PAN AM Tennis Footwork

pan am tennis         The slow-dance choreography of a tennis warm-up is a wordless, polite exercise of ground strokes, lobs, volleys, and serves.  It gets the players’ blood flowing and they get to check out the competition. In slow motion, players purposely move their feet in familiar patterns, exaggerate their hips opening to absorb power shots, hold their balance in the follow-through a bit longer, and reduce their speed in any foot take-offs and landings.  Muscle memories are re-kindled and sparks start to fire for the explosive shots to come.  But, don’t be fooled by the pace of the warm-up. It changes on the very first point.  “Love – Love” doesn’t last long.

Game on… the tennis player’s feet are constantly in motion – before, during, and after each stroke. He sets up shots to control the game and will never be caught flatfooted. He has his footwork cut out for him; it will be 5K of chasing down balls in a match. Whether sprinting for a cross court shot, sideways galloping to recover position or hopping for an overhead, a tennis player’s moves are foundational to his strokes.

One of the most aggressive tactics in tennis has a very demure name – ‘The Approach Shot’.  It is exciting to watch and to play because it is a potential game-changer.

Footwork of the Approach Shot

The player takes a powerful step forward to get off the baseline and then small, balanced steps bring her to the service line. With shoulders and torso rotated, she is sideways or perpendicular to the net. This helps her transfer weight forward as she hits the approach shot.  She takes the short ball high on the bounce or out of the air.

  • If she hits it with top spin, she stays low in a semi-open stance and rises up into and through the ball as it slams down the line.
  • If she comes into net with a slice, a ‘Carioca Step’ – her back foot goes behind her front leg – propels her forward. As she slices the ball with a smooth cutting motion, her stance is closed with knees bent.  The ball plops over the net out of the opponent’s reach.

She split steps to center her gravity, and gets ready to explode at whatever height and direction the next ball dictates.  Will she do a put-away volley on a low ball?  Or, will she pedal backwards and hit an overhead on a mid-court high ball?  Then again, maybe she already got the point with her approach shot.

Go to –


Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.   1 Corinthians 9:25 (NIV)



PAN AM Badminton Footwork

pan am badminton      Badminton is a fast, fluid game played by the fleet of foot.  Good footwork is critical to reaching the shuttlecock (birdie) before it drops so the player can hit it from a balanced position. Each move flows seamlessly into the next, and every move is made without hesitation. Players know exactly which footwork patterns to use, without having to think.

Badminton Footwork

Stance:  Standing with feet a little more than shoulder-width apart; the player is poised on the balls of toes, taking the weight off heels. His right foot is a few inches ahead of left foot and he is ready to push off.  His every move has an initial counter-move in the opposite direction. To move forwards, he pushes off backwards with one foot.

Steps: One foot crosses over the other, moving forwards, backwards, sideways, and diagonally. Backwards steps are large and fast.

Chassés:  One foot leads and the other follows but does not cross. Long and low in appearance, chassés allow the player to speed up and move into a jump.

Hitches:  Also called ‘shuffles’ or ‘hops’; players spring lightly and quickly along the ground, mainly using their ankles but not their legs.

Jumping:  The player pushes off with one or both feet and lands on one or both feet.

Lunging:  The lunge is always in the direction of movement underway. The knee must not travel beyond the foot. The back foot is used as a brake.

Split drops:  Also called ‘split steps’, ‘pre-loading hops’, or ‘bounce starts’; they enable the player to move quickly in any direction.

Scissor jumping:  Both feet come off the ground and switch places in the air. The player lands on one foot immediately after the other.

The Danish leap:  The player pushes off from right foot with a powerful leap towards the backhand front corner, turning body while in the air, and landing with a lunge on right foot.

Go to –


Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.   1 Corinthians 9:25 (NIV)