Tuesday, May 31, 2016
Form in Tennis is Economy of Motion
Arthur Ashe wrote a tennis book called Poetry in Motion. That is exactly what Tennis used to look like when Ashe, Newcomb, Laver, Gonzales roamed the courts with their agility, speed and reach. Of course, these players had their quirks like incessant bouncing of the ball before the serve, but the majority of them used, displayed classical stroke production and equally classic footwork in their movement about the court.
To see the difference, you can look at any professional photographer’s photos of players today who use two hands and those who use one hand. There is a stark difference in the balance of the subject in their photo, and in their activity. By this, I mean there is a pleasing esthetic well-balanced quality to subject matter in the picture.
Look at the photo above and see if you can discern what I’m talking about. There is, in my opinion, a certain amount of harmony in the photo. There is a sense of balance, stability and grace. For example, the feet are well apart. This player could remain in this position as long as necessary. This player appears to be stroking the ball down the line with his foot placement.
Here are some finer points to compare with your game: racquet parallel to the ground. Feet are well spread. The forward foot is flat and stable. The player's body gives a sense of moving into the ball. The left arms counter-balances the racquet arm, as the fingers can barely bee seen behind the player. The player is down on the end of the racquet with the fingers slightly spread, and the arm is straight.