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Moving like an Athlete on the Tennis Court with Gerald Mathews!

Moving like an Athlete on the Tennis Court with Gerald Mathews!


Okay. Good job. It’s all good, we did fine. My name is
Gerald Matthews. I’m a junior development coach in Calabasas, California and one of
the things I like to teach my kids is movement and putting on the brakes.
Moving on court while learning to stop. Putting on the brakes and changing
directions. The first progression that I would teach a child is I would put the
two cones out and I would just have them run and tell them to stop at each cone
with their outside leg. And a lot of times it looks like this, and they get
very close to the cone with both feet so then the next thing that I have to
explain to them is they need space in order to make a break where they’re
planting. So I teach them to stop about two feet or three feet before the cone
with their inside leg and then they stop and they brake on their outside leg. So
it would look like this. Now there’s space, their feet are shoulder-width apart in between their stops. Their chest can turn but then their chest should be
facing the net when they make their break so then they can cross over and
then square up so they’re facing the court to see their opponent. And once
they learn these steps then they can actually go a little bit faster and then
you start to see body control and change of direction. I’m actually having them
plant their outside leg and driving on their inside leg and crossing over. There
will be some coaches that don’t like the fact that we’re crossing over. But it’s
not about that, and really just trying to teach them to be athletes and to be
movers. At the end of this, once you learn how to brake, you can shuffle. This is
what I feel like sometimes is wrong in tennis we’re always just talking tennis
terms. I need us to talk about being an athlete first. That’s why we do it in the
beginning without our racket. My second progression in the braking drill, have
them run to the cone take the brake step that they just learned, but all we’re
going to add is the preparation, not really the swing. So it’s going to look
like this. We’re going to cross over plant prep, cross over plant prep, cross
over plant prep, cross over plant prep. That’s going to prepare them to make the
swing when we move the cones and we start tossing balls to them. Now this is a
progression where you see me running to the ball, breaking and hitting it in full
speed. Break, break, break, break, break. That’s what it
would look like.

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