PDA

View Full Version : Anticipating where the ball will bounce.


Messarger
10-08-2007, 12:11 AM
Hi all. I dont post here often but i enjoy playing tennis like anyone.

I'm still improving on my form and everything, but my anticipation of the ball isnt as good as i'd like it to be. My teaching pro says that anticipation will come naturally after long term practice, but i'm looking at a way to accelerate my learning curve.

I feel that i dont know when to move back on a heavy topspin ball, and by the time i realize it it goes behind me. I cant run behind and hit the ball everytime. Reacting to drop shots is another issue. I cant predict if the ball is going to be a deep slice or a drop shot even though i can see my oppoents racket face. I've tried standing inside the base line in case i get a drop, but often i judge wrongly and the slice goes deep. Any tips?

downdaline
10-08-2007, 01:25 AM
You could try watching the follow-through of the slice.

Long Followthrough = Deep Slice
Short Followthrough = Drop Shot

OR

Also remember that different players hit different shots with different swings and stances, so u have to adjust each time you play a new person.

Messarger
10-08-2007, 03:51 AM
I am trying to watch the follow through, but even then sometimes it's too late. Before i know it the ball is past me...

Supernatural_Serve
10-08-2007, 05:27 AM
I wouldn't watch the follow through. Watch the ball. The height it clears the net is sometimes a clue, especially balls with top spin, and picking up on spin simply takes practice hitting with folks that hit with a lot of top spin.

Geezer Guy
10-08-2007, 06:08 AM
Be sure you split-step as your opponent strikes the ball.
This will help you react to the ball and get a good first step, wherever they hit it.

jasoncho92
10-08-2007, 08:14 AM
It just comes naturally is what im guessing. But the courts i play at dont need anticipation because the bounce is never consistent, its always a different height and moves sideways. But how long have you been playing to want to speed up the learning curve?

Off The Wall
10-08-2007, 02:39 PM
If you know a good player, watch a good match and ask questions about what he sees. Offer to buy him a beer in return.

Bagumbawalla
10-08-2007, 05:15 PM
The following was an answer to another question about watching the ball- some of it applies to your question.......

The one thing that I would add to the above good suggestions is to KEEP watching the ball- like one of those Japanese haiku, where the moon and the watcher become as one, and don't just watch the ball, but keep constantly adjusting to the flight of the ball and the potential angles of return.

For example-- you have just hit the ball-- Watch the ball as it arcs through the air and across the net. Pay attention to its angle and spin and where it lands in the court.

As the opponent nears the ball and begins his/her stroke, note the most likely directions/placements he/she might return the ball. Make adjustments so you will be ready for these most likely events.

Then watch the ball leaving the opponent's racket. Watch the path it takes as it arcs through the air. Pay attention to any spin/curve/angle the opponent has forced the ball to take. Make further small adjustments. Take little steps, get into position. Watch the ball as it bounces up and into the swing path of your racket. Watch the ball as it travels back across the net..........and so on.

As a personal example, today I played against this guy who hits groundstrokes faster than most people hit serves. If I took my eyes off the ball for even an instant (as it neared me), it would just seem to skip into some a time warp and I would be lucky to make contact as well.

.........In other words, you do not just watch, then react, then watch the ball again and react again. By then it is too late. You need to key in to the ball so that you are in a constant state of "dancing with the ball". You control the balls direction as you hit it, but to an extent the ball controls your movement as well- and you move as a unit.

It, of course, takes time and experience to get to that point. But that is what you should strive for.

Messarger
10-09-2007, 01:48 AM
It just comes naturally is what im guessing. But the courts i play at dont need anticipation because the bounce is never consistent, its always a different height and moves sideways. But how long have you been playing to want to speed up the learning curve?

Hmm.... something like 5 months of consistent hitting with good form.

Messarger
10-09-2007, 01:53 AM
The following was an answer to another question about watching the ball- some of it applies to your question.......

The one thing that I would add to the above good suggestions is to KEEP watching the ball- like one of those Japanese haiku, where the moon and the watcher become as one, and don't just watch the ball, but keep constantly adjusting to the flight of the ball and the potential angles of return.

For example-- you have just hit the ball-- Watch the ball as it arcs through the air and across the net. Pay attention to its angle and spin and where it lands in the court.

As the opponent nears the ball and begins his/her stroke, note the most likely directions/placements he/she might return the ball. Make adjustments so you will be ready for these most likely events.

Then watch the ball leaving the opponent's racket. Watch the path it takes as it arcs through the air. Pay attention to any spin/curve/angle the opponent has forced the ball to take. Make further small adjustments. Take little steps, get into position. Watch the ball as it bounces up and into the swing path of your racket. Watch the ball as it travels back across the net..........and so on.

As a personal example, today I played against this guy who hits groundstrokes faster than most people hit serves. If I took my eyes off the ball for even an instant (as it neared me), it would just seem to skip into some a time warp and I would be lucky to make contact as well.

.........In other words, you do not just watch, then react, then watch the ball again and react again. By then it is too late. You need to key in to the ball so that you are in a constant state of "dancing with the ball". You control the balls direction as you hit it, but to an extent the ball controls your movement as well- and you move as a unit.

It, of course, takes time and experience to get to that point. But that is what you should strive for.

I totally understand what you're trying to say. But the anticipation i'm talking about is not really position anticipation. I can get to the ball after hitting it, but i feel as if i need to know exactly where the ball will bounce before i can hit it my best. The main problem as i mentioned is the ball going behind me when i anticipate poorly.

I'm already dancing the ball and in position to hit it. The main problem as i mentioned is the ball going behind me when i anticipate poorly.