Shadow tennis is doing strokes without a ball.
This sound for some people useless, but I think it is the most underestimated training method there is, especially for beginners.
Because there is no ball involved, you can work at your own tempo.
BMT has 5 basis points you need to have in every stroke. Example: The Forehand open stance basic points are:
- Hands to contact
- Looking for the Bounce (timing)
- Turning the racket (rhythm)
- Touch the ball (Contact)
- Finish your stroke
Practice these until you know them out of your head.
You can see these 5 basis points as followed
- How to get to the ball
- This is timing, when to start your stroke = the bounce
- This is rhythm, how fast you turn the racket or how big will be your backswing
- Here you get control over the ball and contact will decide your direction
- Here you make the speed and the depth
These 5 points will become words
You start to do this slow until you have the 5 points well memorized. Once you have them memorized we are going to check a few points within those 5 basics.
- Check if hands and body are positioned, if HANDS are close or on height of contact, check balance on right leg
- Here you wait a second, check if balance is still on right leg
- Check if the racket head points at the back once you start to go forward to contact, check if the hip is turning to the front, check balance was all the time on the right leg
- Check if contact point is in front, check right shoulder is in front of left shoulder, check balance on right leg
- Check if racket head goes first, check bodyweight transfer from right leg to left leg, check finishing position of the hand (neck), check if right shoulder is pointing forward
If you think, ok that’s it, well then, I have a surprise for you. IT’S just starting.
Now we must start the possibilities there are on the tennis court, and by that, I mean the following.
- Different directions: forward, sideward and backward
- Different ways to go to the ball: open-step, open-step-shuffle, open-1,2, open-1,2,3,4, open-run
- Different contact points: very low, low, normal, high, very high
- Different effects: topspin, slice
- Different movements during the stroke: hop, jump, side step, 1-foot pivot
- Finally, we will do a game simulation of 5 to 8 balls, including the rituals.
So, as you can see, it’s not only making some swings in the air. It’s getting your technic done to the smallest points.