1) Watch the ball-this means watching from the toss on the serve to the ball coming off of your opponent's racket, all the way through the point of contact that your racket makes, and then repeating the same idea 4, 5, 6, 10+ times in a row if necessary. Try to keep your focus on the point of contact on each side of the net for a slightly longer period of time than what you would think. Our tendency is to look towards where you want the ball to go or at your opponent, rather than on the point of contact.
2) Get ready by turning your shoulders as soon as you see if it is a backhand or a forehand. This will automatically get your racket started back and put you in a position to swing even if you do not quite get to the perfect position with your feet.
3) Try to follow through exactly the same way on your groundstrokes regardless of the ball you are faced with hitting. Your on the run follow through should be the same as your follow through when set.
Reminding yourself of one of these three basic ideas can be very helpful while playing a match. Do your reminding just before the point starts and just after the point ends; pick one of these and move to the next once you feel you are doing them well.
Steve Annacone an USPTA Elite Pro, is the Director of Annacone Tennis (www.annaconetennis.com). For details on lessons and camps in Sag Harbor and throughout the Hamptons this summer contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.