Jak Beardsworth Tennis logo
e-mail Jak

Coaches Corner - tip of the month

MAY, 2012:

THE IMPOSSIBLE:  Accelerating and Decelerating Simultaneously

That’s wrong. Sure it’s possible. Players do it all the time. People do it in life too.

Jak Beardsworth TennisCan you drive your car with one foot on the gas and one foot on the brake at the same time. Yes. Sure. Ever get in a NYC taxi? Ever drive behind the proverbial little old lady in a 40 mph zone and she’s going 20 with the brake lights on. Lots of brake jobs in the making, and over worked engines as well. It’s often the same observing well intentioned, trying hard club players who do the very same thing with their strokes – accelerating to the ball while decelerating, holding back the racket, simultaneously, and then stopping the follow through as soon as possible. Tennis elbow anyone? Not to mention lots of chronically tired arms and perceived weak wrists. (See the sudden stroke deceleration in accompanying image.)

So where should your follow-through stop? It doesn’t! It decelerates through the full range of your follow-through and silkily drops back into the ready position with the greatest of ease.

While on topic, understand that rackets and strings by themselves do not give you tennis elbow. You do. Of course, both the racket and string choice and the string tension have to match your game and physical prowess. That’s a given, or you’re asking for trouble. A bad fit will cause you to alter your previously injury free strokes from your norm. This is what does the damage. Talk to your pro who knows your game better than you do. Consult with your stringer and/or pro shop. Get on the “right” page for you. And don’t be switching rackets every :10 because there’s a sale, or company 'x' has a new model out and you’ve fallen for the marketing hype –always the latest blend of perfect control and power featuring the new 'y' technology.

Find a racket you like, strung with a string you like, at a tension you like that performs well for you, and doesn’t cause any change in your hard earned technique, and then stick with it. You’ll always be able to find string. And you’ll find discontinued models as well if you really want to. And you can experiment in tension changes typically in 2-3 pound increments. My stringer just found a brand new example of my 10-year old technology racket that over the years has become hardwired to my strokes and my game.

And if you’re not a particularly clean, smooth ball striker – and you should be aware of that – then find and experienced pro who can get you to both technically understand and kinesthetically feel the difference in striking a powerful shot cleanly with effortless control.    

Questions and comments are welcome at anytime for all tips present and past via email.

This Tip of the Month is copyright© by Jak Beardsworth Tennis. All rights reserved. Copies may be made only with the permission of and by Jak Beardsworth. Contact him here.

Tips Archive

  • May, June, 2013 JUST TALKING HEADS OR MORE [read more]
  • March, April, 2013 SELF-TALK: Good, Bad, or Indifferent [read more]
  • January, February, 2013 BOOK-A-MILLION: Do Tennis Players Read? [read more]
  • December, 2012 THE KEY TO TOUR LEVEL BALL STRIKING: And How to Learn It [read more]
  • November, 2012 ARE YOU A THUDDER, A TWANGER, OR A PINGER: Racket Dampeners [read more]
  • September, October, 2012 SMART SHOTS [read more]
  • July, August, 2012 TEN TOP STRESS REDUCERS [read more]
  • June, 2012 MAKING YOUR LESSONS STICK [read more]
  • May, 2012 THE IMPOSSIBLE: Accelerating and Decelerating Simultaneously [read more]
  • April, 2012 PLAYER DISCONNECTION [read more]
  • March, 2012 BENDING THE SERVE IN [read more]
  • February, 2012 UNDERSTANDING TERMINOLOGY: Drill vs Clinic vs Team Practice [read more]
  • January, 2012 PLAYING SCARED? [read more]
  • December, 2011 CUTTING OFF THE ANGLE…VERTICALLY [read more]
  • November, 2011 WHY COACHING? [read more]
  • October, 2011 THE EASY BALLS ARE NOT EASY [read more]
  • August/September, 2011 NEVER TOO LATE FOR OLDER DOGS [read more]
  • June/July, 2011 HARD COURTS, SOFT COURTS, and YOUR BODY'S ADAPTATION [read more]
  • April/May, 2011 JAW DROPPNG [read more]
  • February, 2011 TIP 2 | POOH POOHING DOUBLES STRATEGY SESSIONS [read more]
  • February, 2011 TIP 1 | CLAY TO HARD, HARD TO CLAY [read more]
  • December, 2010 JOHN ISNER’S “GOOD MISS” [read more]
  • November, 2010 THE MOST NEGLECTED SHOT IN THE GAME [read more]
  • October, 2010 BALL BOUNCING and the SERVE [read more]
  • September, 2010 TAKE YOUR EYE OFF THE BALL [read more]
  • July-August, 2010 SUMMER SCHOOL COURTSIDE CRIB SHEET [read more]
  • May-June, 2010 THE 2-HANDED JUMP BACKHAND: The Dumbest Shot in Tennis [read more]
  • April, 2010 THE STANDING AROUND SYNDROME [read more]
  • March, 2010 THE ELUSIVE SERVICE TOSS [read more]
  • February, 2010 PREPARING TO START THE POINT: Serving and Receiving [read more]
  • January, 2010 DEBUNKING THE MODERN GAME [read more]
  • December, 2009 RELAX – IT'S JUST A RALLY BALL [read more]
  • November, 2009 DEFEATING THE POACHER [read more]
  • October, 2009 PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE [read more]
  • September, 2009 SERVING SUCCESS: Warming-Up vs Match Play [read more]
  • August, 2009 THE SPLIT STEP: Defending the Court, Rushing the Net, and More [read more]
  • July, 2009 THE THIRD GROUNDSTROKE [read more]
  • June, 2009 HOW MANY HANDS DOES IT TAKE? [read more]
  • May, 2009 THE MOST IMPORTANT SKILL [read more]
  • April, 2009 PLAYING IN THE FLORIDA WIND [read more]
  • March, 2009 Letting them Play for Peak Performance in Clubland [read more]
  • February, 2009 SUPPORTING YOUR GAME [read more]
  • January, 2009 RESPECTING THE GAME: Top 10 Do's & Don'ts [read more]
  • December, 2008 Getting the Warm-up Right [read more]
  • November, 2008 Visualize...Realize: The Mind Body Connection [read more]
  • October, 2008 Reading Their Mail [read more]