Key Messages from Tactical Movement

Posted: April 7, 2012 in Coaching Concepts, Movement Training, Teaching & Learning, Uncategorized

Tactical Movement is a concept that encompasses all of the 4 performance factors and their linkage in particular the limiting effects of each factor on the overall desired outcome and development goal.  It is a holistic approach to player development putting tactical and physical “contextual” competency at the heart fuelling technical and mental development for a rounded a competent tennis player.

The article recently posted entitled Tactical Movement, I admit was a bit on the long side.  It was a few month process to write and it will become central to the Tactical Movement Workshop I am putting together (rough outline is at the bottom of this article should you be interested).  The aim of this post is to bring out the key messages from the article that form the basis of the thinking behind tactical movement.

Limitation Model,

The limitation model states that the tactical intention governs the requirements technically and physically.  Mentally a player must understand the overall process and the application of the techniques (both racket and physical) and also relate the practices and drills to achieving the tactical intention. Since the mind governs the body the understanding and application limits the technical response to the tactical outcome.  underpinning technique is bio mechanical fluidity and within technique comes footwork and movement patterns that are best suited to the tactical intention.

Therefore there is a requirement to develop physical “contextual” competence that includes footwork, movement and body function in conjunction with racket skills with the overall outcome of a tactical desire.  Within coaching, there must be intervention that addresses this area.

360 approach

The 360 approach calls for attention to be paid to developing footwork and movement patterns to support technical and tactical requirements.

Through a complete sequence of execution from initiation to recovery a player’s body function capability is the limiting factor in what is possible.  Professional players do what they do because they can and even they can and will do it better with improved body function.  In a coaching environment, working with developing players, development can occur if the players body can do what it is being asked to and hence the degree at which they can do it increases.

Quality Factor

In striving for the best quality players must be challenged and taught effective means to push the quality factor.  The body limitations, positioning, court coverage, footwork application and recovery will directly impact the quality factor.

Movement and Footwork

Movement and footwork have a tactical relationship with the game and can be developed and progressed.  Players can be taught how to cover court effectively, which footwork steps to apply when and appropriate recovery within situations.  Further more each of these areas can be broken down and developed from static function of the body to dynamic implementation with the ball. As one may break down the forehand cross court and one can also develop the function of the body to aid in this stroke and furthermore consider the ways of reaching the stroke and recovering from it.  Depending on the situation will depend on the requirement of the body, footwork and movement.

What is coming…

In the coming months my aim is to produce and re visit articles that tie this concept up into a deliverable.  From theory to practical exercises and drills to facilitate the development of young players (primarily in U10 mini tennis) but also applicable to older performance players.

A rough outline could be

  • Limitation model
  • Movement concepts (flight, move in balance, fluid move – Action Zone)
  • Emergencies and opportunities (coping and exploiting)
  • Holistic approach, exploiting comfort zones, exploration and growth within coaching
  • Application/handling Pressure (importance of movement and footwork and court coverage)
  • Technique is movement
  • Basic bio-mechanics and functions of the body (general and tennis related)
  • Tactical Movement (Pro analysis, U10 mini tennis)
  • Practical development of Tactical Movement (static/dynamic exercise, footwork development, progressions to ball)


Thanks for reading





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