Recover – with a Brake then Recovery Steps
Regain Balance by using selected brake, bounce, slide after or push back steps that help the body realign and load the outside leg for effective and efficient Recovery Steps to the mid-point recovery position.
The Brake Step needs to be practiced and is the step/s that stops the body after the contact move has been completed. Even though I have called them brake steps, a player needs to think that they have completely finished their swing so the brake step feels more like a push to the next ball than falling onto or away from the braking leg.
A great way of explaining this is to think like a swimmer and finish the tumble-turn before you push of the wall. A common error in tennis is to try and recover before the shot has been made and you get that classic “falling off the ball” during contact. This is where the weight transfers from the outside foot to the inside foot instead of the weight shifting beyond the ball or the player keeps the head over the outside leg.
There are 3 different Brake Steps.
The recovery steps are the steps taken when moving back into the court towards (ideally) the mid-point recovery position. The recovery steps really can vary and you need to have the skill to be able to push back, side-skip back, cross the outside foot in front, cross the outside foot behind or sprint forwards or laterally etc. The recovery step will depend on your court position, whether you are in defense or attacking mode and always dictated by the quality of your shot or your opponents shot.
The Bailey Method teaches 6 different recovery steps.
In tennis it is also crucial to understand geometrically how to position yourself on the court as correct positioning will give you maximum time to react and minimal distance to move to your opponents shot. Geometric positioning is UNDERSTANDING where YOU need to recover to and/or position on the court according to where your opponent is ABLE to hit his shot. In a nutshell…..you need to bisect the angle of your opponent’s greatest possible range of shot or …..Position yourself at the MIDPOINT of the greatest angles that your opponent can possible create. Thus I like to call this the midpoint recovery position.
There are 3 important factors when positioning your recovery steps on the court:
1.) Where you GEOMETRICALLY position yourself on the court in relation to where the ball is being hit.
2.) The DEPTH of your position on the court.
3.) How you position yourself in RELATION TO THE BALL when the opponent is about to make contact with the ball.