Do you have any idea what your strokes LOOK like? For years, a critical component to ALL pro athlete training/improvement has been the use of video to help the individual “see” what needs to be corrected.
I have used video occasionally to check on what a certain stoke looks like. But have also used it to help me and my doubles partner improve our court movement. It is really eye-opening to see on video how we were out of position on critical points, without really knowing it.
Using video as a team can help you better understand what each partner should be doing during the point to gain the offense.
Recently, I was having trouble with my forehand and videod a practice session. What I saw was that my left arm was useless and just dangling at my side as I hit my stroke. It looked awkward and inefficient. Just by seeing this, I knew that it was wrong.
That afternoon, Maria Sharapova was on TV and they showed her forehand in slow motion. She did what many pros do:
• she held the throat of her racquet in her left hand as she coiled for the forehand,
• didn’t release it until she was fully turned,
• then used her left arm to pull open her shoulders
• and gained more power.
The next time on the court, I tried doing this … and it really worked.
To help the video process – especially to get a full court view of doubles or singles movement – I use a neat tool called the QM-1 Video Pole. It comes from Mike Lammens in Colorado, who is a friend of tournament player Rich Boddicker (is that a recommendation or a caution?!).
To quote from Mike’s website (www.MyTennisTools.com) …
The QM-1 is light and compact, with a three-piece telescoping pole and a unique two-piece “clamping hook” that allows you to quickly and securely mount your camera on fences as high as 15 feet (most court fences are 10ft tall and a few are 12 ft. tall). The QM-1 camera bracket is fully adjustable to work on any court. The settings for a standard tennis court are also clearly marked on the unit, eliminating the necessity of trial and error.
Both video training and Mike’s pole work!