THE BALLISTIC SWING (72)

Welby Van Horn would use this technique to teach ballistic swing
footwork. Once you have made the ground stroke or serve or volley, hold
your follow through (or ending) to a count of “3,000”). Look at your feet. Is
your balance foot and adjustment foot correct as described below?
“Balance is the clue to good tennis, and footwork is the key to good
balance” –Welby Van Horn.
I would not allow the lead foot to step backward on the backhand. The
“step hit” is part of a “ballistic” swing, and footwork is comparable to a golf shot or a baseball swing. The front foot on the forehand is set more open
than the backhand. The ballistic swing gets your weight into the ball with
a “one-two” or “step-hit” rhythm. The point of your hip bone (iliac crest) on
a right-hander’s right side is what turns to redistribute weight from back to
front. The “tacked down” back foot maintains your balance. Van Horn called
the front foot the “anchor foot.”
Van Horn’s balance system is certainly one of the most sure methods
of teaching beginning players, and he is meticulous in his delivery. Many
varsity-level players would benefit from a better understanding of the
“balance approach.”

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