The myth about perfect technique
by The Volkl Tennis Canada Team ⋅ April 23, 2020
“I missed this forehand because I didn’t finish my swing over my shoulder.”
“That backhand shot went into the net because my position was wrong.”
“I missed that shot because my technique is bad.”
Many tennis players live under the misconception that the result of a tennis stroke is exclusively related to the perfection of their technique. That could not be further from the truth.
Notice how Roger’s and Andy’s incredible forehands have different technical preparations. Roger’s racket is almost vertical versus Andy’s is close to being horizontal.
The origin and dangers of this myth
Blame it on tennis teachers!
They are often the ones that create this thought pattern in their client’s mind; that mistakes occur when technical elements in a stroke are off. Making that mental association; mistake = wrong technique is very dangerous and can become obsessive. When this thought pattern keeps on repeating itself, tennis players can develop the ideology that they constantly need a perfect technique to be successful at the game.
Oufff…thank god that is not true as you may notice on Andy’s backhand.
Even though Andy is striking the ball over his shoulders, on one leg and with his body being misaligned, he’s been considered to have one of the best backhands in the game. From any position, he is able to neutralize his opponents with brilliant ball striking. Therefore, the quality of his backhand is mainly attributed to his ability to adapt to different situations as opposite to him using proper technique at all times.
The purpose of technique
Developing technique is one of the fundamental blocks in creating proper mechanics to control different ball properties: power, spin, height, and direction. It has to be developed in a way that those mechanics go from thought to automation (from the conscious to the subconscious mind).
Simply put, once a player developed the mechanics to hit a tennis shot, he should not think about them anymore, just as he should not think about how to walk.
So go out there and have fun making your forehand look like Roger Federer’s, but don’t obsess over it!!