August 31, 2020 - Move Like a Pro

Most players go through the following sequence during each shot of a rally:

  1. Opponent is about to strike ball.
  2. Opponent strikes ball.
  3. Player sees incoming ball.
  4. Player decides if he has to move.
  5. Player moves.
  6. He's slow to get to the ball and complains he's too slow.

Top players go through the following routine:

  1. As opponent is about to strike ball, player flexes knees and prepares to move.
  2. Player sees direction of opponent's swing and sees where it's going before contact.
  3. Player begins to move into position.
  4. Opponent strikes ball.
  5. Player finishes moving into position.
  6. Player is in position, with lots of time to spare.

As you can see, the second sequence is much quicker. The three key points to remember are these:

  • Before your opponent hits the ball, flex your knees. This prepares you to move quickly.
  • Watch the direction of opponent's swing and learn to move as soon as he's committed to a direction, before contact.
  • Assume you always have to move.

If you follow these three tips and the "top players routine," you'll be in position far more quickly than before. Foot speed helps, but the real secret is technique.