The SECRET to PERFECT TIMING - Why do coaches lie?

Tennis Hacker
13 Apr 202413:22

Summary

TLDRThe video script delves into the intricacies of perfecting timing in tennis, a skill that distinguishes top players. Contrary to the allure of quick-fix secrets, the speaker emphasizes that timing is challenging and unique to each shot, requiring subtle body adjustments. They reference Rafael Nadal's perspective, highlighting the need for precision and the impossibility of a one-size-fits-all approach. The speaker shares their personal journey of overcoming timing issues, first with their right hand and then, after an injury, with their left. They outline a methodical process involving visual training, coordination exercises, and extensive practice with a ball machine to gradually improve reaction to different ball flights and conditions. Emphasizing the importance of starting the swing at the right moment and sequencing the kinetic chain effectively, the speaker also addresses the role of the visual system in timing. They provide a free tennis vision program to assist viewers and stress the individuality of the learning process, encouraging players to find a technique that works best for them based on their physical abilities and skill level. The script concludes with a call for feedback and subscription to the channel for more informative content.

Takeaways

  • 🎾 Timing in tennis is crucial and separates higher level players from lower level players.
  • 📚 Reading Rafael Nadal's book highlights the difficulty of timing shots in tennis, even for one of the greatest players.
  • 🤸‍♂️ Timing involves starting your swing at the right time and sequencing your kinetic chain correctly for efficient racket head speed.
  • 👀 Improving your visual system is key to reading the ball's flight, speed, and spin, which are essential for setting up your swing.
  • 🏋️‍♀️ Ball machine practice can help you work on specific shots and improve your timing by adjusting your swing start based on the ball's characteristics.
  • 🧠 Understanding that every shot in tennis is different requires making tiny adjustments with different parts of your body for accurate ball contact.
  • 🔄 The process of improving timing includes working on coordination, using the kinetic chain effectively, and making in-game adjustments.
  • 🚀 Starting your swing early is important, but you must also be able to sequence your kinetic chain and adjust the swing path on the fly.
  • 🧘‍♂️ It's important to find a technique and timing that works for your physical skills and ability level, rather than trying to copy professionals exactly.
  • 📈 Progress in timing involves moving from single feeds to random feeds with the same flight and spin, then practicing in rallies against real opponents.
  • 🌟 There's no secret to perfect timing; it's about consistent practice, addressing individual weaknesses, and using appropriate technique for your skill level.

Q & A

  • What is the secret to perfect timing in tennis, as suggested by some YouTube videos?

    -The script suggests that there is no single secret to perfect timing in tennis. Instead, timing involves a combination of starting the swing at the right time and sequencing the kinetic chain correctly.

  • Why is timing considered the hardest thing in tennis?

    -Timing is the hardest thing in tennis because it separates higher level players from lower level players, and it requires making tiny adjustments with different parts of the body for every single shot.

  • What does Rafael Nadal say about the difficulty of timing in tennis in his book?

    -Rafael Nadal emphasizes that every single shot in tennis is different, requiring players to make adjustments for timing, which he considers a difficult aspect of the game.

  • What are the two main variables involved in tennis timing?

    -The two main variables involved in tennis timing are the flight of the ball, including its speed and spin, and the player's swing, including when they start their swing and the sequencing of their kinetic chain.

  • How does the speaker suggest improving timing in tennis?

    -The speaker suggests improving timing through practice with a ball machine, focusing on reading the flight of the ball, starting the swing at the right time, and making necessary adjustments based on the specific conditions of each shot.

  • What role does the visual system play in improving tennis timing?

    -The visual system is crucial for reading the ball's flight quickly and accurately, which is essential for setting up in the right position and starting the swing at the right time.

  • How did the speaker develop good timing with their left hand after an injury?

    -The speaker developed good timing with their left hand by improving their visual system, working on coordination, and practicing with a ball machine to read the flight of the ball and start the swing at the right time.

  • Why is it important to not believe in a 'perfect' way of doing things when it comes to tennis timing?

    -It's important because every player is different, and what works for one player may not work for another. Timing in tennis is about finding what works best for an individual based on their physical skills and abilities.

  • What is the role of the kinetic chain in tennis strokes?

    -The kinetic chain is crucial for creating racket head speed efficiently. It involves sequencing the movement of the body parts correctly, from the hips to the torso and then the arms, to generate power and spin in the shot.

  • How does the process of improving timing with a ball machine typically start?

    -The process starts by feeding specific shots with a certain amount of power and spin, and then practicing the timing of the swing start based on the ball's characteristics. This is done repeatedly until the player can consistently make contact at the right time.

  • What does the speaker mean by 'sequencing the kinetic chain properly'?

    -Proper sequencing of the kinetic chain means coordinating the body's movement in a specific order, starting from the larger muscle groups (like the hips and torso) to the smaller ones (like the arms), to maximize power and efficiency in the swing.

  • Why is it necessary to adjust the swing path during a shot?

    -It's necessary to adjust the swing path during a shot to accommodate for variations in the ball's bounce, speed, and spin. This requires a high degree of coordination and the ability to make adjustments on the fly.

  • What is the final piece of advice the speaker gives regarding improving tennis timing?

    -The final piece of advice is to understand that there is no secret to improving timing and that it requires methodical, consistent practice. Players should work on addressing their specific challenges and use the most appropriate technique for their current skill level.

Outlines

00:00

🎾 Understanding and Improving Tennis Timing

The first paragraph emphasizes the complexity of perfect timing in tennis and dispels the myth of a 'secret' to it. The speaker shares insights from Rafael Nadal's book, highlighting that each tennis shot is unique, requiring players to make minute adjustments. The paragraph outlines the importance of timing, which involves starting the swing at the right moment and sequencing the kinetic chain effectively. The speaker's personal journey of overcoming timing issues with both the right and left hand is mentioned, and the video's purpose is to explain the process used to improve timing, hoping it will help viewers. The concept of timing is further broken down into starting the swing at the correct time and sequencing the kinetic chain for efficient racket head speed. The speaker also stresses the need to read the opponent's shot and predict its trajectory to control swing start and speed, which are the aspects a player can influence.

05:01

🏟️ Ball Machine Practice for Timing Improvement

The second paragraph delves into the practical approach the speaker took to improve their timing using a ball machine. It discusses the common issue of players being late on their shots due to improper sequencing of the kinetic chain. The focus is on the timing of initiating the swing relative to the ball's bounce and flight characteristics. The speaker shares a detailed method of practicing with the ball machine, starting with specific shots and gradually progressing to varied and random feeds. This process involved repeated practice over two to two and a half years to develop the ability to read the ball's flight and start the swing at the correct time. The paragraph concludes with the acknowledgment that swing speed and path are significant variables that a player can control and must adjust for every shot.

10:02

🧠 Coordination and Personalized Timing Techniques

The third paragraph addresses the importance of coordination in tennis and the need for players to adjust their swings on the fly to accommodate for unexpected ball bounces. The speaker admits to working on their coordination to use their kinetic chain effectively. A link to another video about improving coordination is promised. The paragraph also touches on the psychological aspect of timing, advising against the belief in a 'perfect' way to play. Instead, it encourages players to find a technique that suits their individual physical abilities and skill levels. The speaker shares personal adjustments made to their strokes to accommodate their timing, suggesting that viewers do the same. The video concludes with an invitation for feedback and an encouragement to subscribe to the channel for more content.

Mindmap

Keywords

💡Timing

Timing in tennis refers to the synchronization of a player's swing with the incoming ball's trajectory and speed. It is a critical skill that distinguishes higher level players from lower level ones. In the video, the speaker emphasizes the difficulty of mastering timing and how it involves starting the swing at the right moment and sequencing the kinetic chain correctly to create racket head speed efficiently.

💡Kinetic Chain

The kinetic chain in tennis is the sequence of body movements used to generate power during a stroke. It typically involves the legs, hips, torso, and finally the arms. The video discusses the importance of sequencing this chain to maximize racket head speed and make contact with the ball in an ideal position.

💡Forehand and Backhand

Forehand and backhand are the two primary types of strokes in tennis, used to hit the ball with the palm facing the body (forehand) and the back of the hand facing the body (backhand). The video script explains how timing is crucial for both strokes, requiring different adjustments and body movements to return the ball effectively.

💡Racket Head Speed

Racket head speed is the velocity at which the racket head is moving at the point of contact with the ball. The video emphasizes that timing is closely related to efficiently creating racket head speed by using the kinetic chain and making contact with the ball at the optimal moment.

💡Ball Machine

A ball machine in tennis is a device that automatically propels tennis balls towards a player, allowing them to practice their strokes. The speaker in the video used a ball machine to practice and improve their timing by feeding themselves specific types of shots and adjusting their swing accordingly.

💡Coordination

Coordination in the context of tennis involves the ability to effectively sequence and control body movements to perform a stroke. The video discusses how improving coordination is essential for using the kinetic chain effectively and adjusting the swing path on the fly.

💡Swing Path

The swing path is the trajectory that the racket takes during a stroke. The video script highlights the need to adjust the swing path during play to accommodate for varying ball conditions and to ensure proper timing and contact with the ball.

💡Visual System

The visual system in tennis pertains to a player's ability to see and process the flight of the ball, including its speed and spin. The video emphasizes that a well-functioning visual system is crucial for reading the ball and setting up the swing at the right time.

💡Tennis Vision Starter Program

The Tennis Vision Starter Program is a tool or method created by the speaker to help players improve their visual system's functionality in tennis. It is mentioned as a resource to assist players in enhancing their ability to read the ball better, which is a key component of improving timing.

💡Methodical Practice

Methodical practice refers to a structured and systematic approach to practicing tennis skills. The video script stresses that there is no secret to perfect timing; instead, it is achieved through consistent, methodical practice that identifies and addresses specific weaknesses.

💡Technique

Technique in tennis encompasses the specific ways a player moves and uses their body to hit the ball. The video discusses that timing is closely tied to finding the right technique that works for an individual player's physical abilities and skill level.

Highlights

The secret to perfect timing in tennis is a myth, as timing is the hardest skill to master and what separates higher level players from lower level ones.

Rafael Nadal, one of the greatest tennis players of all time, emphasizes in his book that timing is difficult because every shot is unique and requires tiny adjustments.

Timing in tennis involves starting the swing at the right time and sequencing the kinetic chain correctly for efficient racket head speed and ideal ball contact.

The key to good timing is making contact with the ball out in front of the body, using the kinetic chain effectively, and the sequential motion of the body.

Improving timing involves training specific skills, reading the flight of the ball quickly, and making necessary adjustments in response to the opponent's shots.

The speaker developed a free tennis vision starter program to help players improve their visual system function, which is crucial for reading the ball well and enhancing timing.

To improve timing, the speaker used ball machine work to practice starting the swing at the right time and making adjustments for different types of shots.

The process of improving timing involves being conscious of when to start the swing relative to the ball's bounce and practicing with various feeds to fix the issue.

The speaker emphasizes that there is no perfect or right way to time shots; players must find what works for them based on their physical skills and ability levels.

High-level tennis technique has a variety of timing methods, and it's important to find the approach that suits one's individual body mechanics and skill set.

The speaker's personal journey to improve timing involved abbreviating their stroke to adapt to their physical capabilities, rather than copying professional techniques exactly.

Players should focus on methodical, consistent practice and structural improvement to address weaknesses in their timing, rather than seeking a secret trick.

The speaker's switch to playing with their left hand after an injury required relearning how to fix their timing, demonstrating that timing can be improved with dedicated practice.

Improving coordination is essential for effective use of the kinetic chain in tennis, which the speaker addresses in a separate video on coordination training.

The video aims to explain the process the speaker used to improve their timing, hoping to help viewers develop their own high-level tennis game.

Transcripts

play00:00

I've seen a number of YouTube videos

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recently that talk about the secret to

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perfect timing like there is some secret

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that if only you knew this secret

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presumably by clicking on the video and

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watching it that you would have amazing

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timing and you would be able to crush

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modern forehands and backhands when the

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reality is that timing is the hardest

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thing in tennis it's what separates the

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higher level players from the lower

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level players it is hard and if you

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don't believe me read Nadal's book

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because Nadal is really really good at

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tennis and I love this quote from his

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book he says basically you would think

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that I would have all of the basic shots

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of tennis so not because I've done it so

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many times but I don't and the reason I

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don't and I have to really think about

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it is because every single shot you ever

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play is different you have to make tiny

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little adjustments with different parts

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of your body in order to be able to hit

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the ball back correctly so what he's

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talking about there is how hard it is to

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time shots in tennis and that's Nadal

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one of the three greatest players of all

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time he thinks thinks that timing is

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hard I also believe that timing is very

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hard and it's something that I worked

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long and hard at to overcome my own

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problems to develop a relatively high

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level tennis game initially with my

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right hand and then I injured myself and

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now with my left hand I've had to learn

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how to fix my timing on my left hand as

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well so what I want to do in this video

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is explain the process that I use to

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improve my timing because hopefully that

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will help you as well and hopefully you

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enjoy the video If you do it'd be

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awesome if you give me a thumbs up and

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if you haven't subscribed to my channel

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it'd be much appreciated if you could

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could do that as well so we need to

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start by talking about what timing is

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and really timing is a combination of a

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couple of things it's a combination of

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starting your swing at the right time

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relative to the ball that you're dealing

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with and then sequencing your kinetic

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chain correctly so that you can create

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racket head speed efficiently and make

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contact with the ball in as ideal a pos

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position as possible relative to your

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body so if I'm thinking about the

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forehand I want to have used my kinetic

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chain properly I've got to started my

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swing at the right time so that I can

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drive through my hip then my torso then

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my arms going to come through and I've

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used all of the big muscles to create

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the racket head speed so now it's mostly

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the racket traveling with kinetic energy

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and just a little bit of muscular effort

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as it makes contact with the ball so all

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the hard work gets done initially and

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now I make contact with the ball and it

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creates a lot of power and spin because

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of the timing component the timing of

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the sequence of the movements and when I

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started the swing and when I made

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contact same thing on the forehand and

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the backhand it just looks a little bit

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different if I've got a one-hander I'm

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still sequencing things in the same way

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I'm driving through my hip then my torso

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then my arm and Racket are coming

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through hopefully making contact out in

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front although it's not always possible

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sometimes your opponent Just Hits an

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amazing shot and you just you know you

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have to do what you have to do to be

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able to get the ball back but when

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possible the timing is going to be

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making contact with the ball out in

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front of the body but the key part is

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the sequential motion and using your

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kinetic chain effectively and that means

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there's really two variables involved

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there's the ball so the Flight of the

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ball how fast the ball is traveling the

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spin that's on the ball how the ball is

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going to react off the court and then

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when you start your swing and the swing

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speed and the swing path that you use

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you obviously can't do anything to

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change what happens to the ball your

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opponent hits whatever shot they want to

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hit you just have to be able to read it

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and predict it and understand what it

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means because what you can control is

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when you start your

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swing and the sequencing of your kinetic

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chain and the speed that you swing the

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speed that you swing at so that is kind

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of timing and how to think about it so

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what I want to do now is talk about how

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to improve each of the aspects that can

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be improved so you can't do anything

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about the Flight of the ball your

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opponent hits whatever shot they hit

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your job is to try and read the Flight

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of the ball as quickly as you can to

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understand what the speed the spin the

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trajectory means so that you can set up

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in the right position and start your

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swing at the right time and make the

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necessary adjustments and that's a skill

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that you have to train very specifically

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I'm going to talk in a moment about how

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I did that with my left hand but

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something else that's going to be

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important is how your visual system is

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functioning so you have the onc court

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skills training component but you also

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need to have a visual function visual

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system that functions well enough to

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enable you to train that skill to help

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you with that I've created a free tennis

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Vision starter program I'll place a link

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to it up there and I'll place a link to

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it down in the description because most

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players visual systems don't work well

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enough to allow them to read the ball

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well enough and that's one of the big

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things that holds them back in terms of

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the timing so now I want to explain how

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I fixed my timing or developed good

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timing with my left hand obviously the

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first part of it was improving my visual

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system and I did some work on my

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coordination but I'll talk about that in

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a moment but then in terms of the onc

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Court work I did a lot of ball machine

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work obviously the hard thing is that

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every shot you deal with is different

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you have to get used to reading the

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Flight of the ball and then starting

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your swing at the right time and making

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the adjustments so the way that I went

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about it was to kind of feed specific

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shots and the difficulty I was having is

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that I was late on my shots forehand and

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backhand and this is the same problem

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that all players have nobody pretty much

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is too early on the shop the issue is

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that players are too late because of

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that they don't have time to sequence

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the kinetic chain properly and they end

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up arming it and getting jammed so

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that's basically the problem that we all

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have to fix so what you need to think

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about is the timing of the start of your

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swing so I'll demonstrate it

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right-handed just because most players

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are right-handed you have to think about

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the timing of the start of your swing

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obviously you also have to be prepared

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and set up in time I'm not going to go

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into the preparation too much here

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because I've got a lot of videos that

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talk about it I'll link one in the

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description but providing your setup in

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the right position in time it's then

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when do you drive through your back hip

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so if I'm hitting my forehand when do I

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drive through my back hip to initiate

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the swing if it's an open stance it's

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the outside leg when do I drive through

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my hip to initiate the swing if I'm

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hitting a backand when do I drive

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through my hip to initiate the swing and

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you have to time that based on the ball

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that you're dealing with and the way

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that I had to think about it was feeding

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myself balls with a ball machine so I

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would feed a certain type of feed with a

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certain

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certain amount of power certain amount

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of Spin and then I would basically try

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and improve my timing for that type of

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feed and normally I would start by

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hitting it late and then I would have to

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think okay well when am I starting my

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swing what's happening to the ball and I

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like to think of it in terms of is it do

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I need to start the swing before the

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ball bounces as the ball bounces after

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the ball bounces and that's going to

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change based on the ball that you're

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dealing with and the way that you're

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trying to hit it so say I feed myself a

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low hard ball and initially I miss or

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I'm a little bit late on my shot because

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I started my swing just as the ball was

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bouncing which is a tip that you

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sometimes here online and but I'm late

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so I know that for this feed I have to

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start it before the ball bounces so I

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would do that over and over again

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thinking about when to start the swing

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so watching the ball come okay it's

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about to bounce start the swing very

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consciously thinking through it until I

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fixed the problem with that particular

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feed and maybe that would take me you

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know one full ball machine's worth and

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then I would move to the next option so

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now maybe I'll feed it a little bit

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higher with more spin so now it's

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bouncing up and I would go through the

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same process again so on this one I

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would do what I initially did naturally

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at the start and then okay am I late on

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that right I need to start my swing

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earlier so I was starting my swing at

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this point now I need to start my swing

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just after it bounces because the balls

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coming up and and back down so I would

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work on that until I was able to do with

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that ball and then I would move to the

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next type of feed so now maybe I'm

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working on an inside out forehand

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different type of spin different Flight

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of the ball so I'm getting used to

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seeing them and go through the exact

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same process again thinking about when

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the ball is bouncing where it's about to

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bounce when do I need to drive through

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my outside hip and I would work on that

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until I got that fairly clean so I did

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that with single feeds to start with so

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I've just got kind of one ball that I'm

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working on on and then when I got good

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at that at lots of different feeds and

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that was a you know a process that took

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me about two years to do then I would

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start to move say no say about 18 months

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to do then I would move to different

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feeds so now instead of just feeding it

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there I would have it feeding it

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randomly but it's the same flight of

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ball and same spin so I know how it's

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going to react off the court but now

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I've just got a set up in a slightly

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different position each time so that was

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my next progression so I did that and I

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kept on going at that doing it over and

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over again until I got to the point

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where I was able to do it in rallies

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against Real humans that were hitting

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the ball where they wanted to but it

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took

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me about two and a half years of

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practice or maybe just over two years of

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practice of doing that repetition after

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repetition to be able to read the Flight

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of the ball and to start the swing at

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the right time on my forehand in order

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to be able to get the timing to work so

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that was a long explanation hopefully it

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made sense but that was the process that

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I went through in terms of learning to

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read the Flight of the ball and thinking

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about how to get the timing so now we've

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dealt with the visual side of things

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we've still got one huge variable and

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thing that's under your control and that

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is going to be the speed of your swing

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and the swing path and this is where

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things get tricky as Nadal said every

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single shot is different you have to

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make adjustments on every single shot so

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yes you need to start your swing early

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enough or it's not going to happen but

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then you need to be able to sequence

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your kinetic chain in the right order

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and adjust the swing path on the Fly

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because sometimes the ball takes a bad

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bounce and you just have to adjust for

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it and that comes down to your degree of

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coordination so for me with my left hand

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in addition to the Encore practice that

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I did I've had to do a lot of work to

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improve my coordination so that I can

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use my kinetic chain effectively so

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instead of going into that in detail in

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this video I've made another video video

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that's going to talk about how to you

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know train and improve coordination so

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I'll place a link to that down in the

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description because now I just want to

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talk about kind of some extra things to

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think about in terms of improving your

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timing the final thing that I want to

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talk about when it comes to timing is

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you have to not allow yourself to

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believe that there's a right or wrong or

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a perfect way to do things there isn't

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watch the pros play there is a

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tremendous variety of technique timing

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is about finding what works for you

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based on your physical skill and ability

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level so it's going to look a little bit

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different for everyone for me what I had

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to do to develop highle timing on my

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right hand initially and then on my left

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hand was kind of abbreviate things a

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little bit from what you see some of the

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pros do so when you watch jovic on his

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forehand he does a full rotation all the

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way around and he's got amazing timing

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and oh it's dreamy I can't do that lo

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and behold I am not as good as novat

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jovic so for me I can't get that full Ro

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or I can't start my swing with my racket

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right the way about there I think about

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my Strokes a little bit more uh man bit

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more like manarino so I really kind of

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abbreviate it I get a good unit turn

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with my upper body because you need that

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to create the biomechanics but instead

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of having my arm there which would allow

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me to get a little bit more power if I

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could time it I have a very short

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takeback and then just try and make good

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contact so that was the same thing on my

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right hand and I had to go through the

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same process with my left-handed

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forehand just abbreviating it and going

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it going out from there and making a

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nice clean contact and it's going to be

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exactly the same thing on your backend

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like when you watch the pros you know

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they've got a massive coil you've got a

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one-hander they're dropping into the

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slot position with the bracket pointing

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towards the back fence and they're

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turning themselves into a whip if you

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can do that awesome do it but if you're

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having problems with your timing you

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don't have to do that it's much harder

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to time it with a massive coil so make

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maybe you just coil to 90° and instead

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of dropping into a slot position that's

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there maybe you just drop it down into

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position there and hit

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through and it's really important to

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understand that you just have to find

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what works for you and do the best that

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you can with how your body functions at

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the moment don't listen to coaches when

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they say there's a secret to doing

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things there's no secret it is about

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methodical consistent practice finding

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the things that are holding you back

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working on addressing them in a

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structural way and using the most

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appropriate technique technique that you

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can for your current skill level okay so

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hopefully this video made sense and has

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been useful to you I would love any

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feedback or comments if you could leave

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them down in the comments section I

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always like to read those if you did

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find it helpful give me that thumbs up

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and if you haven't subscribed to my

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channel it is much appreciated if you

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could do that as well

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