Tip of the Week (Coach Dave): Utilize Your Practice May 15 2015, 20 Comments

Hi, I'm Coach Dave from Anyone For Tennis and here's my tip of the week: Utilize your practice.

Remember: Practice does NOT make perfect. Practice makes permanent. Only perfect practice makes perfect. Always practice with a purpose, don't just go out and hit balls aimless.

Make a solid first move on the forehand, use the non-playing arm and get the racket tip UP!

If you want to maximize your options on a forehand and generate easy power, a smooth, solid first move is essential. On the contrary, a slow, late or jerky first move can lead to the dreaded late contact and/or even worse...the shank.

Here's how: From an athletic-ready position with good posture, after making the split step right on the opponent's racket contacting with the ball, the racket tip should be facing up and the left (or non-playing hand) on the throat of the racket initiating the shoulder turn (see Roger above) all done simultaneously.

Things to watch out for:

Be careful not to open the racket face when lifting the racket head above the hands as that may lead to the dreaded slice. You can make sure the racket strings are facing the side fence during the backswing and some point the string toward the back fence before dropping the racket.

Don't go too high or too far back with your looping backswing. That also can lead to late contacts, causing the ball to miss to the right. A simple loop will do to help generate rhythm and effortless power and to help deal with the high ball, this will also make taking the ball early much easier.

Drill of the week:

You can practice this feeding from a basket, or rallying with a partner, or both.

Using just the cross court half of the court (include doubles sidelines if you like), set yourself a goal of say 10/20/30/50 (depending on your level) consecutive strokes without error.

You can then get your competitive juices flowing by playing first to 11 or 21 points in a half court (cross court or down the line) using ONLY forehands.

Okay now, go practice.