Tennisopolis : Tennis Social Network

How to go from GOOD to GREAT… in any sport. (part 2)

As we saw in our previous article there is a particular ‘non-linear’ dynamic motion that is existent, and which can be seen, in all top athletes, and in every sport.

It’s a motion that, when done properly, can create tremendous speed and power with minimal effort. It’s also a motion that creates amazing balance, grace, and fluidity that make tops athletes appear to be smooth and natural.

To put it as simply as possible, just think of this non-linear motion as a figure-8, or the infinity symbol - with which we’re all familiar. And think of it on both a horizontal and vertical plane. Now, think of that figure-8 motion as the ‘engine’ or source of energy that creates centrifugal force and a resulting sine wave emanating out from it, in concentric waves.

With very little investigation, you’ll find that this ‘figure-8’ motion, or a variant of it, is actually at the core, and is the mother-form, of all types of natural movement and motion. In fact, it can be found throughout natural science – starting with the analemma of the earth.

But do a little research and look up the lemniscates of Bernoulli and Gerono. Then look up the Cassini oval, the Watt's curve, or the harmonics of the Lissajous or Bowditch curve, I think you’ll quickly see what we’re referring to.

Now, go back and look closer at the effortless form of a top tennis pro like Roger Federer. And in particular, watch the motion and rotation of his hips and core – on every one of his strokes. Or, look at the hips and core of an Olympic downhill skier, or a professional baseball player throwing or batting, even a belly dancer.

Still not convinced?

Consider the world’s smallest bird - the hummingbird. It’s the only bird in existence that can actually hover and even fly backwards. And even at its minute size, it can reach speeds up to 60 mph (96.56 kp/h). Those are incredible feats, requiring an incredible amount of power and speed from their tiny paper-thin wings. How do they do it? You guessed it. Their wings actually beat in a continuous non-linear figure-8 motion. 

This same figure-8 motion, done properly, and in one continuous motion, will elevate any person’s level of performance in any sport. And any person can learn it. You don’t have to be a so-called natural athlete.

We’ll say it again. ANY person can elevate their performance in ANY sport by simply learning to do the figure-8 properly.

That may seem like a bold statement to make, but the figure-8 is the entry point to an all-encompassing form of movement. It provides more balance, more power and effortless control. It takes the centrifugal force of a simple pivot to the next level. And it ties everything together in one fluid motion.

One of the keys to the figure-8 is a slow, continuous movement, starting in the hips and emanating out to the entire body. This, in turn, furls and unravels the arms and/or legs in a non-linear fashion, producing immense speed and power, with complete control – all with very little effort.

Another key is that this motion is equally represented in both the horizontal and vertical axis, left and right sides, and concentrically moves through the entire body like a human sine wave, connecting everything into one motion. 

We can’t stress enough that everything becomes connected with this single motion. Fully understanding this will lead you deeper into what the best athletes do so naturally.

People have become one-side dominant, linear thinkers, but the non-linear figure-8 can free them to perform beyond their personal limitations. It is a complete connection that will synchronize the entire body. And in our next article we will get into exactly how that’s done. How to unlock the power of the figure-8.

(Jack Broudy and Paul Mayberry are co-developers of the ‘8-Board’. A training device designed to enhance learning and using the non-linear figure-eight motion.)

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Comment by Tim Prapong on April 2, 2012 at 11:47am

Thanks, Jack! Well, when you get a chance, here's a vid I did.

Comment by Jack W. Broudy on April 2, 2012 at 11:45am

That is correct Tim. On my site. I look forward to our next dialogue. I've gotta run now. Have a great day and enjoy this beautiful weather today!! And yea - I meant Fed's forehand (senior moment : ) I'll look forward to your thoughts on # 3. But I  know already that you've got a better handle on things then most. You should probably teach more tennis. They need you out there.

Comment by Tim Prapong on April 2, 2012 at 11:25am

The first installment is on your website,

Comment by Tim Prapong on April 2, 2012 at 11:23am

Ah, I haven't mentioned the Fed backhand. I think there is a basic flaw to it and it has to do with swing plane angle and his low takeback.

Comment by Tim Prapong on April 2, 2012 at 11:22am

I live in San Bernardino, but I come out to Los Angeles every weekend. I teach tennis every now and then, but I experiment a great deal. I have a few geometric diagrams to the Fed forehand, the 2005 version and the current version. It explains why he changed it to what it is now, for more accuracy.

Comment by Jack W. Broudy on April 2, 2012 at 11:16am

BTW Tim, I agree with you on Fed's backhand.

Comment by Jack W. Broudy on April 2, 2012 at 11:14am

Tim, It's nice to hear your thoughts. Keep em coming. Where do you live, teach? I do believe you will appreciate (more than most) Part 3 of this series GOOD to GREAT. I'll look forward to your thoughts on that one as well. BTW, did you get a chance to read the first installment of this series? If not I can direct you to it.

Comment by Tim Prapong on April 2, 2012 at 11:05am

I am looking at your Federer Forehand Revealed section and I see how you related the sin wave with the forty five degree angle in your youtube video. I see Warren and Steven doing a demo. They are doing a double bend version, which still works, concave to convex.

But Federer goes a little more open to a single bend. Fed's takeback is different, less open face at the beginning and has a different followthrough. There is a reason for this as well, and this is where the figure 8 takes a distinctive different shape unique to Federer. Borg's really does look does look like a symmetrical sin wave.

Comment by Tim Prapong on April 2, 2012 at 10:43am

Tennis has as much to do with varying geometric relationships as well as physics. I would say Laver took the traditional game to its limits, then Borg revolutionized it.

Well, then I've read Laver did copy Hoad's game. And we have to wonder if Borg developed his forehand on his own, although he has said he developed his backhand from hockey. In any case, there is a solid figure eight motion to both his forehand and backhand.

Comment by Jack W. Broudy on April 2, 2012 at 10:36am

Tim, very astute!! I always say Borg was the first player with the modern game. You are right on the money! Thank you.

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