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From mind to court: the volley

Even before you step on the tennis court and think about your volley technique you can take steps to train your brain to improve your volley.  In this episode of the ASICS Tennis Academy volley improvement programme, high-performance coach and neuro-cognitive expert, Bram Swinnen leads you through practical exercises to activate your focus.  Recent studies have proven the relationship between optimal brain function and athletic performance, making it clear that the first step improving your tennis game starts in the mind. 

The first drill you will see is easy to execute, and ideal to implement in the warm up.  All you need as a coach is the usual tennis equipment, a racket, balls and a court. By simply changing the way your player typically approaches practice you will activate different areas of the brain.  Technically this is called "enhancing the plasticity of the central nervous system" which translates to an improvement in technique when training playing a tennis match in a normal setting. 

As you make your way through this lesson, you will see a progression in difficulty, not designed to pressure the player already during warm up, but designed to work the mind like a muscle. By engaging different areas of the brain, you will help unlock the potential of your player to focus and react quicker on court.

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Improving the Volley | On-Court Exercises

Now moving the focus to practical exercises on the tennis court. 

 Once you know you're hitting a backhand volley, you need to turn to the side at a  45-degree angle from the net, with your hips slightly closed, your feet should also follow the same 45-degree angle. In this short lesson, former player and ATP coach Thomas Johansson works with David Goffin to improve his backhand volley. The key to the backhand volley is to get the shoulder turned, so you can hit in front, while also taking the outside of the ball instead of the inside of the tennis ball.

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