Feel the Feel with Shadow Tennis
“The best way to learn is through the powerful force of rhythm”
I find the best way to understand the contact moves is to feel them. Life is about experiencing not exhibiting. I am a huge fan of shadow tennis. This is how you must first learn the contact move. Being able to shadow well enables you to compare and contrast the feeling of correctness. So, like a boxer trains, set up the feet, swing the racket without a ball. Focus on the stance, the balance, and the use of the legs and hips. Once mastery of the shadow has occurred have someone feed the appropriate ball that matches the contact move. Go out and focus just on your feet, balance and what your legs and lower body are doing. Hence, once you feel comfortable with this, introduce a live ball, and go from hitting to point play to match play then finally tournament play.
Like I said the best way to understand the moves and athletic skills needed is to shadow tennis and too me this is feel the feel. Once set shadow tennis routines are established you can use the moves with medicine balls, with resisted equipment around the waist and ankles, up hills or through sand for resistance. You can use slight hills for assistance, using tennis specific footwork with boxing equipment, slow Thai chi strengthening movements, shadow in and out of footwork ladders, and shadow after using mini hurdles or even after split stepping off benches. I even take appropriate rhythms like jungle and rap and shadow swing to the different tempo. Like Amadeus Mozart the famous music composer once said ‘The best way to learn is through the powerful force of rhythm’.