Last year I ordered one of Nick Bollettieri’s instructional videos, “Bollistic Backhand,” and something he said on it stuck with me:
“Good things happen to tennis players who bend their knees.”
It’s so true. Things go much much better when I actually execute on this advice- but every once in a while I forget and start going back to old habit of “pulling up” on shots without realizing I’m doing it. I got a good reminder again last week from Tumeka Harris at MPRC. I had hit like 18 great groundies out of 20 in a drill, and she called me up to the net and said: “Do you realize the only misses were ones you pulled up on and didn’t keep your knees bent?” She mentioned how she had been really paying attention to this watching several Olympic tennis matches and urged me to spend some time really focusing on watching for this next time I tuned in.
Only a few days earlier, Andre Santos at Total Tennis had made a similar point when he saw me start muscling the ball as I got more tired. He emphasized how much power gets generated from my legs, not my arm, and the next rally I paid attention and really noticed.
Thanks to Tumeka and Andre, I’m now going to keep Bollettieri mantra in my head every single time before I step onto the court.
* Top Photo credit: I took at 2011 US Open in Federer v Monaco match at Arthur Ashe