The Split Step and Racket Preparation
* Both players in the air in the misddle of their split step. * Head is up, good upper body posture and the upper body weight is slightly forward.
* Both players recognize that the ball is going to their forehead side. * Hingis’ left leg is just landing and Sampras’ is about to land. This leg will be used to push off in the direction of the ball. The right foot ( the one closest to the ball) is about to turn out in the direction of the ball just before landing.
* Both players have planted the left leg and the right foot has landed turned out toward the direction of the ball. * Sampras has already started to rotate his back shoulder.
* Both players have planted the right foot and turned and are exploding in the direction of the ball. * Notice how they have not yet moved the racquet independently from the upper body rotation.
* Both players have turned their body in preparation for the shot. At this point they have completed more than 50% of the roation for the shot. * For the first time they have started to take the racquet back independently.
* Sampras and Hingis continue to roate their upper body, creating a “loading” or storing of energy in the large muscle groups as they continue to take their racquet back. * At this point they are almost completely finished with their preparation yet the ball is not even in the picture yet. This early preparation allows them to take their time on the hit.
* Both players have completed their roation and back swing and are about to start their acceletation into the shot. * Throughout the sequence they have maintained beautiful upper body posture resulting in excellent dynamic balance.