How top players maintain a still head position, focusing on the contact point until well after the ball has left the strings


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How top players maintain a still head position, focusing on the contact point until well after the ball has left the strings

Students of professional tennis have noted how top players maintain a still head position, focusing on the contact point until well after the ball has left the strings. Roger Federer is widely recognized as the most dramatic example of head fixation, but we see the same phenomenon with many other top players.

What are the advantages of head fixation? A common explanation is that the benefits are technical. Head fixation is touted as the key to balance, precise execution, and control of the sweet spot. Less well understood however is the relation of head fixation to the mental game.

But the effect here may be its greatest benefit. Why? Holding a fixed head position after contact can be the key to staying in the present moment. This in turn helps players deal with pressure in a variety of interrelated ways.

Most tennis players lift their eyes and pull their heads up before the ball reaches the racket. Their anxiety to follow their shot trajectory indicates that they are not truly in the present. READ THE ARTICLE