Ever watch the pro clay courters stand 10-15 feet BEHIND the baseline to return serves and groundstrokes? All they can do is loop the ball straight back down the court. But if you moved forward (and net players moved forward) you can create wider angles to take your opponents off the court.
Forward = Angles
Naples tennis friend and math Brainiac Jack Moter did some math that demonstrates this principle…
If you started on the baseline, every three-foot stride you took moving forward toward the net would let you create a 6-8% greater angle on your groundstrokes toward the sideline. If your opponent is fast, he can get to the ball before it gets too far away from the court sideline. But if he is slow, he has to run wider (at a greater angle) to catch up to the ball before it bounces a second time.
At The Net
The principle is even greater playing doubles at the net. Did you ever notice how close the Bryan brothers are to the net when they hit their put-away volleys? Granted they are still quicker than the average senior tennis player, so they can move back to cover the lob, but their angles are extreme.
But if you are near the center service line and volleyed 12 feet from the net, you could hit a 40 degree angle on your volleys. But for every three-foot stride you moved forward, you could increase that angle by 10-12% … and take your opponents way off the court.
The math is complicated; but the message is simple… (like in life) KEEP MOVING FORWARD.
What do you think?
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