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Can Your Trainer Move Like a Cat? Teaching Pro?

There are different types of movers in today's game and they all have their strengths. Djokovic is extremely flexible, sliding around the court. Nadal is a powerful runner, heavily pushing off the ground to explode on defense. But Federer is the lightest of them all, barely touching the ground, dancing on his toes. The way Federer moves is extremely efficient, spending very little time on the ground (less friction with the court surface), making very little noise (like a cat sneaking up on its prey).

I would argue many trainers have never played the game of tennis before. Tennis is unlike any other sport where the movement is 360 degrees and unpredictable in nature. I pose this question: how many trainers have moved with the gracefulness and ease of a world class tennis player? Do they know what it feels like to move like a cat? I would argue they do not know firsthand. Bless their heart, I'm sure they are wonderful people and knowledgeable trainers, but you will naturally copy what you see/learn/immerse yourself in. Big problem!

The great news is there is a solution and it doesn't require any coaching or fancy $50 training sessions! Listen up ELEPHANT STOMPERS, this is for you:

1) Find a box 12 to 18 inches high (or make it out of plywood 12 x 12 x 12 inches). Practice jumping on it as softly as you can, making no noise! Practice jumping OFF of it as softly as you can, making no noise! Absorb the power with your legs and absorb the sound.  

2) High knees for 10 yards. NO NOISE, balls of your feeet. Light light light.

3) Butt kicks for 10 yards. NO NOISE. Minimize friction on the ground, don't burn a hole in your shoes.

These are the most basic and simplistic exercises, but have you done them with this sort of awareness?  Now this is just scratching the surface, but the point is to start moving like a cat in the jungle. I must not hear you. Pride yourself in being different from everyone else. Practice walking around the house as light as possible. Take this with you to the tennis court. See how many weeks you can go without wearing out your tennis shoes. Play barefoot and you will understand how to absorb the power when you are in the corners of the court or chasing down a dropshot (or else you will have bloody feet).  

Injuries can be prevented from more efficient moving. Less wear and tear on the body. Better tennis and happier muscles!


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