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Dave Rineberg's Coaching Corner: Keep a steady head for more power and accuracy

Dave Rineberg in Opinion 15 Nov 2018
  • Dave Rineberg is back with another expert dispatch from the Coaching Corner
  • Rineberg is the former hitting coach of the Williams sisters and has coached 26 top-100 players
  • Read on as Dave talks you through the importance of keeping a steady head when hitting your groundstrokes
Roger Federer (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)

It seems today that the modern swing is such a violent act that the old theory of keeping your head still throughout the swing might not hold true or might not be as important. Well let me reassure you that keeping your head steady is still a vital part of producing a consistent, powerful swing.

In super-slow-motion video of top players like Roger Federer or Elina Svitolina, you can see that although the body and arm motion is much more aggressive and exaggerated than it once was, the head still remains steady throughout the swing to the finish.

Elina Svitolina (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
The Problem for many players is moving or jerking the head fractionally during the swing which takes away from both the power and accuracy of the shot. Why both power and accuracy? Because when you pull your head away from the stroke, it changes the swing path making it difficult to compensate on the forward swing into and through the impact zone. Those mis-hits off the tip of your frame, are often a result of a moving head. Because where the head moves the eyes move as well.

The Fix: There is a difference however between keeping your head steady and keeping your head stiff. Stiff restricts the swing motion. You don’t want to hold back the normal movement of the head through the swing with tension or else you again will change the swing path. Stay loose and give yourself the freedom to make a full arm backswing and full upper body turn which will move your head slightly, about two inches, behind the impact zone. In this position behind the impact zone, the head will now remain steady throughout the rest of the swing. Tilt your head slightly at this position to keep your eyes on the target line and focused on the ball.

The Tip: Next time you are watching Federer or Nadal, pay close attention to how their heads remain steady even after the ball has left their racquets. There is a definite moment of steadiness and focus before they turn their head and eyes to see their shot. That’s what you want. Good Luck!


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Dave Rineberg's Coaching Corner: Keep a steady head for more power and accuracy

It seems today that the modern swing is such a violent act that the old theory of keeping your head still throughout the swing might not hold true or might not be as important. Well let me reassure you that keeping your head steady is still a vital part of producing a consistent, powerful swing.

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