Thursday, April 14, 2011

8 Technical Components

The technical component includes all of the elements involved in developing sound shot technique, such as getting into position, setting up for a shot and the biomechanics of correctly hitting a ball.

The eight technical subcomponents are: tracking skills, racquet skills, shot fundamentals, ball control, movement and footwork, modern shot technique, developing weapons and developing game styles.

Lianne Fijalka and Sara Portesan 
  2009 District Champions  
Combined season and tournament record 45-5 
  1. Tracking skills involve judging the incoming ball's characteristics and flight path such as spin, speed, height, depth and direction. A player needs to anticipate where the ball is going to be and when it's going to be there and prepare properly.
  2. Racquet skills imply the ability to use the racquet as an extension of the arm to maneuver, manipulate and control the racquet based on the type of shot the player wants to hit. Knowing how to use the different types of grips in order to manipulate the angle, speed and direction of the racquet face is also very important.
  3. Shot fundamentals involve the foundation of all shots, from anticipation to execution including knowledge of the hitting zone, the use of proper posture, head position and the follow-through, to name a few.
  4. Ball control is one of the secrets to shot making and tactics in tennis. It represents a player's ability to hit the ball with accuracy, consistency, proper pace, spin, direction, angle and trajectory. It is extremely valuable to be able to have your shots accomplish your intentions.
  5. Movement and footwork are the foundation for a solid technique and can briefly be described as getting in the right place at the right time using the adequate footwork pattern. The more a player uses the feet, the easier it is to hit the ball. It requires several skills such as predicting, intercepting, preparation and recovery.
  6. Modern shot technique has been influenced greatly by the addition of power and speed to the game. It implies the popularity of the semi-western grip, open and semi-open stances and the use of the kinetic chain and angular momentum.
  7. Developing weapons means having one or more punishing shots that are hit as winners or that force errors with great regularity. Weapons do not necessarily have to be limited to specific shots, but can also be some of the intangibles within the game such as speed, movement, footwork, touch or even mental toughness. A weapon must, however, be something a player can and will use most often in the course of a point or match.
  8. Developing game styles involves drawing on a player's personality, skill level and ability, and is based on stressing strengths while minimizing weaknesses.

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