Saturday, May 24, 2014



Good timing is important in every sport.  Timing can involve swinging an object at a ball such as a tennis racquet or golf club, or in the case of football; you must achieve timing in your leg and foot to successfully kick the ball.

Timing is also important when throwing something. When throwing a basketball you use a wrist action and skilled players can throw half the length of the court with ease. For the ball to cover that amount of distance there must be something else at work assisting the wrist. Wrists can't function that efficiently without good timing.

But what exactly is timing and how is it achieved? If you are like most tennis players you know when you have timed the shot well (or not), but are not sure what actually occurred to achieve it.  Without knowledge of how you achieved good timing how can you re-create perfect timing at will?

Timing involves the successful synchronization of energy into a ball so that optimum power is achieved.

This transfer of energy can involve a racquet, a golf club or a leg. It can even involve a wrist used to propel a basketball. 

In each of the above examples energy is created from your interaction with the ground through your legs. Timing is created by interacting with the ground, and bio-mechanically sending that energy, through your legs, into your swing and ultimately into the ball.  Sending that energy too soon or too late means inefficient energy transfer – poor timing.

Here are some suggestions to help you improve your timing.

  • Ground energy can be transferred through either the right or left foot so during practice try to hit off either foot as required. When the ball is short or deep you will probably need to use different feet. Practice becoming proficient using either foot.

  • Leave the ground when you make contact with the ball. By jumping to hit the ball you are practicing an extreme version of ground interaction. This exercise will help you become comfortable with the concept and will automatically improve your timing.

  • After hitting the ball maintain balance on the contact foot and lift the opposite foot off the ground. This will force you to commit fully to organizing a contact foot as you approach the ball.

Becoming proficient with your contact foot will have a direct effect on your timing which directly affects the quality of your game.