Thursday, May 6, 2010

Key Points : Footwork, Preparation and Follow through..

Footwork :

You want to make sure that you move to the ball whenever possible. In other words, avoid moving parallel and contacting the ball when it’s to your side. You want to move your feet in a way that will allow you to contact the ball out in front of you. Pay close attention to your left foot and where you place the toes of the left foot, you should get your toes pointed at a 45 degree angle- which will allow better follow through and rotation of the hips which also translates into better shoulder rotation. Also you don’t want to sweep your right foot back behind you- this will hinder your balance and follow through, rather step up with your left and let your hips rotate towards the finish of the shot.

Preparation :

Preparation involves getting your feet into position ( anticipation ) , bringing the racquet head back high and turning the non-dominant shoulder.
Remember that you’ll want to bring the racquet head back high – as the ball is traveling over the center of the net. This is the first part to starting to make a loop with your racquet. The loop promotes good racquet speed and a low to high stroke essential for giving the ball the lift it needs to get over the net and bring the ball into your opponents court. If you start your preparation when the ball has bounced on your side of the net, most of the time, you’ll be late on the shot. Early preparation is key to contacting the ball out in front of you creating a nice solid feel to your shot and allowing you to drive through the ball.

Follow through on the forehand:

After you have contacted the ball, your stroke should finish high over your left shoulder (right handed players). It’s important to pay close attention to what your left hand ( for righties) is doing during this process. I like to tell my students to allow their non-dominant hand to stay high an in front of them during the stroke, allowing their left hand to rotate with the upper body and land over the left shoulder waiting to catch the racquet. When you finish the shot your right elbow should be as high as your chin – this usually indicates that you have brought your racquet all the way through the stroke. Several times players will finish with a low elbow and leaving their shot in the net.

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