What does throwing a great pitch, a touchdown pass, hitting a baseball, smacking a perfect drive in golf, scoring a hockey goal with a blazing slap shot or good tennis ground strokes have in common? The answer for all these is a consistent shoulder rotation. When you have some time, watch some of these other sports and take note of where the shoulders are in relation to the ball just before the ball is thrown or struck. You will instantly pick up on the fact that the shoulders have rotated sideways and maintain that position until release or contact and then rotate forward for power and direction.
The same holds true for all tennis strokes-shoulders are the key for power and consistency.
The forehand and backhand topspin ground strokes, whether you hit in a closed or open stance, need the shoulders to rotate sideways to the ball and then be at a forty-five degree angle at contact turning towards the net when following through.
The back spin, or slice, forehand and backhand ground strokes are hit in a closed stance and turned shoulders. You should maintain that position through the contact point and not rotate the shoulders forward after the shot, but keep the shoulders sideways to the net until the follow through is completed.
To hit the volley correctly the opposite leg must step forward toward the ball and net, this will correctly force your shoulders to turn toward the ball and create a forty-five degree angle at the point of contact. Again, maintain that angle until the ball has left the face of the racquet.
When hitting the serve or overhead begin with the front shoulder facing toward the net. As you coil and then reach up for the shot the shoulders should begin to rotate forward-be at a forty-five degree angle at contact and then rotate forward towards the net completing the follow through.
Remember, the shoulders are the key ingredient for keeping the face of the racquet level at contact, thus giving your shots more consistency and the rotation adds power. Think shoulders and your game will improve.
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