Watching some of the beginning and intermediate level players warming up for their matches made me think that there is a confusion in regard to what should a player accomplish first. Power seems to be an important role for some of the less experienced players…
A few days ago I overheard a conversation between my younger daughter who was explaining to her mother that “everybody can hit hard; the good players know how to control the ball!”. That pleased me knowing that she paid attention to my coaching. 🙂
So what are the priorities in tennis?
I classify them as follows: 1. Consistency – players should first develop the ability to hit the ball over the net and inside the lines. 2. Placement – being able to hit the ball deep and short, or side to side is key to get the opponents hitting off balance or from their weak side. 3. Spin – translates most of the time into ball control and different kinds of bounces. 4. Power – is the last on the list of priorities and it should be developed only when the first three had become comfortable to the player.
1. Prepare early. Turn shoulders and set the racquet behind the path of the incoming ball before it bounces on your side of the court. 2. Contact the ball about waist high. Don’t rush into hitting the ball right away, wait for it to drop below shoulder level especially if you have to hit a high bouncing ball. 3. Move to the ball using small steps to keep your body in good balance and be ready for late adjustments. 4. Recover quickly after you hit the ball. Avoid standing and watching where it goes; watch it as you get ready for the next one. 5. Aim your strokes at least two feet over the net. Get down under the level of the ball so you can swing up on it. 6. Hit most of your shots cross-court. You will have more court to hit to and lower net to aim over. 7. Spin the ball. The pressure created on top of the ball will make it come down into the court earlier. 8. Practice consistency. Rally with your partner trying to make 10, 20, 30 balls in a row during a rally. 9. Hit against the wall. Challenge yourself to hit, let’s say 20 balls in a row; then go for 30, then 40 and so on. 10. Ultimately, tennis consistency is a state of mind… every time you practice, don’t accept to miss. Every ball that comes your way is like the most important ball in the world. Hit it over no matter what! (Video Tennis Lessons – learn how to play better tennis)