Easy Tennis Cures
Last article was one of few words and many pictures, this one is all words because I’m going to give you some incorrect short cuts to keep a point going when in some particular difficult situations and I obviously do not have pictures of bad strokes. Let’s go over some common problems that pop up on us now and then. These cures are not text book correct, but you will stay in the point longer.
We have all found ourselves in the middle of a forehand stroke and realize we are too close to the ball. Think about it, where does your shot generally end up? I’ll tell you, it generally goes long. When the ball is too close to the body you must pull your arm in so the head of the racquet can make contact with the ball. That movement causes the face of the racquet to open, or face up, and will result in an out ball. If you find yourself at the start of your forward motion on the swing noticing that the ball is to close you must close your hand to help straighten the racquet face, then, take some pace out of the stroke because all you want to do is keep the ball in and stay in the point. I admit you must think quickly, but you will stay in the point.
What do you do when at the net and a ball is blasted straight at? If the ball is below your shoulders the response should be a backhand volley, it’s faster to defend yourself with the backhand because the forehand would require much more movement and there is no time. If the ball is above the shoulders the forehand should be used with a one sideways step out. Where the problem arises is when the ball is coming so fast that a step out cannot be done and the ball is coming right for the face. To block the ball and stay in the point stick the racquet in front and roll your grip from the correct Continental to the incorrect Western and block the ball. It sounds like there is not enough time but there really is. Get out and practice it awhile.
I don’t wish this upon anyone but if you have hurt your shoulder to the extent that reaching above the head causes pain you can still play tennis and have a somewhat effective serve. I have taught this to many an injured player. To hit a serve with an injured shoulder hold the racquet in the Western hand grip, toss the ball in front in line with the hitting arm and approximately head high or just slightly higher, pull your arm straight up in front so the hand is shoulder high and the racquet head up with the face a little laid back, then push the handle forward and brush down the back of the ball. The swing will cause back spin which keep your ball low after the bounce. What you lose in power you will at least gain some advantage in spin and bounce. This does not work for overheads. With a hurt shoulder either volley an overhead or better yet, bounce it and hit a ground stroke.
To get the extremely wide volley or ground stroke I’m finally going to give you a tip that is text book correct. Most who try to extend for either of those balls hit them wide, and the reason for that is not enough turn, which does not allow for the face of the racquet to come all the way around, so you hit the ball wide. A complete turn backwards is needed to have the face of the racquet facing towards the opponent’s side of the court. Look at it one of two ways, you should be completely facing the back fence or your back and rear end should be facing toward the net when striking the ball.
I hope the tips get you out of some tough situations.
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