Tennis is a sport that requires muscle memory, and more importantly, you need to be able to feel your strokes mentally.
There is much discussion in tennis about feel or touch, knowing the amount of power (or lack of) when hitting a certain shot. The feel in brushing up the ball when hitting topspin is one, the touch when hitting a drop shot is another, there is a feel in all shots that have some degree of spin on the ball. There is even a feel when hitting flat serves or overheads. When you have developed that feel it is as much mental as physical. While your hand may be performing the act it can’t think or feel, but the mind has developed and remembers what the feel is to hit the ball correctly and tells the hand how to react. So, when you can sit on your couch and feel your body movement and the ball coming off your racquet for all your strokes you have made a monumental advancement in your game. A friend of mine up north, who was very good, used to sit at home the night before a tournament match and play out the points in his head, especially if he knew his opponent, talk about feel and having a game plan.
Now, you want power in your ground strokes, right? To generate power you must be loose in the body. Power comes from racquet head speed and if the body is too rigid there is no fluid motion to create that speed. When hitting power topspin the first area to consider when discussing looseness is the wrist. Your wrist must be loose to snap up the backside of the ball. Power in the serve comes from coiling the body, again loose, and a loose arm and wrist to snap up and outward for a spin serve or up and over for a flat serve. The same can be said for the overhead. Two hand backhand players must keep both wrists loose for topspin, especially the top hand on the racquet since that is the wrist generating most of the power.
A quick reminder, while you need the body loose, the wrist is firm when hitting forehand or backhand slices, volleys and drop shots.
Shoulders and hips are loose during ground strokes to generate power through rotation. Shoulder rotation is another key to head speed with a sideways turn in preparation and rotating through the shot for a complete over the shoulder follow through, in either open or closed stances.
Now you have it ... feel your shot mentally and stay Loose!
For more tips, visit http://onlinetennistraining.com.
Good luck and have fun!
<p>Bill Longua is the tennis director/head pro at Palm Island Resort in Cape Haze, Fla. Bill is a member of the USPTA, has been teaching tennis for more than 35 years, and is the author of Winning Tennis Strokes. Bill also enjoys teaching tennis on his Web site, <a href="http://onlinetennistraining.com" onclick="window.open(this.href,'httponlinetennistrainingcom','resizable=no,location=no,menubar=no,scrollbars=no,status=no,toolbar=no,fullscreen=no,dependent=no,status'); return false">http://onlinetennistraining.com</a>. Please check out Brent’s Shearer’s Literary Corner for his review of <em>Winning Tennis Strokes</em>. Take advantage of the download version sale by going to <a href="http://onlinetennistraining.com/usopen" onclick="window.open(this.href,'httponlinetennistrainingcomusopen','resizable=no,location=no,menubar=no,scrollbars=no,status=no,toolbar=no,fullscreen=no,dependent=no,status'); return false">http://onlinetennistraining.com/usopen</a>. He may be reached at <a href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org">email@example.com</a>.</p>