Coil for Power
Power in tennis shots comes from different areas, one of the most important is the coiling down to generate power as we come up.
Our ground strokes require a preparation that allows us to bend our knees when taking the racquet back. Whether discussing the Traditional forehand or backhand, or the more Modern style, knee bends are essential. The Traditional strokes, where our bodies are turned more sideways to the net and our stances are closed, have a knee bend in the rear leg, which will automatically bend the front leg a bit. This bending allows the player to come up, and through, the ball at contact resulting in more power. With the Modern style the body is more open to the net and so too is the stance. Notice in the picture how bent the right knee is while preparing for the forehand, the term “ loading “ is used instead of coiling, but we are talking the same thing here, lowering the body to generate an upward motion creating power.
Serving also requires a coiling action. We want to hit our serves at the apex of our reach. When this is accomplished two things occur, one, the trajectory downward is greater, giving us a better angle to hit the serve in, and two, there is a much larger arc in the swing which will generate more head speed, thus power. Remember L=L, or, if the serve is Long you probably hit it too Low. To be able to reach that apex the knees have to bend as the toss is being lifted. This coiling process allows us to push upward towards the toss and contact the ball at our maximum height. [See picture]
Let’s not forget the overhead either. We need to hit that shot high also, for the exact same reason as the serve. Ever wonder why your overhead is continually flying long? Go back to the L=L theory, they are being struck too low.
With both the serve and overhead remember to keep the head up through the entire stroke; this will insure longer eye contact and an extended reach.
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