Thursday, November 29, 2012

Working out with Nikesh on 30th November 2012

After working out with Nikesh a few weeks ago where I finally got to split-step regularly, learning to put-away short balls and well as a down-the-line and backhand volley combination, I decided that it was time to finally to learn to move back efficiently while being lobbed by pushers :-)

We started off by warning up with FH and BH on a mini-tennis basis.

Subsequently, it was FH time and I was able to easily return Nikesh FH :-) but in the process, discovered that on a fast and deep ball, I was hugging myself on the return and not following through completely :-(

BH hitting was a revelation as Nikesh exposed the fact that I was returning more continental rather than Eastern BH. Need to consciously change grip :-( In addition, I was not stepping forward to utilise my legs and body weight and was basically arming the BH. Later I realised that I was not turning my shoulder enough ie 'shoulder under the chin' and when I did did, the topspin was more pronounced :-)

Next was the drive volley. I have a pretty effective overhead (that came with hitting 50 overhead a day) but there are many occasions where the ball is high but yet not high enough for an overhead. I had tried doing it but it was an unmitigated disaster. With Nikesh guidance, I was able to do it with emphasis on holding the stick high, step forward and follow through over the shoulder. Hmmm... the makings of a new weapon :-D

A couple of years ago, I was back peddling furiously to retrieve a lob and could not stop my backward momentum , fell down backwards and hit the back of my head :-( Fortunately, I was not badly injured.
Since then, I had a fear of moving back to try to return a drop. As I occassionaly serve and volley, being lobbed when at net is a common occurrance. Nikesh started testing my static overhead and was satisfied with it. He then asked me to hit a FH volley and then a BH volley followed by a lob. On hitting the BH volley down the line, I quickly drop-stepped and move diagonally by using cross-over steps. Guess what, I was able to make most of the overheads ! Another new weapon that is screaming to be tried out tomorrow at our weekend double matches :-)

Footnote, a relevant video by Jeff Salzenstein


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