Wednesday, 21 March 2012

To Be on the 'T', or Not to Be on the 'T', that is the question...

It is so oft said, "Get back to the T", that really, it is beyond worn out. Now, please note, I'm not dismissing the advise in whole, but in practice it's not quite accurate, and thus for beginners can be a hinderance to their understanding, and thus development as movers on the court.

Aspiring players, whether true beginners, or anyone else, should at least occasionally get onto YouTube and watch videos of the top professionals in action. And when watching these videos, one should observe with a keen eye, and the analytical brain cells switched on.

What you'll find is that when a player hits the ball into the backcourt area, that player will then not return directly onto the T. Typically the better player will be anywhere from 50cm-150cm behind the T, waiting for the opponent's return shot from the backcourt.

Why is this? Simple efficiency of movement. It is easier to run forward, than to turn one's body from facing the front to facing towards a back corner, and then running towards the back of the court. Since running forward is relatively easy, then leaving yourself more distance to cover in that direction is a favorable trade off, when it means being able to shorten the distance to the rearcourt.

When you play better players, or at play someone who can regularly hit the ball to the back court, you'll find yourself under less pressure if you don't return all the way to the T, but instead stop short of the T by at least one long step.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting...I like what you said about developing players to their ability but disagree with your concepts about front and back of the court. Playibng the ball back in the court is the easiest part of the game for the advanced player, the front of the court or having to cut the ball off is the real pressure. The player can play wherever they want in relation to the T as long as they can cover, for example, the front. I typically play back on the T but have to maintain good length and tight shots and stay out of the front because I don't cover the front that well. However, if I do push up on the T it is mostly to cut the ball off take it early and pressure my opponent. For me, not a touring pro player I can hit good shots and keep many of my opponents behind me. But back to the point the pros can cover the front and the pace of the game so much faster, the pace is so fierce that only a select few can really play way up on the T, Nick Mathew comes to mind...and it isn't because they need to cover the front. At their level they can pretty much cover anything, but what makes Mathew and Nicol another so deadly is they create such a pace by playing way up on the T and taking the ball so early. After this long winded response, I think you over simplified the position on the T their are numerous other factors at play ... and playing the ball out of the back should for most advanced players be a given....however, for beginner to intermediate players they have a tendency to drift back because out of the back court is so hard so they want to keep the ball in front. That's all good to another blogger at it:)


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