Tennis Tip: The Importance of Footwork
Nike Tennis Camp Director, veteran coach and player, George Zink, discusses the issue of footwork in junior tennis players across the country today:
“I have been coaching juniors and adults for over 25 years and now have three kids of my own that play as well. After coaching all those years and now working as a coach/dad, I would say that the preparation between shots is one of the most important parts of the game.
“During a point, the time that elapses as the ball comes off your racket and goes 78 feet to your opponents’ racket, is very short. During that time, which is typically less than three seconds, the feet have to be very active. First, the recovery step, then the split step followed by moving to the ball. All of this has to be a quick, fast, intense footwork pattern. With many juniors, this is the toughest to teach and learn.
“My favorite saying on the court is ‘INTENSE with your lower body and RELAXED with your upper body.’ This is the hardest thing to do for juniors. If you can teach it, and show it by example, you can create a great tennis player.
“Footwork in the game of tennis is everything. Intense feet means you recover quicker, get to the next ball faster and have more time to prepare for the shot.”
George Zink is a 9-time National Champion, former All American at Southern Illinois University, former top 600 ATP singles and doubles player, has recently coached 7 national champions, and was inducted into the Lancaster County Sports Hall of Fame in 2007. He is directing the Nike Tennis Camp at Elizabethtown College this summer, offering both overnight and day only options.
For more great tips and instruction, join Coach Zink and his amazing GZ Tennis staff at Elizabethtown College this summer. For more information, click here.
Come join the fun and get better this summer at Nike Tennis Camps!