What Is The Significance Of The Tennis Split Step?
Have you felt a step slow when you are playing tennis? Does it ever feel no matter how hard you try, you still are not reacting or moving very well? A split step could be the cure. This critical move assists in better timing, concentration and movement. Here are 3 ways a split step can help your game.
1) The timing of the split step
Many players have difficulty timing out the split step. I use this tip to make it as simple as possible, as your opponent’s racquet moves forward to contact the ball, initiate your split step. The timing on this is simple and makes the person focus on what type of shot their opponent will hit next. If the swing pattern is low to high, the shot will have topspin. If the swing pattern is from high to low, the shot will have backspin. It’s like killing two birds with one stone.
2) What does a good split step look like?
This is a great question. As a visual, try placing a racquet between your feet. A racquet length on average is 27″ long. If you can space your feet this far apart and get a good knee bend and keep your heels off of the ground, you should be in a nice position to explode to the ball. Now, if you are shorter, your split step width may be less. If you are taller, your split step width may be more. Also, make sure you are lower to the ground with your head over your hips. This positioning is optimal for better movement and balance.
3) Do I split step on every shot?
You will split step on most shots. There will be some instances when you won’t split step. For example, if someone floats a ball in the air and you are moving into the net, time is of the essence and forward movement should continue. Your goal on this shot is to take the ball out of the air and to be offensive. Another instance is when you have been taken off of the court and are in a defensive position. In order to regain your court position and get back into the point, you will most likely just run to the next ball and not worry about taking a split step. Time takes precedence in this situation instead of balance.
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