Gene’s Tennis Tip April 2016: Crushing short balls to victory

Are you running into problems with unforced errors on shots that seem easy?  First off, eliminate the word “easy” from your vocabulary when it comes to tennis shots.  There are no easy shots and you should treat every shot with the respect it deserves by moving your feet A LOT, preparing the racket early, and watching the ball like it’s the best show on television.  One of my favorite drills to work on dealing with slower balls is to get out with your pro or another player with like intentions, and agree to help each other out by running this scenario:  You serve first on the deuce side, then the ad side.  The receiver (your partner) floats the ball back short and high (don’t you hate those!?).  You (server) come forward and work on putting that ball away by hitting it as hard as you can into the open court.  Play out the point from there.  You serve from the deuce side until the server wins five points, then serve on the ad side until the server wins five points, then trade positions and let your partner serve and do the same thing.  Of course, the ideal scenario is to win five points in a row, but in reality this rarely happens.  The returner should work on her defensive play by guessing (running to one side or the other) right as the server is about to put the ball away.  This puts pressure on the server and helps with anticipation.  After doing this twenty times, you should start putting the ball away pretty regularly.  If not, you need to visit a pro and work on your technique.  Do not hit drop shots!  You are working on power and placement here.  If you over-hit, don’t worry, you should be trying to hit harder than is comfortable and this is to be expected as pushing your limits is how you improve.  Good luck and good crushing!



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