Tennis Tips from a Former Instructor

Tennis may seem like a difficult game to master, but, as with many sports, if you break down the shots you hit in tennis into their basic forms, you will find that getting better at tennis is not tooo difficult. What follows below is a "cheat sheet" of sorts that will help you improve your tennis game.GROUNDSTROKES (forehand and backhand):.1) Bring your racquet back as early as possible. Ideally, you should have it back in a forehand or backhand position before the ball even comes over the net.

2) As you get ready to hit the ball, make sure you are turned to the side. A good test is to make sure you are facing the side fence, 90 degrees from the net.3) As you hit the ball, have your knees bent and keep your head as still as possible, almost as if your body is on a swivel with your head being attached to the court.

And look at the ball the whole way through the stroke.4) You need to follow through completely on your stroke. A good idea is to point your racquet toward where you want the ball to go and hold it there for a second.VOLLEYS (forehand and backhand):.

1) When you are at the net, have your racquet upright and out in front of you at all times. Dropping your racquet so that the handle is above the head is one of the biggest mistakes people make at the net.2) When you hit a volley, your elbow should be tucked close to your body and your grip should be tight. Do not not swing at the ball. The volley is more of a punch rather than a swing, with the wrist slightly back but firm.3) Always volley in front of your body with the head of the racquet above your wrist if at all possible, and watch the ball at all times.

Again, try to keep your head still.SERVE:.1) It is all about the ball toss with the serve. Toss the ball to the same spot everytime, and you will have a consistent serve. Generally, the ball should be tossed straight up so that it lands in front of you and to your right (to your left if you are a lefty).

It helps to toss the ball using an open palm, so the fingers don't make the toss go one way or the other.2) Reach UP to the serve. That is, at the highest point of the toss, you should be pushing up from your legs to reach the ball with your racquet. And think of the racquet as a back scratcher as you start the service motion. The racquet should naturally drop down behind your back as you reach up to hit the serve.3) Don't try to kill the ball.

As in golf and many other sports, a smooth, clean stroke will give you all the power you need.4) Follow through, much like a pitcher does in baseball. If you stop the service motion the minute you hit the ball, you will lose both power and control.

Well, that wasn't so difficult, was it? There are plenty of other tips, too, but these are just some of the basics that can help you become a better tennis player. Have fun!.Copyright 2005, Travel Guide of America. All Rights Reserved.

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Marc is a Boston-based writer who has helped create Travel Guide of America, a US travel guide that focuses on interesting cities, towns, and villages that are vacation destinations. He has also played a major role in Boston's Hidden Restaurants, a local Boston restaurant site. Marc played on the Tufts and Suffolk University tennis teams, has played in several tournaments, and has been an instructor for a club in the Boston area.

By: Marc Hurwitz



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