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View Full Version : How can i improve my reflexes?


zesty-man
09-17-2004, 09:03 PM
i've really noticed that my reflexes are pretty bad, especailly on volleys and serve returns. im not quite sure what it is, but when someone hits the ball with a little more pace, i cant seem to get it back, and end up either mis-hitting it, framing it (most commonly), or wiffing it completely. obviously, this isnt attributed to reflexes alone, but i was wondering, are there ways to improve reflexes? thanks

thehustler
09-17-2004, 09:08 PM
Video games. They help develop hand eye coordination. I don't play games as often as I did as a kid but they sure do help me with my reflexes. Basketball helps as well. Play a game where all you are is on defense. Work at swatting the ball away, trying to go for steals and so on. This will help you work on your anticipation as well. I'm sure this might be discredited, but I've been around basketball since I was 2 days old and have been playing video games for quite some time and my reflexes are great.

Questions though. On your return of serve is it worse for you on your forehand or backhand side? Are you pulling your head looking up at your opponent before you hit? Body jams? Same thing at net. Are you getting jammed up there? If so what I learned to do is pivot out of the way. This is something you also learn in basketball. This will help prevent you from being jammed if that is the problem and will allow you to get a good shot back. HTH.

zesty-man
09-17-2004, 09:12 PM
hmmm, yea, i havent really been playing a lot of video games recently because of tennis and school. on my serve return, usually my backhand return is a lot more consistant. i get jammed a lot, but sometimes its just that i cant react fast enough at a ball flying at me. im not sure if im pulling my head up.

thanks for the help

thehustler
09-17-2004, 09:23 PM
When you return serve where are you standing? Right on the baseline or a couple steps back? What about when you come to net? Are you hitting a good approach shot or just going kamikaze and hoping you don't get nailed?

zesty-man
09-17-2004, 11:06 PM
well it varies......... when im returning, most of the time i stand behind the baseline, however, my friend told me to stand INSIDE the baseline for a return and take it on the rise. his advice was really great. however, that still doesnt really take away from the fact that my reflexes arent all that great

as for returning volleys, usually im playing doubles, so maybe off of a 2nd serve, maybe a first. when my partner is serving, im up at about the middle of the box, maybe closer. i'm not too confortable volleying in doubles after i return. i just stay back while my partner is at net. usually we have a crosscourt rally, and my partner takes the poach, and i move in if needed. also, i like to come in and volley off of a nice lob, or a nice placement shot.

thehustler
09-17-2004, 11:48 PM
Try some mini tennis with a partner. It's a good warmup before a match and it can help improve your reflexes. Another thing I like to do is stand at the net and hit a ball back and forth to a partner 3 times, then on the 4th ball he needs to hit a passing shot or get me to hit a drop shot or volley. This works on your anticipation for a passing shot as well as your net game. There is another drill where both players have a pile of balls at the net. One player starts at the service line with a ball and the opponent at the baseline. You serve the ball past the service line and soft enough that your opponent can has no problem getting the ball and getting to net. Play the point out. If you win you take a ball out of your pile and start the next game from the service line. Do this until your pile is empty. If you want to make it challenging, make it where the person who starts the point must finish it at the net, and the opponent on the baseline must come up with a passing shot and not a lob. You can do this where even if someone hits an error you start again until someone gets a winner. Can be tough, but will help you work on net play and passing shots.

As far as return of serve I stand a couple feet behind the baseline. Do you do the textbook ready position, where both hands are on the racket or do you have another ready position? If you are crazy enough you could have someone stand at a baseline and you at the net and have them just rifle shots at you until you start returning them with ease. You'll learn how to get out of the way fast or you'll get tagged. I know these ideas are different, but they do work. You'll get over your fear of being at the net and will feel comfortable at no time. Most importantly, keep your head still. That will make things much easier for you. Good luck.

Momo
09-18-2004, 08:13 AM
I feel like ping pong helps me develop my reflexes. Real ping pong... not just dinking. If you've never tried it before, here's an encouraging thought: I've never met a tennis player who's not at least decent in ping pong. The two sports are quite similar so you should be able to pick it up pretty quickly. Once you start getting into hard-hitting rallies in ping pong, you'll often find yourself returning the little balls without having a clue as to exactly how you got the ball over and in. It'll probably help out your mental reaction speed the most due to the quicker nature of the game. Good luck.

zesty-man
09-18-2004, 09:47 AM
thanks for the help guys

usually when im returning i have both hands on the racket, and i like to split step just as he hits his serve. ill try a couple of those drills. about 4 years ago, when there was a different coach, probably the best coach i've had so far, he would have his varsity players practice by putting them at the net, while he served right at them. at that time i was only 7th grade, so i was intermediate. after that year, he moved to the rival school......


anyone know of some "fast reaction games" that i could play?

Tennis Guy
09-18-2004, 09:58 AM
I feel like ping pong helps me develop my reflexes. Real ping pong... not just dinking. If you've never tried it before, here's an encouraging thought: I've never met a tennis player who's not at least decent in ping pong. The two sports are quite similar so you should be able to pick it up pretty quickly. Once you start getting into hard-hitting rallies in ping pong, you'll often find yourself returning the little balls without having a clue as to exactly how you got the ball over and in. It'll probably help out your mental reaction speed the most due to the quicker nature of the game. Good luck.
Yeah, except for in table tennis (If you play seriously, it's called table tennis, not ping pong.) you have to use a lot of wrist, which isn't necessarily good for tennis.

papa
09-18-2004, 10:00 AM
Mini tennis, as other have said, works wonders. Ping pong is a great game that lots of tennis players enjoy - lot of wrist action though.

Couple of new ideas:

Get a sheet of plywood (4 x 4 or 4 x 9) and prop it up against a wall so you have a little angle - in other words keep the bottom 12 - 18 inches from the wall. Get some thick stuff like 3/4 " because it doesn't bend so much and is a little more solid. Standing about 4 to 6 feet away volley against the plywood - kinda fun and can be done anywhere like a basement, retaining wall, etc.

Another thing is just volley against a wall (little harder than above) but see how many times you can do it without the ball bouncing on the ground - five to ten is good but I've seen others do more than twenty. Both these things help with reflexes, keeping the racquet it front and just punching at the ball as compared to swinging.

I've seen (but haven't used) a ball on a elastic band thing that you can attach to your racquet - I think you'll find them at most sporting goods stores. Kinda like those ping pong style paddles with the elastic string and little red rubber ball.

Rickson
09-18-2004, 10:29 AM
I've never met a tennis player who's not at least decent in ping pong.
Ping pong and tennis are very different and while I agree you need fast reflexes for both games, I absolutely don't agree that a good tennis player automatically equates to being a good ping pong player.

finchy
09-18-2004, 11:07 AM
try using a z ball and having a partner throw it to you from the service line while you are at the baseline. its a ball thats shaped oddly that produces very erratic bounces. lunge for the ball and grab it as fast as you can. it will help your reflexes a bunch.

zesty-man
09-18-2004, 11:14 AM
ive always wanted to buy one of those balls. can i get it at tennis warehouse?

finchy
09-18-2004, 11:53 AM
im not sure. lol. i got mine at a kiddie store. lol.

ask around. it was in tennis magazine like last year.

andreh
09-18-2004, 12:34 PM
It could be that you are simply positioned wrong. Have you ever considered that you're simply standing too close to the net on volleys. I'm not sure what level of play you're on but I've seen many a club player always hanging over the net when they're at the net. In fact, most of the time you shouldn't be closer than 6-7 feet.

Check out some positioning for net play before you blame your reflexes.

perfmode
09-18-2004, 12:45 PM
Play ping pong, Quake 3 or UT2004.