When discussing tennis technique in general, we normally refer to top players in the tennis. The important question is: Should a amateur tennis player attempt to copy the tennis technique of the pros?
The answer is a cautious Yes if the tennis player is looking to improve their tennis technique and tennis strokes. The takeaway from watching professional players is that something can be learned every time you watch the pros practice.
World class tennis players usually always share commonalities in their tennis technique that you should model.
It’s a bad idea to try to copy little nuisances and rituals of professional players. Things like John McEnroe’s exaggerated rock back and forth swing before he serves, or Maria Sharapova’s complex ritual before every point may look cute – – but it’s far from what the average tennis needs to incorporate if he or she wants to play better tennis
When watching the pros and attempting to model their tennis technique, it’s important to know what to look for in their tennis strokes and what is a matter of personal preference. Replicating important fundamentals of their tennis technique is the most vital – – and key to improving your own tennis technique.
For the forehand, a good model is Roger Federer, Andre Agassi and Justine Henin Hardenne. All three of these players have exceptional forehand tennis technique and at the same time are the most efficient and clean forehands in tennis for the average tennis player to model. They are great models because their forehands are top of the game while still staying relatively simple.
Attempting to model Rafael Nadal’s Forehand, or Andy Roddick’s serve are two very complicated tennis swings. The reason these two tennis shots are not ideal models to copy is simple – – it contains very advanced elements that recreational and club players may not be capable of reproducing without a firm understanding of the fundamental tennis technique behind the strokes.
Nadal’s Forehand is a powerful tennis stroke, with a massive topspin forehand. Not a bad forehand by any standards, but one that average player should steer clear of trying to copy until they have mastered the basic elements of a sound forehand. Looking at Nadal’s Forehand, we see that his tennis forehand technique is technically sound, but very complex. His wrists, arm and racket goes through several stages just in the preparation phase of the forehand.
Andy Roddick’s serve is another difficult tennis stroke to master. It is a tennis stroke that is only possible by first mastering the basic elements of a more classical serve and having exceptional throwing mechanics. The motion itself requires a great deal of upper body and arm strength, as well as athleticism.
Andy Roddick achieves his world class serve through a rapid abbreviated serve motion where the arm flies in and out of the trophy position faster than any other professional tennis player.
The ability of his arm to load prior to contact in such a short burst is responsible for his tennis serve being more explosive than any other player on tour. The external rotation Andy Roddick’s serve achieves is exceptional This tennis technique requires the player to stretch the body to it’s upper limits. It’s a serve that only advanced tennis players should attempt, and even so with caution.
Keys of Modeling Tennis Technique
In looking to model the tennis technique of the pros, it’s important to look for the basic fundamentals behind the tennis technique. Avoid trying to copy any extreme elements and instead aim for simplicity when trying to emulate the tennis technique of the pros.
Try to find a good model to base your tennis strokes off of and then let your natural technique emerge while sticking to the fundamentals of proper technique.
Visualize the correct technique you wish to solidify in your game and observe the strokes of the pros. By watching the pros execute their strokes, an unconscious process in your brain will develop, therefore burning the “perfect image” into your mind. This will help you ingrain the technique, because the brain will have a clear file on the correct technique.