Cross training as a tennis player is important, but many people never realize how important tai chi is for their tennis practice. About 5 years ago I discovered the importance of tai chi, and I have seen my tennis strokes improve. I am more grounded, because there is so much balance and a proper stance required in tai chi; as a result my strokes are solid when hitting the tennis ball and I am rotating around the vertical axis of my body. I think it also relaxes my body and mind when in the stressful moment of a ball being fired at me. Somehow I am ready to strike back!
In the past year I have been practicing my tai chi with a woman originally from China. She is also trying to teach class participants how to say some words in Chinese. I am not doing well with that part of the program, but I am slowly learning the 24 Tai Chi form! During the tai chi lesson she also explains how this internal martial art (tai chi) has actual defensive moves used in martial arts. So watch out if I swing my elbow at you!
Every so often our instructor will demonstrate a sword or fan dance for the class. She is amazing, and despite the fact I know the photos will not capture her grace, I will provide the photos.