The Pause    

Tennis seems to be a fast game.

Truly, it is not. A groundstroke hit at one baseline at 100 MPH gets to the other baseline at approx. 40 MPH.

A serve hit at 100 MPH arrives at the other baseline at 45 MPH, velocities measured at the professional level and on hard courts!

Move back a few feet from the baseline, and that 120 MPH serve gets to you at less than 50 MPH.

If you make up your mind too early, the serve seems faster than it is. So do groundstrokes.

That is why top players mentally pause. They toss up the ball on their serve, they pause a bit, while accumulating power, then they let the racquet fly.

They run fast to the proximity of a ball, they pause mentally, then they strike.

It seems different to an observer, but those pros feel the pause, and while pausing, they find the ball.

Andre Agassi said once that he hits the ball when it stops.

I haven’t seen the ball stop yet, but surely seen it slow down a lot.

Give it a try, pause slightly on your serve, more on groundstrokes, after the bounce, and even on volleys, and you may discover that it helps your game a lot.

Oscar Wegner,