April, 2014 |

Archive for April, 2014

Basic Practice Drills

   Basic Practice Drills

1 Hit forehands cross court for fifteen minutes

Hit forehands down the line for fifteen minutes

Hit backhands cross court for fifteen minutes

Hit backhands down the line for fifteen minutes

2 Volley and overhead drill

Player A is at the net and player B is at the baseline; hit three drives out of player B’s hands to player A to hit volleys and then a lob for an overhead. Repeat over and over, then switch.

3 Overhead drill

     Player A hits lobs to the player B practicing overheads. In between each overhead player B must run to the net and touch it with the racquet, at the point of the touch another lob is hit so that player B must back pedal for the shot. Repeat over and over, then switch.

4 Three ball drill

Both players are at the baseline, player A is the feeder and player B is practicing moving forward to net. Player A will hold three balls and feed them to player B; first ball to the baseline for a ground stroke, player B moves forward, second ball when player B is almost at the service line for a volley or half volley and third when player B is at the net for a winning volley. Repeat for fifteen minutes and then switch. Even if player B misses a shot complete all three balls before returning to the baseline.

5 Volley and reflex drill

Players A and B are on opposite sides of the net at the service lines, practice volleys. Do not try to put the ball away, aim for each other.

6 Serve and service return

Player A will practice serves while player B practices return of serve.

Variations: 1 Player A, the server, will return player B’s return to practice serving and anticipation of the next shot.

2 Player A, the server, will serve and volley, player B will try to keep the return low.

7 Play points

A great way to practice a match situation and still work on strokes or strategy is to play out points, but not keep score. Player A serves five points and then player B serves five points.

Whether you use these basic drills or others, practice with intensity, it will be fun!!

Good Luck-Have Fun

Full Serve

Full Serve

The grip for the full serve should be the Continental, the Eastern grip is fine for a flat serve, a flat serve can be hit with the Continental and a spin or slice serve should definitely be hit with the Continental. It will be a major advantage to eventually hit all three different serves [flat, spin and slice] with the Continental so the opponent will not pick up what is coming by seeing your hand move.

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When standing behind the baseline you should position yourself as close to the center mark as possible. [In singles] The left foot is at a forty-five degree angle and the right foot is parallel to the baseline and comfortably spaced, the arms are extended in front of you with the right elbow slightly bent. Your weight is balanced, but resting on the back leg; there are players who do start with the weight on the front leg and then rock back at the start of the motion, however, I am a believer of the less body parts moving the better off we are. Now the stroke is beginning. Start both arms in a downward motion, the left arm [after a very short distance] moves into an upward lift with the toss, while the right has completed the downward swing and has started the upward swing behind your back. [Scratch your back with the racquet which requires a loose wrist.] The toss is released before the upward, backswing is completed. The racquet is brought back until the elbow is fully bent and the wrist is cocked, while transferring half your weight from the back leg to the front with a bending of the knees.The whole motion can be called the “coiling process”. The point of contact will be called the “uncoiling process”. Reach up has as possible, preferably on your toes, unbend the elbow and snap the wrist through the ball. When you hit a flat serve snap over the ball. When you hit a spin serve you will snap up the backside of the ball, creating topspin, which is why the Continental is needed to have the face of the racquet at the correct angle. Please remember to keep your arm and wrist loose. Power will come from head speed. Head speed will come from a high arc in the swing with looseness to provide speed. The follow through will come all the way down past your left leg with the right leg stepping over the baseline after contact to maintain balance.

serve

The toss is the most important aspect. Practice will give you the rhythm and consistency, to be able to hit the serve at the same height and timing, which is needed for service accuracy. The toss for the flat serve is slightly in front and just to the right of the body. Go back to figure one, if you drew a clock around you, with twelve o’clock in front of your left foot, the toss should be at one o’clock. The toss for the spin serve should be directly over your head.

The flat serve is hit as the term implies, snapping the ball downward over the top. The spin serve is struck with a right to left upward arc which will impart the spin due to the snap.

I would not concern myself with the spin serve until the flat serve has been developed. REMEMBER, you MUST keep your head up watching the ball through the entire shot, look at the sky or ceiling [if indoors] for a split second after contact to insure you have reached the maximum height for the shot. Too many players look to see if the serve went in, but the problem is, the ball has not quite been struck, so the head comes down too early, pulling the head of the racquet down with you.  All you will see is a serve in the net. HEAD UP!!!

It is perfectly fine to moderate the backswing.

Good Luck-Have Fun!!

Ready Position

Ready Position

The forehand and backhand strokes are the basis for a solid game. This is why one ready position is advisable for both strokes. This allows for quickness and stability.

A player in the ready position should be loose and comfortable, body slightly forward with knees slightly bent. Feet are comfortably spread. The left hand should cradle the throat of the racquet, with the player waiting on the balls of his or her feet. If you have a two handed  backhand the left hand should be touching the right hand on the grip.

The player is on the balls of the feet for the purpose of speed and reaction. Even a slight hopping back and forth would be better to create the quickest reaction time. Almost a whole second is lost when starting flat footed. That second is the difference between reaching or not reaching your shot.

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Good Luck-Have Fun!!