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SIMPLE Tennis Footwork Drill For FASTER Feet – The “Split Step”

– Hey guys, Scott and Nate
from and today we’re gonna teach
you this simple secret to faster feet, the split step. Alright guys, so today we’re
talking about the split step. To be clear, this video is for players of the Play Your Court
rating of 79 and below. If you’re not in our community or familiar with our rating system, a Play Your Court 79 is the
equivalent of a USTA 4.0. So Nate, Split step, tell
me what’s going on here man. What is a Split step? – Alright so the split
step is loading of energy. It’s a lot like a spring, right? And what this is going to enable me to do is to change direction
relatively fast, right. – Keep you light on your feet. That simple secret to faster feet. – To faster feet, 100% right
and we see this in all sports. In basketball and soccer, and what it is it’s really
getting on the balls of the feet, much toward the toes, but
absolutely not the heels. That’s the biggest mistake. We see a lot of people
trying to get this split step and it’s really a stop step because they’re landing on their heels and that doesn’t produce
the spring like effect. – That make sense right. Like stop step, an object at
rest tends to stay at rest. – Exactly right. – So if I come to a screeching halt that’s where I’m going to
stay I would guess right. – You got it. – So what the, when does this happen? When do we actually split step? – So in tennis, every time
somebody is ready to make contact with the ball, your opponent, we’re going to get a split step. And that way, once we’ve anticipated the direction of the ball, we can quickly move in that direction to intercept the path of the ball. – So Nathan, the myth
here is at contact, right? Like I hear a lot of coaches
coaching their players, split step at contact. So what’s the confusion there? I see a lot of players make
mistakes based on this coaching. It’s not always specific enough. – Yeah, we hear it a lot, don’t we? But the problem is that if we’re actually splitting at contact
we’re going to be late. The ball coming off the
racket entirely too fast, especially at higher levels and you’re still coming down from the air to land and then making that move. – Oh wait I’m jumping? I’m jumping in a split step. – There’s, there’s.
– Like this? – That might be a little high. – A little much? – Yeah, that’s a bit much. It takes too long to get down. What I tell my students is that they’re going to go wide, right? So what I want is I want
my knees and my hips centered under my shoulders
and this split step should go a little bit wider to keep
me centered and balanced and then the toes working like a spring is what’s going to enable
me to change direction. – Perfect and guys that’s huge. I think the mistake we see, even a lot of coaches just not correcting, is your feet should land that
stable split step that Nate just showed you that makes
you so quick off your toes. That’s gotta happen when
your opponent makes contact. We see some, I’m not gonna
call it bad coaching, ’cause I don’t want to point the finger, but some confusing coaching, where we’re seeing
players actually jump up as their opponent makes
contact so they’re landing late and they don’t have time to adjust. – And especially on the serve. The serve, the biggest part of it, if the serve is coming at
excess of 100 miles per hour, you have zero chance if
you mistime the split step. So we’ve got to do it before contact. – That’s right, got to
be light on your feet so the second your toes hit the ground you’re watching that
ball come across the net and making a quick adjustment to move. So enough talking, let’s show these guys what a correct split
step looks like, yeah? – Sounds good.
– Okay. – [Scott] So what you’re
going to see here, as Nate makes contact that’s when my feet are landing on the ground. I’m not gonna jump too late. I’m gonna jump right
before he makes contact so I can quickly adjust
and move to the ball. – Alright guys, so in summary
the three most important keys to what we went over
today is the split step, we’re going to be in a loaded
athletic position, alright. And then two, we’re going to have a spring from the ground up and this
is because we’re on our toes that allows the calf to engage and we can move quickly to
wherever the ball is going. And third, and probably
the most important, is not doing the split step at contact but making sure your feet have landed as your opponent is making contact. We want to make sure we debunked that and I think by following
these three major keys, you’re going to be moving
a lot better to the ball and tracking down a lot more
balls in the near future. – Absolutely and guys,
while the split step is a little bit of a
universal teaching method, this is something we
would tell all players most instruction isn’t in what Nate and I want nothing more
that to just help your game. But we don’t know a ton
about you so do us a favor, click the button or the link below, answer a couple questions for us about your specific skill level. and we’re then going to send you some custom video coaching
based on your skill level, so you’re working on the
things that apply to your game. Just click the button or the
link and we’ll do the rest.

David Frank



  1. Posted on January 8, 2019 at 6:55 pm

    Don't forget to check out the PlayYourCourt community to receive custom video coaching, find practice partners and improve your tennis game. Here's the link:

  2. Kyle Williams Posted on February 14, 2019 at 1:45 pm

    Advanced players rise at contact so they can flow split in the direction of the incoming ball, and land the off foot first. Mackenzie MacDonald is a great example of this.

  3. michael winkles Posted on February 20, 2019 at 2:13 pm

    Great job guys

  4. Sean Lee Posted on February 27, 2019 at 10:06 am

    Took the words out my mouth! I say exactly this to my students haha.

  5. Glen Schneer Posted on April 9, 2019 at 6:22 pm

    Very nice video, clarifies the timing which is so important. Also nice to see you guys hit the ball so well, please do that more often.

  6. Carlos Lucero Posted on May 6, 2019 at 5:09 am

    You Guys are Awesome. Thanks!…