Tennis Tip: The Importance of Balance
June 12, 2012: Nike Tennis Camps sits down with Jay Lapidus, former head men's tennis coach at Duke University to discuss the importance of balance while hitting the ball.
"Balance is a key element for any good tennis shot," he explains. "Ideally you want your upper body to remain rather straight, your head very still, and then you rotate around this axis which does not move."
With 18 years of head coaching experience at Duke University and a former All-American and US Davis Cup player himself, Lapidus has had time to observe players and notice where common mistakes occur. "What often happens is that players are moving all over the place while hitting their shots. One common mistake is to actually be moving your body back to the middle while hitting, before the shot is actually finished. In order to avoid this you should practice hitting and finishing on balance. Try hitting your shot and afterwards standing still on balance for about a second. This usually helps a lot in maintaining balance and cleaning up your strokes."
Prior to coaching at Duke, Lapidus was a three-time All-America selection and team captain at Princeton University, earned a berth on the United States Davis Cup Team in 1980 as well as the U.S. Junior Davis Cup Team. Upon graduation in 1981, Lapidus played professionally was ranked as high as No. 29 in the world in singles in 1983. He reached the round of 32 at the U.S. Open in 1984, the round of 16 at the Australian Open in 1985 and the round of 32 at Wimbledon in 1986.
Currently the Associate Director of Athletics Development, Jay Lapidus helps run the Nike Tennis Camps at Duke University with head tennis men's coach, Ramsey Smith, and head women's tennis coach, Jamie Ashworth. This year we are offering four weeks of camp for kids ages 9-18 of all skill levels. Campers can choose between overnight and day camp (8:30am-4:30pm) options. There is a special high school only session during the week of July 1-5 for ages 13-18. Lunch is included for day campers.
About Nike Tennis Camps
Nike Tennis Camps offer junior and adult overnight and day camps at 73 locations nationwide. The camps provide first-rate instruction, match play, diversified social activities, exposure to life in a university setting – and the chance to build lasting friendships. Our goal is to give players the opportunity to hit thousands of balls, improve their technique, and be challenged by some of the best players in their peer group.
Players, coaches, parents and others interested in Nike Tennis Camps and US Sports Camps can visit the company’s website at http://www.USSportsCamps.com.