Author Topic: Balance  (Read 1751 times)

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Offline pawan89

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Balance
« on: October 15, 2008, 11:15:19 PM »
What does it mean and what does it feel like?

I started thinking about it today when I noticed something about my shoes that I have been wearing for a few months now. The main wear and tear comes from tennis, second from running and third from normal use. Now running and normal use are about symmetric as they get, what happens to one shoe happens to the other. Equally. I don't go around hopping on one leg or stepping one foot harder than the other ro things like that. But I noticed my shoes don't wear out evenly. My right wears out a little more in some areas than my left. So when I walk evenly briskly, my left shoe actually goes 'tap' like a dress shoe would and my right doesn't. I have a little sorta OCD when it comes to symmetry and balance and even-ness in most aspects of my life. So this bothered me.

So I went back to my tennis and actually thought about it and realized something a little discomforting. When I do play at what I would call my peak intensity when I am focused on playing perfectly and I play crisply, I move a lot more. When I hit the ball I am always in what I feel and think is good balance. I hit how I want to hit and that's that.
I don't think I am creating any extra pressure on one leg or the other at all.

But am I? I do more often than not feel the soreness in my right knee and right leg mroe than the left one. That's a fact that I have always simply tried to overlook. Obviously the serve and some shots give uneven forces on each leg. But is it enough to actually make me feel more sore in my right leg and wear out my right shoe faster?

Is this normal? Or am I subconsciously putting more on my right leg than my left? What I think is a even split step, is it really not that even? When I think I am back in the center and ready for the ball to come either way, am I unconsciously leaning or ready to spring off my right leg?

Do you feel like you put more pressure on one leg or another? I am a righty and my right leg is almost surely I think under more pressure, now that I think about it. I don't know why and its not something I like or try to do.


Offline monstertruck

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Re: Balance
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2008, 08:00:07 AM »
One of my favorite topics!
Perhaps one of the most crucial and often overlooked topics in teaching and learning tennis.

I like to think of it as dynamic balance since there are only a few times on the tennis court when you're actually standing still.  Without proper balance you are forced to compenstate and create shots rather than finding a groove and stroking the ball.

CONK da ball!!!

Offline dmastous

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Re: Balance
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2008, 08:18:46 AM »
I think good balance is the thing that really separates a marginal recreational player, and a high quality player. There is no question that a good low center of gravity, and good balance throughout the swing.
However it's really hard to teach people what good balance is, and how it feels.  Every single professional player man or woman has outstanding balance. With them it's about getting the weight balanced, and the transfer that weight into the ball through the swing. They don't overcommit at any time, unless it's neccessary to get the ball back in play.

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Offline pawan89

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Re: Balance
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2008, 09:37:54 AM »
so its not necessary that you are putting equal pressure on both your legs. It jsut means that you are  holding your ground comfortably to do what you want when the ball is there to be hit?


Offline dmastous

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Re: Balance
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2008, 05:58:34 PM »
so its not necessary that you are putting equal pressure on both your legs. It jsut means that you are  holding your ground comfortably to do what you want when the ball is there to be hit?

When you hit the ball, you are transferring weight from one side to the other, are you not? Tennis is about balance, but it's not about being centered all the time. You are constantly shifting your weight and recovering. Being balanced means you have control of the shifting of weight, and not exaggerating too much one way of the other, unless you have to.
Having more wear on one shoe and not the other may be function of dragging your foot on the backhand, or the server. Or something similar.

Is a tree as a rocking horse
An ambition fulfilled
And is the sawdust jealous?
I worry about these things .

Kevin Godley & Lol Crème (I Pity Inanimate Objects)

Offline Tennis4you

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Re: Balance
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2008, 06:02:19 PM »
I drag my right foot more than my left and that destroys my right shoe faster every time.  It's actually too bad you cannot just order right footed shoes.  :)

Being balanced is always a mega benefit.  You can hit better shots, recover quicker, move quicker, etc.
Good Luck on the Court!!!
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Offline pawan89

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Re: Balance
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2008, 07:02:16 AM »
so its not necessary that you are putting equal pressure on both your legs. It jsut means that you are  holding your ground comfortably to do what you want when the ball is there to be hit?

When you hit the ball, you are transferring weight from one side to the other, are you not? Tennis is about balance, but it's not about being centered all the time. You are constantly shifting your weight and recovering. Being balanced means you have control of the shifting of weight, and not exaggerating too much one way of the other, unless you have to.
Having more wear on one shoe and not the other may be function of dragging your foot on the backhand, or the server. Or something similar.


ah. bingo. the answer i was lookin for. thanks dmast :good: never thought about it that way. :)


Offline monstertruck

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Re: Balance
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2008, 07:12:25 AM »
I drag my right foot more than my left and that destroys my right shoe faster every time.  It's actually too bad you cannot just order right footed shoes.  :)

Being balanced is always a mega benefit.  You can hit better shots, recover quicker, move quicker, etc.
You should see the brakes on the MonsterTruck!

Single shoes for sale?  That's a great concept Scotty! :))
CONK da ball!!!

Offline OSU Buckeye

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Re: Balance
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2008, 01:44:43 PM »
Yeah, I'm in line on that crap.  My right shoe wears much quicker than my left shoe.