One Thing at a Time
What happens at home when you do too many things at once? If you’re like us, dinner gets burned, clothes get wrinkled and the phone goes unanswered. Now, let’s take that lesson to the pool;
Ladies, a female swimmer can make huge strides in power, speed, efficiency and endurance by working on improving only one training variable at a time. Called Parametric Training, it’s an important part of a number of many swim training programs. Once one particular variable has been mastered, (for example breathing) the next variable (for example stroke length) can be introduced.
Drink Like a Fish
As Mr Brinkley, your High School Science teacher told you, its scientific name is H-2-O. Commonly known as Water. Look into it, girls;
Fluid intake is essential on dry land. But it’s especially important during swim training and competition. Even though swimmers work in water and may not appear to sweat, there’s still considerable fluid loss in an average session. Have a bottle of fluid with you on poolside and
The serve is one of the most important strokes in tennis, the other being the service return.
Keep your Serving hand relaxed
Hold the ball like you would an egg and make sure you don’t hold it too tightly.
Relax your whole arm before you start your motion.
Use a stiff arm toss
That means that, your tossing forearm shouldn’t move for at least 3 seconds after you release the ball.
This is the most important point to keep in mind.
You want a steady toss and you want to place the ball in the same spot on every toss.
Because it helps you to focus only on your release point.
Start off slow
Your toss should start off slow and you need to flow into your motion.
Never do a quick toss during your motion, because this will only disrupt your timing on your serve.
Think slow, slow, and then whip through the ball with your service motion.
I don’t want to get too technical here on you
Firstly, getting the right direction to the smash. This comes down to court awareness and the position of your body and leading arm. Get any of these wrong and you won’t hit the part of the court you were aiming for.
Secondly to get more power, you need the strength and power in the muscles that contract in order to play the shot, so the shoulders and forearm muscles need to be worked. To help keep balance and direction strong core muscles are also vital for stability.
Thirdly you need to hit the shuttlecock at the right point. To do this you should always be behind the shuttle, so that you make contact with it directly in front of you, ideally hit at the highest point forwards of your racket shoulder.
Your wrist should be ‘cocked’ or bent backwards before the shot and then snapped forwards at the point of impact to hit the shuttle with maximum power. This should resemble a whipping action.
Finally in order to get in to the right position, you
The Mental Battle
Get your mind right before you step out there, by doing some warrior meditation in a quiet place.
After you have your thoughts under control.
“Picture yourself playing your best tennis on court, feel that emotion that comes with it and also talk yourself up with some empowering affirmations”.
The object here is to embrace the challenge and get your mind ready for mental warfare. (Shout out to Scott Bolan)
Go Over Your Battle Plan
Okay, after you get your mind ready for the match.
Take another look at your battle plan.
Again, picture yourself out there executing your shots and doing it under pressure.
Tennis is a feel game and if your plan doesn’t feel right for that day, tweak it a bit and focus on seeing it through.
Have a Plan B and C
You will need a back up plan, if your game plan doesn’t workout for you during the start of the match.
So think it out all on paper.
Strategize your plan, until it becomes so clear to you, that you can actually feel it.
Tennis is a motor skill sport.
This is a game of movement and FEEL.
So in practice and in your lessons, make sure that you are working on your shadow swings as much as you can.
The more the better too, the first thing I do with all my students is have them start doing more shadow swings off the court.
You also need to be working on them before practice.
Get in some extra reps at home, you can and should do these reps before you sleep, that way, your subconscious mind will be working on them while you sleep.
Try to watch some videos before you practice the swings, to get a clear image of the stroke in your mind, then stop the video and picture yourself doing the stroke.
Then start doing your shadow swings.
Start off slowly and build up speed for the swing.
Don’t grip the racket so tight either, because this will negate your feel for the stroke.
“Most tennis players at all levels don’t do this enough and as a results, their timing isn’t consistent on their strokes, doing shadow swings
- Kick harder, pull harder and increase your stroke rate (the frequency of your strokes)
- Improve your technique
The first option is what 99% of swimmers will do in order to speed up and move faster through the water. There is nothing wrong with this, in fact it’s required if you want to swim at your fastest. Though there is another side to the equation.
Kicking and pulling harder means you’ll tire quicker and lactic acid will kick in sooner than if you weren’t swimmer hard. There is a limit to how long you can swim at a faster pace if you’re working harder in order to swim quicker. There is an easier way to increase swim speed. You can improve your technique.
Improving your technique is not only easier than trying harder, it’s also a lot smarter! Learning to swim with great technique is important because:
- It reduces your frontal resistance – Resistance is what stops most swimmers from improving. Your body creates enormous resistance against the water, and the faster you travel in water the resistance increases exponentially.
- You can swim faster for longer – Let’s face it, excellent swimming technique might be hard to
Now after you have the ball toss consistent from your hand, let the ball bounce after you toss it. The ball should bounce or drop directly in front of you in the 12 o’clock or 1 o’clock positions. Remember, your toss should be high enough that your racket will make contact at the ball toss peak.
NOTE: If you are a beginner, I must warn you that if you let it bounce from 10 o’clock to 11 o’clock positions, you may experience back problems and/or inconsistent serves. The professionals can do this from years of experience and more often than not on a second serve, they are trying to serve it in that position for a advanced serve, called a kick serve.
Toss and Serve
OK, back to the toss. Now that we have a consistent toss we need to coordinate the swinging arm with the toss. First, you will need to use a eastern grip as your serving grip on the racket. Now, toss the ball up as you learned earlier, and bring your racket back “simultaneously”, behind your head as if you are scratching your back or throwing a baseball.
Not Judging The Ball
It’s very common for a beginner to lack judgment in where the ball is going to go and how fast it’s going to get there and play appropriately. A beginner often thinks the ball is going to be shorter than it actually is. They rush to the ball and consequently hit the ball to hard and are off balance when they get there. They don’t realise that the ball will actually fly deeper.
Hitting The Ball Too Hard
Another big challenge for a beginner is how not to hit the ball too hard. They see a ball and swing at it. A beginner is only thinking of connecting with the oncoming ball and they may panic a little. One of the main reasons for hitting too hard is that they don’t have a target. Your arm doesn’t know how much it should swing, if you know the distance then you can get a feel for what force is required.
Being too Tight
Being too tight is another challenge. When you start playing tennis you contract too many muscles and you lose that all important feel and can hit the
Play Each Point Harder Than The Last One.
This is my favorite strategy of them all.
It’s the most powerful one too!!
Just think if you could play each point harder than the last one and then keep doing it for the whole match?
How tough would it be to beat you?
Very tough and many players will not want to face you in matches.
Nobody wants to play a player with this type of mindset and the reason is obvious.
“Tennis players who adopt and apply this type of mindset in matches are the hardest ones to play and beat consistently.”
Play Each Point Like It Is The Last One Of Your Career.
This strategy is tied to the last one.
Your ideal strategy for matches should look something like this.
Start off the match playing each point harder than the last one, then also start playing each one like it maybe the last one of your career.
Follow those tactics in every match and you will not be losing that many of them.
Most players don’t realize how many cheap points
The difference between swimming and weight training is with weight training, you can only work different muscles so much before they get sore. With swimming, you can exercise every day of the week. In the beginning we recommend you go swimming four to six times a week. If you don’t have the time, one or two times a week is also fine. You have to find a way so that it works with your schedule.
Monday, start with long distance swimming. Swim for 30 minutes and see how far you get. Make a note of it. The goal here is to swim further in the specified time every week. When starting out, find a good rhythm for you. You do not want to get burn out in your first week.
Wednesday, go for a high intensity workout. On Wednesdays, you should be focusing on interval training with more focus on speed and time. The idea is to swim as fast as you can for one minute, then slower for two minutes and then go faster again for one minute. Then repeat. Try to swim for at least 30 minutes. Increase the intensity of the workouts as
Don’t rush through your motion
The mistake that most players make is that, “They don’t want to deal with the pressure, so they tend to rush through their motion”.
This leads to nervous energy and it throws off their serve!!
So, step away from the line for moment and take a deep breath and exhale, then release all the stress, out of your body.
Then do it again, but this time in a more calmer way.
That should help you relax a little better.
Serve on your terms
Never start your motion until you are relaxed, so if you still feel nervous at all, just step away from the baseline again.
Apologize to your opponent, then take another deep breath and start your motion again.
Serving is away about timing, rhythm and flow.
And the more you do it on your terms, the more self-control, you will feel over any type of situation on court.
This will also give you the mental edge in match play.
Allow your serve to flow
Now you should be emotionally ready to serve.
Overall, swimming is an excellent form of exercise. Because the density of the human body is approximately similar to that of water, the body is supported by the water and less stress is therefore placed on joints and bones. Since then the buoyancy of the water protects the joints, water exercise is a particularly good choice for people who are overweight or who are prevented from taking part in other activities because of injuries or other physical limitations. Therefore, swimming is frequently used as an exercise in rehabilitation after injuries or for the disabled. It’s also safe for older people and pregnant women.
For most adults, the upper body is the weakest part of the body. Swimming exercises the arms and upper body more than the legs. In competitive swimming, excessive leg muscles can be seen as a disadvantage as they consume more oxygen, which would be needed for the muscles in the arms, although this depends on the swimming style. While breaststroke generates significant movement with the legs, front crawl propels the body mainly with the arms.
Sometimes the swimming consists of swimming laps using a conventional stroke, such as the front crawl; other forms