Frequently Asked Technical
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Bailey Method with great interest and great
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THE 1-FOOT PIVOT
Why do I hit a 1 foot pivot off an open stance and a back foot
stance? Which one is better?
You hit off an open stance (feet pointing along the baseline
and weight centred) when you want to take the ball on the rise
and have less time. There is more chance to fall off balance on
this stance, but obviously it is a simpler way to move to the
You will hit off a back foot stance when you step back at 45
degrees and have 100% of the weight on the back foot when you
hit. By stepping back you give yourself more time and more
likely to hit with more topspin.
There is no better it is personal preference though a back
foot stance enables you to hit cross court easier.
What are some common errors made when hitting a 1 foot
I sometimes call the 1 foot pivot a back foot pivot and the
biggest error is straightening the non hitting leg instead of
lifting the knee up towards the chest. A lot of players lift
the leg before they make contact instead of on contact. They
also move too far back off the baseline. The move is a rally
move which means you need to keep your position on the
baseline. I love this shot as a surprise down the line shot
because this shot is very simple and if hit well very little
can go wrong.
What are some good teaching points?
Keep the angles in the legs when hitting as this will help the
swing line of the swing so you extend through the shot and it
also helps you keep balance and hit with power.
Make sure you don’t rotate the hitting foot too far. Start
with it pointing to the side fence (turn the hips) and finish
with the toe pointing to the net. After the swing look over the
elbow of the hitting arm as this will also keep you
Lift the leg after you hit otherwise you will miss time the
How is a rallying 1 foot pivot different to a defensive back
Both look really similar as they are both hit off one leg and
off back foot stance. But, with a pivot you keep your foot on
the ground and a hop you come off the ground. With a pivot you
stay on the baseline and are maintaining control of the rally
whereas a hop you move back from the baseline and are trying to
regain control of the rally
Which 1 foot pivot is easier- the backhand or forehand
My experience is that players struggle much more with the
backhand side so always teach the forehand first so they
understand the timing and balance move of the knee lift. If
they really struggle get them to try and hit the backhand of
the front foot instead. In general you will hit a variety of
contact move off the forehand than the backhand. I like to keep
the contact move selection on the backhand as simple as
possible. You have to experiment and use what feel goods and
works for you.
What balance move do I use for down the line and cross
Pull the knee up towards the chest when hitting a forehand down
the line but swing the leg backwards so it lands backwards at
45 degrees when hitting cross court this will clear the hips
out of the way. When this leg comes around (I call it a reverse
pivot), make sure when you land it is a push not a brake i.e.
keep your balance so you are not falling onto the leg and you
have good body control.
However, use a knee up balance move on the backhand when
hitting down the line and cross court. You cannot get away with
hitting the ball so late in the backhand as your hands are more
in front off the grip.