Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Playing Better Tennis: By Jimmy Jonsson

Playing better tennis is something many people want to achieve. In this article I’ve tried my best to explain a few tennis myths and their actual truth.

Bend your knees on all of your shots
Truth - Do what you feel is necessary for each particular shot. If the ball comes in low, bend your knees a bit more. If the ball comes in high, bend your knees a bit less. Some players even strike the ball upwards instead of bending their knees. Do what you feel comfortable with and you should be fine.

Keep your eyes focused on the ball to strike the ball correctly
Truth – It doesn’t have anything to do with how much you look at the ball, only your judgment of where the ball is going to come. You can often hear tennis coaches say “keep your eyes on the ball!”, but that won’t help you hit the ball correctly, will it?

Plant your feet to the ground when you hit most of your shots
Truth – To have your feet planted to the ground isn’t the best idea for tennis, maybe for golf or weightlifting, but not for tennis. That certainly won’t result in you playing better tennis. You should just let your body move the way you want it to move, whatever it takes for you to perform the shot. If you watch a pro playing tennis on TV you’ll see that they bounce and jump when they hit the ball just as much as you want to. So you see this “planting your feet” thing might not be the way to go.

Keep your wrist firm on each individual stroke
Truth – It’s actually only the volleys at the net that requires a firm wrist. Pros twist and snap their wrist on overheads and serves to produce a nice spin on the ball. As for groundstrokes they roll their wrist upwards together with their entire body to produce maximum topspin. Again you should make your strokes as comfortable for you as possible, just do what it takes.

Don’t ever hit a groundstroke with your body facing the net
Truth – Again, just watch the pros as they often face the net when they strike the ball from the baseline. Don’t feel forced to strike with your body sideways to the net, whatever your coach says. Hit the ball the way that feels the most natural and comfortable to you and that will result in you playing better tennis.

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*** Recommened Read - PLAY BETTER TENNIS IN TWO HOURS: How to Master (and Re-master) the Fundamentals and Play Like the Pros
By Oscar Wegner, Steven Ferry

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