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Biomechanics for tennis

Tennis biomechanics
By: Rob Antoun



A sound knowledge of biomechanics enables the coach to understand how the body can work most efficiently to achieve a desired outcome. There are several biomechanical principles that can be applied to all strokes in tennis. These principles can be applied logically to all situations and can help the coach find the most effective technique for each individual pupil.Henin Backhand


It is important to note that biomechanics does not give the coach definite answers about technique, however, it does help understanding about how techniques develop and how they could be enhanced further. For example, biomechanics does not tell a coach which grip their players should use, however, an understanding of biomechanical principles does give a coach insight into why players use certain grips and how this impacts on the rest of their technique.


With an understanding of biomechanics a coach may make different technical interventions with two players that use the same technique. This would be because the outcomes that the players were trying to achieve would be different (e.g. more power or more control). The coach would be able to use their knowledge to make the correct intervention for each player.

 Davydenko forehand



 ‘Knowing what body motions were used and how they were created and may be modified are powerful tools for improving performance and reducing the risk of injury in tennis’


Knudson, Biomechanical Principles of Tennis Technique, 2006




There are several biomechanical principles that academics have studied. This resource considers the ones most relevant to tennis, and how they affect a tennis coach’s day-to-day teaching. These principles are:


·         Balance

·         Inertia

·         Force and time

·         Opposite force

·         Momentum

·         Co-ordination chain (including elastic energy)

·         Range of motion

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