Tennis Science for Tennis Players

Tennis Science for Tennis Players

Tennis Science for Tennis Players

Tennis Science for Tennis Players


How does your opponent put thxtensive laboratory testing and computer modeling, Brody has investigated the physics behind the shape of the tennis racket, the string pattern, the bounce of the tennis ball, the ways a particular court surface can determine the speed of the game, and the many other physical factors involved in tennis.


This book will not make you an instant champion; it will help you to play as well as your physical endowment allows. There is no substitute for athletic ability and practice, but there are many things that will help you to win more points—without the drudgery of long hours of lessons, practice, and hard work. in addition, taking an understanding of all the laws of nature onto the tennis court with you will add to your enjoyment of the game.

You do not need knowledge of science or engineering to use the material presented here. in order to profit from this book, it is not necessary that you understand, or even read, the explanations of the physics. You are free simply to accept what is recommended here, just as you do when you learn tennis or take lessons. You never ask the pro why you should keep a firm wrist or why you must follow through with every stroke.

Written for tennis players, this book is based on work that has been done in the laboratory and on a computer at the University of Pennsylvania over a number of years. Some of the information has been published in four rather technical articles for physicists in the American Journal of Physics (June 1979; September 1981) and The Physics Teacher (November 1984; April 1985).

This book gives advice on three aspects of the game that determine and shape one another: equipment, strokes, and strategy. Most important is the matching of these three things to your own ability. Because Bjorn Borg strings his racket at 80 pounds, you should not necessarily do likewise. Because Jimmy Connors throws his whole body into every shot, you are not required to do so also. and because some top pro blasts his first serve and eases up on his second, you need not feel compelled to do the same. All the best professional players have tuned their equipment, developed their strokes, and calculated their strategy to fit their own physical abilities and temperaments—not yours—so you should not blindly copy them.

This book lays no claim to being the Compleat Handbook of Tennis. It covers only a limited number of topics, but it does so . . .

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