Tuesday, October 15, 2013

What is shadow stroking?

Dallas Aleman | Towpath Tennis Owner | Tennis Guru

Have you watched players such as Maria Sharapova, NovakDjokovic, or Marion Bartoli shadow stroke? They step back from a point they've just played and they practice a forehand or a backhand, sometimes to an excessive amount. But does this practice of shadow stroking actually work or are they just wasting energy?
I think for any top player, we should never assume they are simply wasting energy. What these players are actually doing is a “computer reset” for their muscles to remember a stroke they practiced hundreds of thousands a time. Tennis and stroke production comes down to a collection of movements that add up to a finished dynamic product. That product is your tennis game, so when you play every movement counts. The more times you shadow stroke your forehand for instance, the quicker it’ll be to find your groove.  When you’re confident about your strokes, you allow yourself to be loose and agile where you won’t easily fall victim to breaking down under pressure. You know exactly how you should feel on the court. There’s a reason they call it muscle memory. 

However, please note that your stroke is dynamic. There is no such thing as a ‘finished’ forehand or backhand. Your game is a never-ending experiment so when you find the right groove, try to capture it by practicing shadow stroking. The more you do it, the less likely there will be a breakdown of a shot. Remember, it was Djokovic against Federer who hit the loosest, most fantastic forehand to change the outcome of the 2011 U.S. Open finals. Now do you think shadow stroking is a waste?

*Follow us on Facebook to get a first look at new posts, pictures and on-going events!

1 comment:

  1. In the game of tennis, we learn several kinds of unique techniques which include, serve, defending, strokes, and several others. But never before I heard about shadow stroking, while following this article, I came to know the essential facts about shadow stroking and how players are implementing these techniques to improve their games.
    Tennis Techniques