Crossover Steps Tennis Footwork

serviceboxrackettouches1 300x174 Crossover Steps Tennis Footwork

Service Box racket touches drill- while facing the net the entire time how many times can you touch the singles sideline and center service line with your racket in a specified amount of time which is usually not more than 30 seconds (great for practicing and improving your crossover steps and may be used for an endurance enhancement drill)

 

It is amazing that so many hours are spent on technical training skills and so little time is spent on improving ones tennis footwork. Perhaps people do not know how to train tennis footwork properly? If I received a nickel for every time someone came up to me and told me that their son or daughter needed to improve their crissover step for tennis, I would be quite wealthy. Unfortunately, well-intended parents and even coaches oftentimes ask me the best ways to improve explosiveness and change of direction/recovery.  In todays fast paced game everyone understands that it is necessary to explode back towards the middle of the court after retrieving a wide ball.  It amazes me how many people talk about the crossover step and understand that it will help them recover quicker, but do not know how to properly do the crossover step. In order for this aspect of tennis footwork to be performed effectively, it must be performed correctly.  

The video shown above is a good example of a right-handed player using the crossover step when going wide to hit a forehand.  Notice that the crossover step does not need to be used every single time you hit a stroke. It is used on balls that take you out wide, in order to more efficiently get back towards the middle of the court.  When a wide ball is hit to you, take your back let (the one closest to the sideline) and cross it in front of your other leg. Then push off hard and to the side you are going towards with that front leg. This action will spring you back towards the center of the court.

If this crossover step is so useful, why do we only do one crossover step and then continue back to the middle of the court with sidesteps?  Well, you can get away with one sidestep because the ball has not reached your opponent yet. Of course, if you use more than one crossover step in a row in order to get back to the middle quickly then your opponent will be able to easily win points by hittting  behind you. When doing more than one crossover step in a row you become too crossed up to react quickly and get back to the balls hit behind you.     

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August 26, 2010
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