Tennis: Chase Balls Using Sprinter-Arms

Tennis: Chase Balls Using Sprinter-Arms

Dick Moss

You'll often see players running for balls with both hands on their racquet. There are several possible reasons for this:

1. They've just hit a two-handed stroke and feel they can react faster by running before taking a hand off the racquet.

2. They feel it will take time to replace their hand for another two-handed stroke.

3. They just forget to remove their hand.

Sprinters Use Both Arms
In fact, running with both hands on the racquet is inefficient. Top relay sprinters hold their baton with one hand while pumping both arms furiously. It's one of the keys to accelerating and to achieving top-end speed.

Tennis players should do the same--they simply cannot run as fast when both hands are on the racquet.

So teach your players to remove one hand from the racquet when chasing balls, and to replace that hand when they approach their hitting area for a two-handed shot. The extra speed they generate will allow them to reach more shots - and reach them with enough time to take a full, aggressive swing.

Reference: Dave Hagler, USPTA Master Pro, "Pump Your Arms Like a Sprinter.", 4/10/2007.


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