August 7, 2023 - Active Feet on Receive

Watch a top player when he's about to receive, either live or, better still, on video so you can replay or even do slow motion. While players often have some differences in their stances and how they move, most have two things in common. First, they start out low. Second, as the serve is approaching, they stand up a bit straighter with a small bounce, which allows them a quick start when they come back down again. They actually do this small hop every shot as they go from ready stance, hop, and move to ball. Many players do this in rallies, but forget to always do it on receive. Others are not in good physical shape and so find this difficult to do in rallies - but while this may be somewhat true, there's nothing stopping them from doing this on receive, where they have more time to prepare. By doing this little hop, a player gets a much quicker start, whether to the left, right, or stepping in. Here's video of Fan Zhengdong vs. Timo Boll, or pick out your favorite players and search for them on Youtube, and focus on just their feet during receive. (I chose Fan vs. Boll both because it gave a good angle to see their feet, and it shows the current world #1 from China vs. the former world #1 from Germany.)