The Vault

Critical Moment in Tennis

ACTIVE Issue [3.9] our forthcoming journal, looks at the science of critical moment focus.  Damien Lafont PhD is a tennis coach and physicist who has photographed hundreds of elite tennis players at the moment of impact. His thesis examines the position of eyes, head and neck a split second after the ball has been hit and his findings are fascinating for the Alexander teacher.

Correlated with the consistent success of a professional player is the intricate placement of their eyes(and attention) at the moment of a shot being made and when I stumbled upon Lafont's work I was taken immediately at the implications that his photography had in terms of linking head/neck/spine coordination of the entire organism. In this micro second of high speed imagery we see the mind-body congruence necessary to repeatedly return accurate shots over the net.

How is Lafont's work relevant to an Alexander teacher working with sporting enthusiasts or elite athletes? I brought two Alexander teachers who teach tennis into the discussion: Gary Adelman a professional tennis player from Columbia University and Alexander trained since 1992 ( and Joe Boland a tennis coach and Alexander teacher(1979).

Listen to a live interview with Gary in the private members section of the website. If you don't have a login, request one's free.

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