The innovative training fundamentals of ‘Kaplanetics’ are easily describable.
- Train one and the same arm movement
- Let the feet do the work
- Stand still when you strike the ball
- Don’t try, at any cost, to hit the ball across the net
Only one movement
You must bring your hitting arm in such a position that, when hitting the ball, just one and the same movement is possible. Like that, you train one forehand movement and one backhand movement. Without variations, without having the choice between several possibilities, without changing your hitting movement with every new attempt to hit the ball across the net. But with the certain potential of developing a perfect basic forehand and backhand, on which to build, in a later phase, your slice, spin and volley shots.
How to reach this simplicity?
That’s easier than you might think: by focusing on the footwork.
Focus on footwork
‘Tie’ your body accurately to the ball, i.e. position your body exactly on the line of the approaching ball. Your feet will have to ‘find’ the ‘right’ spot, i.e. the spot from which you will be able to hit the ball with that one movement you train. Rather miss the ball and execute that one perfect movement, than change it in order to hit the ball across the net. Dare to miss the ball, and your feet will learn where to stand.
Why always the same movement?
Every adjustment of the hitting arm costs lots more energy and is much more difficult for the brain than adjustments in footwork. You will learn much faster by training one arm movement combined with good footwork, than neglecting your footwork and having te compensate with countless different arm movements.
Training according to Kaplanetics means to completely use your body mass and footwork in service of your hitting arm. By training one and the same movement, you will reach a point where missing the ball is impossible. The ball then is ‘tied’ to your body, which makes you as a tennis player more confident with every stroke.
You reach maximum result when keeping the body completely still when striking the ball. Your foot has to be grounded as solid as the root of a firm tree.
This principle isn’t new. The top players of the world use it in ‘big points’. Nadal, Federer, Djokovic, they seem to be frozen when hitting their – nearly always flawless – shots on key moments in a match.
It makes an almost distorted impression. When hitting a forehand these players might, for example, lift their left foot! With a good reason: now a movement takes shape that makes use of the vertical body axis. The top players don’t hit by moving their weight through the ball – they let their weight rotate around this axis! Because then, the stroke will always be executed in perfect balance.
Time and time again, with apparent ease, these players execute perfect hitting movements, one after another. Against all traditional ideas of learning a forehand, their body axis is slightly leaned diagonally backward. And exactly this body position makes their forehand nearly unmissable.
The insights above form the basis, the foundation of Kaplanetics. Create the conditions to execute a repeatable (and choiceless) movement out of absolute stillness. Handle this principle as the part of your tennis training with the highest priority, and you will become a great player.
Don’t hit the ball across the net!
Nota bene: the learning objective is not hitting the ball across the net. It is training that one and the same, simple, basic, choiceless and repeatable arm movement, time and time again.
It seems strange: repeating the same arm movement is more important than hitting the ball across the net?!
But strange it isn’t, not at all – it’s the key to becoming a fantastic tennis player. And this is why: when trying to hit the ball across the net, you will undermine the training of a superior technique. Even after years of tennis experience, your tennis will look ad-hoc. By wanting to hit every ball, every time, across the net – no matter how – you will never develop a solid, correct technique and you will never be able to play tennis effortless, flawless and without wasting energy.
According to Kaplanetics, the urge to now ‘make points’ or ‘perform’, hinders the development of a superior basic technique. The result: a moderate tennis player with, at a certain point, no further room for improvement, who turns out to be injury sensitive an becomes uncertain. In the end, unfortunately, these people, disillusioned, quit playing tennis way too early.