August tip of the week # 5: waiting
For me, rhythm is the most important aspect of playing tennis. A stroke can be technically unsound and yet if the rhythm and timing are good, every ball will come back over the net.
The most important aspect of rhythm is waiting. Many players rush their swings. Notice the next time you are not hitting the ball well and try and see what is happening.
We have mentioned before in this blog that the hands need to move as soon as the eyes see and that is where the waiting needs to happen often. Obviously, the harder the ball is hit at you the less the waiting.
Why is waiting so hard? The waiting is uncomfortable. The anxiety surrounding what we want to do is so intense that calmly waiting for the ball to arrive becomes an impossibility. Who wants to be uncomfortable?
We need to notice this on the court and see how difficult it is for the hands to do nothing and just wait. Sometimes, the hands will get fast or the legs will want to keep going, but just waiting is so difficult.
Even volleys require waiting, even though we think we have so little time when at the net.
Once you bring attention to this phase of your game and notice the difficulty in just waiting, things will change. For one thing you will feel like you have so much more time. This sounds counter-intuitive, but check and see for yourself.
You do not need to do anything once you have become aware and felt the discomfort of waiting. Changes will happen by themselves.
Too easy? Explore and see for yourself.
enjoy the journey………..