Watching the ball is a huge part of hitting it solid on the tennis court. Another part of this concept is getting your position to be consistent based on what you are seeing with your eyes. The goal should be to end up with the ball close to the same distance away from you each time.
In addition, you want to try to make contact with the ball at approximately the same height whenever possible. When you hit a shot well and it feels like a comfortable swing, try watching the ball closely and use your feet to get that identical position on the next shot. Sometimes you will have to move in, move back, or hit the ball a little bit on the rise to repeat the feeling from the last shot.
There may also be times that you have to back up and let the ball drop a bit, especially on the higher softer balls. Combining the "watching the ball" idea with the "positioning your feet" idea, is one of the best ways to consistently hit the ball solid and get good results from the shot you are trying to hit.
Go back to this concept whenever you are struggling to find that comfortable swing and solid hit. As simple as this seems, you will likely be surprised with the results.
Steve Annacone, USPTA Elite Pro, is the Director of Annacone Tennis, www.annaconetennis.com and MyHamptonsPro, www.myhamptonspro.com in East Hampton, NY . Steve is also a tennis professional at Ventana Golf and Country Club in Tucson, AZ. In addition, Steve and Miguel Coelho have introduced the JET (Junior Elite Tennis) program at the Tucson Jewish Community Center for high level players ages 8-18. Please contact Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org