Gene’s Tip of the Month July 2014

Don’t have a partner?  Don’t despair!  Use the ball machine or find a wall to hit on to improve your game.  Here at Mcc we have a ball machine you can rent for $10 / hour at the fitness center.  It has simple controls that adjust elevation, speed, spin, interval, and oscillation.  The ball machine is on court 4, so first call the fitness center (ext. 224) and reserve court 4 at an available time, then request the ball machine.  When you arrive to play, go to the fitness center, pick up the keys and the remote control.  Then head over to court 4 by the oval pool.

You can use the ball machine for several purposes.  The most common is having the ball come to one or two spots on the court so you can groove your strokes.  What does this mean?  Well, tennis requires some rhythm before a player can be fluid in his / her strokes.  By having the ball machine feed you a steady and even paced ball, you can get your stroke into a repeatable pattern which leads to more consistency, the most important quality a tennis player can possess.

Another great use of the ball machine is to work on placement from different positions on a tennis court.  For example, if you want to counter your opponents deep, down-the-line approach shots, set the machine to feed a slice ball deep into your forehand corner, then practice moving from the middle of the court and slamming low, forehands crosscourt.  Set the interval to give you ample time to recover to the middle after each shot so you also develop good footwork habits.  After you make 10 shots in a row, switch to another pattern that mirrors a match situation you encounter frequently.

Of course you may also have the machine feed various balls and you count how many in a row you can get in, this is the ultimate test of consistency.  When you get over 50 in a row, call me, I want to play!


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