Maybe your tennis needs EURYTHMICS
Canít get into the swing of things? Always out of synch? Got no rhythm? Youíre a candidate for Eurythmics.

Eurythmics is the teaching of music through body movement. Its originator, a Swiss guy named Dalcroze, believed that the mind, ear and body were so inter-connected that to develop one is to develop the other. His thesis was that by moving better you think better. He could have been a tennis teacher.
    Put a racquet in a beginnerís hand, fire a ball at him, and what you see is a frozen moment of panic followed by a herky-jerky poke. Tennis is based on rhythm, and you, not the racquet, are the instrument. The strokes are incidental to the basics of posture, breathing and relaxation. I subscribe to the theory that one develops a clearer picture of whatís happening on the court­­he has special awareness, even creativity­­when he develops a sense of rhythm.

Start with the fundamental of all fundamentals: breathing. The lungs establish the rhythm, the phrasing, the timing. Breathe in through the nose, exhale through the mouth. Inhale on the backswing, exhale during the stroke. Take one deep breath between points.
   Grunting helps. The sound of your voice reminds you that there is a point in time and space where thereís a connection between racquet and ball, hand and handle, arm and shoulder, foot and court. As any yoga practitioner will be happy to tell you, relaxation follows the routine of controlled breathing.

Don't Choke the Racquet!  
Itís the head of the racquet that generates pace, not the handle and throat; to feel it, the racquet must be held in the (non-dominant) left hand, so the right hand can relax. The science of timing is based on racquet head speed and a squeeze at a precise moment in time. Loose precedes tense. The artist waits for the ball to come to him­­fingers, hand and arm are supple in anticipation­­until just the right moment.
   To trigger the correct response, cradle the throat of the racquet in the left hand, fingers spread, the left wrist limp.

Stand up Straight
For the muscles to work appropriately, you must align them. Back straight. Shoulders squared. Knees relaxed. Head forward slightly. Heels off the ground.
 Crouching is for football and wrestling, I guess, and games like leap frog. In tennis, the body must not interfere with the natural force of the arm, hand and the accompanying racquet.

Conquering Inertia
The orchestra conductor establishes the tempo by counting prior to the first note. And in tennis, movement must precede the striking of the ball. To stand still, like a statue, is to lessen the chances of being ready to respond. Whether serving or receiving, the craftsman is already in motion­­his metronome is ticking as he anticipates movement.  
 A tennis player rocks back and forth, transferring his weight from foot to foot.  Meanwhile he spins the racquet, and wiggles his fingers in anticipation of action. Feet, hands and arms, all move in coordinated rhythm. The server bounces the ball down, rocks back and forth, spins his racquet, spreads his fingers, bobs his arms­­all before the toss.

Step, Step and Hit
Many are introduced to tennis mechanics with the "turn, step and hit" method, which can have a robotic look to it. But tennis is a dynamic, perpetual-motion activity. Feet are in motion continually; when the ball is about to be struck, they often keep moving. Like a shortstop fielding a ball, the feet search for the optimal spot right up to the last moment.
 The untrained player habitually gets too close to the ball, rendering the racket head useless. The answer is to key into the rhythm of "step, step and hit." The final two steps take place a fraction of a second prior to contact.

 1, 2, 3 an 4
 Here comes the ball: the shoulders begin to turn (on the count of one), the racket is drawn back, hesitating on the backswing for the briefest of moments (on the count of two); the stroke is forward, assured, smooth (and on the count of three); in anticipation of the opponentís return, the outside foot swings out to push off, squaring the shoulders, hips and feet, to respond to the ball (on the count of four).
 The serve is better perceived, understood and performed when applying the 4-count system:  Hands drop down on one, toss and point at ball (tossing hand stays up) on two, 
pause at the top of the backswing on three, and snap/accelerate on the count of four.

Excerpted from Watch the Ball, Bend Your Knees!

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