In your quest to improve your tennis game, you very likely look at the pros and try to imitate their strokes.
While that’s good on one hand as most of us learn tennis technique best visually, it may also be a double-edged sword as you may try to copy some parts of the stroke that the pro doesn’t actually do; they simply happen.
Tennis strokes, especially groundstrokes and serves, resemble throwing a lot.
We can use the throwing analogy to experience and better understand the idea behind “what we do and what happens”.
If you throw a ball, your arm moves in a certain path but you don’t really exert force throughout the whole path.
You accelerate your arm until you release the ball, and then you relax somewhat and your arm continues to move because of the inertia.
Exactly the same principle applies to tennis strokes.
After the pro has made contact with the ball, he is not “doing” the stroke any more. The rest simply happens.
For this particular topic, I can speak only from my experience…
What I feel is that while it’s true that I don’t relax a millisecond after contact and I do exert some force or guidance to the ball even when the ball is gone, that doesn’t last long.
The simplest way of saying it is to say that I exert the force forward after the ball, but after that, I am not doing anything.
The arm and the racquet move after that “drive” part because of inertia.
I don’t “do” the follow-through of any stroke. They all happen because of inertia.
So, that’s all I wanted to share with you in this post.
Think about it, throw a few balls with throws that resemble your strokes (forehands, backhands, serves), and feel what happens.
How does that feel with your strokes?
Keep that in mind the next time you observe the stroke technique of a pro so that you don’t fall into the trap of “doing” something that actually just happens.