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Biomechanics - speed training, etc.



Racquetball dictionary




Subject: Re: Reading DanO (was Re: Agility Drills and Fast Serves)
Date: 16 Mar 2003 01:34:36 GMT
From: dano

Hey Matt:
nice to see all of the speed training tid bits....some of it is confusing if
you're not with an actual trainer who knows the stuff, but if you all can just
think of a few things when working on movement, they will help.

1. dorsiflexion- think of curling the toes up when you go to run..this kind of
gets your heels off of the ground

2. keeps your abs tight- every night when I'm training athletes, the most
significant breakdown in mechanics occurs when the athlete starts to get
tired...they slouch, they get their head too far forward, they move their head
left and right when running, they don't lift their knees high enough, they
don't use their arms in an effecient manner.....much of this can be avoided if
you keeps you abs somewhat tight...helps stabilize your entire body which irons
out alot of the errors mentioned above....this will also help with the
racquetball stroke

3.. On of the definitions of speed is how little time you feet spend on the
ground..having dorsiflexion allows your feet to POP off of the ground causing
quicker footwork....

You can train these things even if you aren't naturally quick...


Subject: Re: Agility Drills and Fast Serves
Date: Thu, 6 Mar 2003 12:29:02 -0500
From: "Someone" <[email protected]>

You've gotten some good replies. I'll just add one more suggestion:
Learn to do a split step (search google, narrow the search with tennis) as
the server is dropping and swinging. This will help speed up your reaction
time and (if you use the ball hitting the floor as your cue) ensures that
you're watching the ball.

"The split step is a maneuver performed when you jump up an inch or two onto
your toes as your opponent is about to hit his/her shot. Your feet should
be about shoulder width apart, and your knees should be slightly bent when
you land. This body position keeps you off of your heels and ready to move
quickly to any position of the court." - from


Subject: Re: Agility Drills and Fast Serves
Date: 07 Mar 2003 04:25:44 GMT
From: (Dano 1 fit)

great response on the split step....Dave Peck, former number one, had a great
return of the drive serve because he employed the split step..........hopped
right before contact and reacted to the ball as he was landing...taught me a
lot just watching...

Subject: Re: Agility Drills and Fast Serves
Date: 14 Mar 2003 13:54:40 GMT
From: (Dano 1 fit)

Great point but let me add a minor detail in regard to which foot actually
should move first and why...this question or subject comes up frequently when
I'm working with baseball or softball players wanting a better jump when
stealing, or racquet sport athletes wanting to cross over to the backhand or
forehand side....
In regard to gaining maximum speed when moving in any direction theres an angle
or Line of decent you need to keep in mind...with any step, if you draw a line
straight down to the ground from the front of your knee, you should be placing
your foot (in dorsiflexion) behind that line...In a typical racquetball or
baseball stance when returning the serve or preparing to steal..your base is
rather wide..therefore if you rotate your body to the side to step your front
foot is actually in front of your knee causing you to decellerate..what you
must do is take a tiny drop step with that front foot placing it behind the
"line of decent"' from the knee, and then cross over...Most athletes do this
naturally without knowing they do it..but if you go into the court and just
practice a crossover without the drop step with the front foot, your not moving
to your maximum capacity.
If you can picture a person who runs on their heels or is coming to a stop,
you;ll notice that they're placing the foot in front of the knee cap when they
place it down on each step thus causing a decelleration.
Technical but effective.

Subject: Re: Agility Drills and Fast Serves
Date: 15 Mar 2003 13:10:45 GMT
From: (Dano 1 fit)

>The inside foot should simply
>rotate on the ball of the foot.

I'm assuming that what preceded your ending comment meant that the body has to
naturally react to where when and how the shot must be struck.....but in direct
reference to the above "the inside foot needs to drop behind the knee if you
want maximum acceleration" that might only mean a few inches, but from a
biomechanic standpoint and if you just rotate on the foot, without bringing it
towards the body "in dorsiflexion" you are pushing your body towards the
opposing wall...
ALso when you get to a higher level, or, to take yourself to another level,
learn to hit the shot without the crossover, Just simply rotate the hips and
shoulders, shorten your stroke, and hit a controlled pass or ceiling
ball...much more effective

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