards, against the ground, a player is receiving the energy in the opposite direction (upwards from toes to head). This force coming from the ground is called the impact force (reaction force). Well this force is the source of the power for every single shot you see and admire on the tour. Just to mention that we use the impact force in every day life; when we walk, run or jump.
Kinetic chain is enabling a player to create power, amazing spin and control the stroke.
In order to do so, you have to forget for a second that you are hitting the ball with your arm. You have to understand that your body is creating power for the stroke from toe up to the hip (and then rotating torso and shoulder). Creating a solid pressure against the ground with the power foot (which is the back foot, as it’s the most distant from the ball) a player is planting the power foot. By planting the foot against the ground the player’s body is loading with the force from the ground (source of energy). Due to timing of the contact point, the player will unload this energy, from the ground up to the toe pushing the hip forward against the incoming ball.
In order for the toe to push the hip forward the power foot has to be at the proper distance from the contact point. Player being aware of this distance is a player who can successfully position to the ball.
Planting the foot for the power is a part of the positioning movement. That would be the reason why correction or learning a stroke technique should begin with the steps and movement.
This would enable the player to position and plant the foot at the proper distance from the impact zone. Why is the distance of the power foot to the impact zone so important? So the player can successfully transfer the energy from the hip forwards, rotating the upper part of the body into the contact point. The rotation of the hips stretches the abdominal and chest muscles so they can pull the shoulders and hitting arm in slingshot fashion toward the direction of stroke.
This action demands distance and time to be efficiently applied. If the distance is inadequate, the rotation is not made in full. Therefore the transfer of the loaded energy is not complete.
Creating a feeling of proper loading and unloading the body parts is first step in creating the awareness of the power source. Having a player aware how to use the body parts and the ways of the body coordination are the first and most important steps before hitting the ball with the racquet.
CONTROL=BODY COORDINATION=STABILITY OF THE NON HITTING SIDE
Applying power to the stroke without control doesn’t make any sense. In tennis, a sport where you have to place the ball into the limited space, control is the most important aspect of the stroke.
As the energy, using the kinetic chain, is released, it needs to be controlled and efficiently transferred through the ball.
Pushing the body and efficient rotation of the hips and shoulders forwards demands precise body coordination between the hitting and non hitting side.
For the hitting side to transfer the energy from the planted and loaded foot to the contact point, the non hitting side needs to provide stability using certain body parts (such as ankle or hand wrist), but
MORE ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF NON HITTING SIDE IN THE FUTURE BLOGS