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Stretch Your Way to Better Tennis
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The game of tennis is much more than just striking a ball. When you watch matches you will see all types of hitting styles, various strategies, and lots of variety in movement on the court! With a few unusual exceptions, top tennis players have quick feet on the court. Bjorn Borg said it best and proved it on the court, "There is no substitute for mobility."
Unlike raw natural ability and common sense, mobility is something you can actually improve with practice. One of the key components to great footwork (and least talked about) is flexibility. Little children are amazingly flexible (just watch them swing with ease upside down on a jungle gym). But, as we age we slowly lose our ability to bend, stretch and move quickly. The key is to find ways to maintain the flexibility we had as children. For some players it is just a matter of incorporating the right foot drills and great hitting partners to their practices.
However, some players just naturally are not great movers. For those players I have the trainers work with them using specific foot drills and sprint exercises. I have even sent some of my more rigid players to yoga just to stretch and loosen them up a little and to ultimately improve their footwork on the court.
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