The Bailey Method Explained - Bailey Tennis Footwork · PDF file The Bailey Method Explained...

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    The Bailey Method Explained

    A Beginners Guide For Players, Coaches and Parents

    By David Bailey www.baileytennisfootwork.com

  • © 2009 The Bailey Method - www.thebaileymethod.com Page 2

    The Bailey Method Explained The Bailey Method is a unique and dynamic approach to teaching tennis footwork, movement and balance. It teaches you how to get ready on the balls of your feet, read an approaching ball, react with your feet and hitting stance, respond with a contact move and recover to correct locations on the court. By using a set language with progressive tennis specific drills and various balance techniques, the Bailey Method develops positive habits, improves fitness, speed, and agility while giving a more responsive and relaxed approach to your tennis game.

    Thoughts on the method

    As human beings, we will not truly BELIEVE something until we actually discover it for ourselves. Believing is first, understanding is second and applying is third. Yes….you must have something mentally before you have it physically…teaching with words is great but doing by action is even greater. When you feel things you learn more than by pure listening or observation. Saying that, The Bailey method is not meant to be ingested or consumed all at once, it takes time and work to grasp its concepts. Bear in mind it is based on 20 years of careful analysis, experimentation and research. For many years I was teaching tennis footwork up and down stairs, in and out of cones, through ladders, over hurdles, in soft sand etc… it has been a long journey of self discovery, trial and error, and break throughs. The defining moment, however, was the day that I realised that “It MAKES SENSE” to do footwork training on court hitting tennis balls using sets of cue words that tells the player what to do. And, it is these CUE WORDS that describe exactly what movements and footwork steps and stances I want the player to make or compose on the court. Why don’t we have a common language that is universal? OR, relevant words that make communication and discussion easier?

  • © 2009 The Bailey Method - www.thebaileymethod.com Page 3

    In the end my ideal is to create a conscious awareness of a systematic, effective and progressive method of teaching tennis footwork with a specific easily understood language on and off the tennis court. The Bailey Method needs to be much more than a series of drills -

     It is an individual based approach that applies to all ages and all abilities

     It is a guide that is giving direction and knowledge on how, when and why to move your feet and position yourself on the court.

     It is about playing smarter

     It is about becoming a better athlete

     It is about having fun

     It is about getting fitter

     It is about becoming a student of the game.

    Strengths of the Bailey Method

    Probably the two greatest strengths of the Bailey method is 1.) It makes sense 2.) It gets results quickly In teaching The Bailey Method there are NO SHORTCUTS. Cutting corners only leads to lack of understanding and never mastery of the skills required to play and perform at a sub conscious and effortless level. I am also a realist and I truly understand that not everybody is going to be your disciple…….you can’t connect with everybody. Of course some will be closed in their thinking and really believe in THEIR WAY, and I am really comfortable with that. In a nutshell, I am a teacher…and I love to share my passion. The method is very structured (I think that all learners need structure). Yet, I also believe that my method is flexible and student orientated in the sense that I give them a toolbox or menu of footwork, patterns, moves and stances that THEY FEEL COMFORTABLE to use. Teaching is all about instilling confidence and freedom of choice and expression.

  • © 2009 The Bailey Method - www.thebaileymethod.com Page 4

    Teaching should never be suppressing or stifling. I have always said that “Understanding then application is the key that unlocks your teaching potential” Players and coaches must be students of the game! I’m sure all coaches think they are doing the right thing. They read all the books and watch what everyone else is doing then copy what the winners do. And there lies the problem. While you copy everybody else you will always be left behind. The way to predict the future is to create it The Bailey Method is a whole new way to train and prepare to play. I am a big believer in shadow tennis …which was big in the 50’s and 60’s and today combined with the latest frame by frame technology, it’s back! Yet, I do believe this….Tennis is a simple game and we shouldn’t over complicate it! We should let talent flourish, focus on the athlete, encourage fundamentals like balance, body alignment, strong foundations, understanding contact points and early, compact racket preparation. We MUST develop the tennis athlete as much as we develop the tennis player. And, this is where the Bailey Method comes in, it is brings the tennis athlete BACK ONTO THE COURT. Unique Aspects of the Bailey Method

    So what are the unique aspects of the Bailey Method that make it work? May I say that if you are reading this paper then I hope you are one of the converted…..because this paper has not been written to convince but is more a roadmap to grasp my way of thinking and to set you off on your own tangent of thinking…..to be your own independent thinker!

    The Bailey Method works because of its simplicity. There are a few simple rules of progressions that are not negotiable. The method cannot be watered down or short cuts taken. It’s like pulling a battery out of a torch. The power is lost! See progressive teaching page 11

  • © 2009 The Bailey Method - www.thebaileymethod.com Page 5

    There is a set language and of all things this is the most essential and absolutely non negotiable. How can you teach Japanese if you can’t speak the language? A real strength of The Bailey Method lies in its measurability. By having defined parameters it means that data can be collected statistically by recording and recognizing contact moves either live or through video recording. In truth at an academic level there is a lot of scope in master and PhD degrees researching the Bailey Method. There is HUGE Potential for using the contact moves to analysis and assess footwork through video recording. Especially initial assessments where you say nothing except very simple instruction….let the student do what they do naturally and then POLISH their footwork. The proof is always in the pudding when you see the before and after on video and feedback is immediate. The other non negotiable is to respect the FUNDAMENTAL athletic skills of tennis i.e. the ability to lunge, pivot, shift, transfer weight, hop and spin the hips. It is these skills that belong to the game, give it its origins and separates it from other sports. Every sport has its own set of rules that set it apart…and it is the respect of these rules that transcends the sport. Society is made up of rules and without them society would fall into chaos and anarchy…it becomes like a ship without a rudder. So….in saying that after years of researching, observing, teaching, practicing, experimenting, rejecting and absorbing I have made a couple of confident and important statements.

    1. There are 15 strong and PURELY DEFINABLE contact move that exist in tennis.

    2. Each has its own unique character with its easily recognizable hitting stance, out and recovery steps, balance move, approaching ball

    3. There are 6 athletic skills 4. An array of out and recovery steps, braking and sliding steps 5. 8 balance moves 6. 6 hitting stances 7. 4 footwork zones 8. 7 approaching balls

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    And, that is just the groundstroke! On top of this we must mention volleys, approach shots, returns, getting ready after serving, positioning on the court and running for lobs, drop shots and speciality shots. WOW!! There is a lot to learn!!!

    The other really important point is that there will sometimes be a MERGING of contact moves…the 15 that I talk about do become blended at times i.e. a half power move combined with a mogul …or transfer merged with a reverse spin or mogul mixed with a low spin….a bit of a hop and a step down or 1 foot pivot with a back foot hop….With the naked eye it is hard to give these blended shots an exact label….but that is ok …in the end you want to trust the training and let the moves unfold naturally or without conscious thought… the understanding that the Bailey Method is about education, about creating a bi