Nadal and Djockovic forehands - what can we learn?

Nadal and Djockovic warming up at Wimbledon couple years ago.   Forehands almost synchronised.

What can we take away and practice from these two great champions?

  • Great balance - solid, wide base, 'you can't fire a canon from a canoe'
  • Relaxation and a 'let go' feeling in each shot
  • A more traditional follow through for Rafa
  • Tip stance and increasing body speed through the shot
  • 180 degree shoulder rotation 

RAF Tennis's Flight Lieutenant Jon Bond is selected as RED 2 for the RAF Red Arrows

We're more used to seeing Jon race around the courts at Halton rather than speed through the skies but a huge congratulations to Jon Bond's selection as RED 2 for the 2018 Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team the Red Arrows.

A huge honour for him, a massive accomplishment and although we'll miss him on the RAF Men's A team next year, we're right behind you Jon!  Well, that's if we could ever catch you!

Jon flew the Typhoon operationally and he gave a great 'Curious Cows talk' to us in 2016!  See this link:

Everyball hits Europe! Ten Pro Global Junior Tour - Mouratoglou Junior Championships

This week an Everyball Team is out out competing in Nice, France at the Ten Pro Global Junior Tour Mouratoglou Junior Championships. 

James Morgan and Sam Kilhams are captaining an Everyball team of Fraser Reeves, Joshua Oakley, Calum Fairey, William Mottram, Jack Feinson, DJ Mentiply, Oliver Mccay-Brown and Amelie Brooks (shown playing a great point in the video).  Team chaperone is Laura Mars.

So far, reports have been fantastic via a very busy What's App group!  Looks like the players are having an amazing learning experience, getting plenty of great match practice on the clay, supporting each other as a team and clearly having a ball!

Our next Everyball trip is already being planned!

Developing your hitting zone...

'Hitting zone' is the distance over which your strings are facing/pointing towards your target during the hitting phase of the stroke (the forward swing pre, on and post contact).  A longer hitting zone increases chances of a consistent contact point (timing) and increases potential for more racket velocity (speed over a given direction).  Use of the non-dominant hand during the one-handed backhand key in this.

See here 10 backhands in a row against the wall aiming for the cross.  Pretty proud of shots 8 and 9!  (This was 'take 1' I promise!)

Practice your tip stance as basis for good body mechanics and easy power....

Turn the back knee to kick start the kinetic chain (sequential transfer of energy through body segments) as a basis for efficient generation of body speed leading to relaxed and easy power.  Can be practiced at any level of play from mini tennis to pros.  When practicing the tip stance ensure the back knee turns and heel lifts prior to contact, not on or after contact.  The timing of this is key.

When to 'go back behind' having served out wide...follow this example of Everyball Ambassador and pro player Beth Grey

Great example of Beth at the Wirral 15K this week using the wide serve (always a strength for the lefty!) and then making the smart decision to go back behind her opponent with ball 3.  This was smart because her opponent played a slow return which allowed her to reposition relatively well. Had the return been hit with more pace and therefore limiting her opponent's recovery time, Beth (I hope!) would have taken ball 3 into the open space using the double opener!  I wonder where Beth goes with ball 5??!!

Simple rules (clear plans/patterns) can be helpful as they reduce uncertainty/anxiety and increase confidence, so when serving wide go back behind your opponent when the return is slow, and into the open court when its faster and build the point from there! Of course there will be exceptions but follow the rule first and then explore the except ifs.