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View Full Version : Need some help on watching the ball up to contact!


plumcrazy
12-10-2009, 09:29 AM
I have always had a problem watching the ball all the way up to when I hit it. I find myself wanting to watch were I want to hit it. This causes me to hit a lot of mishits. When I do try and see the ball up to contact I feel a little disoriented. It's like I don't trust my stroke unless I'm looking at my target. Hope that makes sense. Just wanted to know if you guys have any suggestions on how I can practice this on my ball machine or practicing with other players. I know I'll never be able to do it like Federrer but I need to get better at this.

jazzyfunkybluesy
12-10-2009, 09:30 AM
Well watch the ball, we can't make you do it.

HunterST
12-10-2009, 09:44 AM
I have always had a problem watching the ball all the way up to when I hit it. I find myself wanting to watch were I want to hit it. This causes me to hit a lot of mishits. When I do try and see the ball up to contact I feel a little disoriented. It's like I don't trust my stroke unless I'm looking at my target. Hope that makes sense. Just wanted to know if you guys have any suggestions on how I can practice this on my ball machine or practicing with other players. I know I'll never be able to do it like Federrer but I need to get better at this.

In Brad Gilbert's book he recommends trying to see the logo on the ball (such as wilson or penn). He actually uses it to help with nerves, but I find it helps me to watch the ball more closely.

Ash_Smith
12-10-2009, 09:55 AM
Coach I used to work with would write numbers on the balls with marker pen and the student would have to call out the number on the ball before contact - similar idea to hunter above. Have tried it with a couple of my players and it's tough but makes the point very well.

plumcrazy
12-10-2009, 10:03 AM
Well watch the ball, we can't make you do it.

That really helps.

jazzyfunkybluesy
12-10-2009, 10:13 AM
One thing that i do is pay attention to how much the ball is spinning. The incoming spin effects your outgoing shot. For instance an incoming massive top will jump off your racquet. Conversely a wicked slice can die into the net. Hope this helps.

goran_ace
12-10-2009, 10:17 AM
There is no trick or magic solution to your problem. It is basically a bad habit that has formed over time. The only way to correct that is to practice doing the right things over and over again until that becomes habit. Making a concious effort to stay focused on the ball through contact might feel weird now, but you need to stick with it and eventually it will feel less and less weird.

Also, if you have trouble watching the ball and are prone to mishits you probably shouldn't be using a Prestige Mid.

plumcrazy
12-10-2009, 10:27 AM
There is no trick or magic solution to your problem. It is basically a bad habit that has formed over time. The only way to correct that is to practice doing the right things over and over again until that becomes habit. Making a concious effort to stay focused on the ball through contact might feel weird now, but you need to stick with it and eventually it will feel less and less weird.

Also, if you have trouble watching the ball and are prone to mishits you probably shouldn't be using a Prestige Mid.

Good advise. Thanks. You're right about the focus will feel less weird over time. I've switched back to the APD which has cut down on my mishits. The mishits now are coming from technique.

5263
12-10-2009, 11:23 AM
I have always had a problem watching the ball all the way up to when I hit it. I find myself wanting to watch were I want to hit it. This causes me to hit a lot of mishits. When I do try and see the ball up to contact I feel a little disoriented. It's like I don't trust my stroke unless I'm looking at my target. Hope that makes sense. Just wanted to know if you guys have any suggestions on how I can practice this on my ball machine or practicing with other players. I know I'll never be able to do it like Federrer but I need to get better at this.

Maybe you need to consider hitting more in front. If you are hitting more to your side, that could lead to the disorientation you cite. Out front makes it easier to watch and still gives a view of the court in the peripheral vision too.
If you do contact more in front, it may require a grip adjustment.

plumcrazy
12-10-2009, 11:57 AM
Maybe you need to consider hitting more in front. If you are hitting more to your side, that could lead to the disorientation you cite. Out front makes it easier to watch and still gives a view of the court in the peripheral vision too.
If you do contact more in front, it may require a grip adjustment.

That very well could be it. I do tend to make contact to my side rather than out in front. I've always known to hit it out in front but my habit has always been to hit more to the side. I use to have more of an old school grip but when I picked the racquet back up again 3 years ago, I started using a sw grip sometimes western. Thanks!

precision2b
12-10-2009, 12:33 PM
In Brad Gilbert's book he recommends trying to see the logo on the ball (such as wilson or penn). He actually uses it to help with nerves, but I find it helps me to watch the ball more closely.

I do this and it helps. If am not hitting good or trying to close out a set/match I really concentrate on foot work, keeping my eye on the ball and hitting through the ball. Really helps me…

Coach I used to work with would write numbers on the balls with marker pen and the student would have to call out the number on the ball before contact - similar idea to hunter above. Have tried it with a couple of my players and it's tough but makes the point very well.

Good idea...

DavaiMarat
12-10-2009, 12:37 PM
I have always had a problem watching the ball all the way up to when I hit it. I find myself wanting to watch were I want to hit it. This causes me to hit a lot of mishits. When I do try and see the ball up to contact I feel a little disoriented. It's like I don't trust my stroke unless I'm looking at my target. Hope that makes sense. Just wanted to know if you guys have any suggestions on how I can practice this on my ball machine or practicing with other players. I know I'll never be able to do it like Federrer but I need to get better at this.

I use the same model racquet as you and the sweetspot is minimal.
Try seeing the back side of your strings on your follow thru. This helps me when I'm shanking a bit.

5263
12-10-2009, 05:26 PM
That very well could be it. I do tend to make contact to my side rather than out in front. I've always known to hit it out in front but my habit has always been to hit more to the side. I use to have more of an old school grip but when I picked the racquet back up again 3 years ago, I started using a sw grip sometimes western. Thanks!

Good, hope it helps.
Also remember to keep your head still during the shot, if no one has said that yet.

Might want to look at pulling the racket forward with the face lagging. As you approach contact slightly out front, pulling the racket up and across the contact
( works best when stepping to the open stance as you pull up and across), opposed to using the wrist to bring the racket to catch up. If you are hitting to the side currently, most likely the racket is mostly in line with your forearm (with the racket butt pointed at your hip) and not offset by 30-50 degrees.

jazzyfunkybluesy
12-11-2009, 09:35 AM
Maybe you need to consider hitting more in front. If you are hitting more to your side, that could lead to the disorientation you cite. Out front makes it easier to watch and still gives a view of the court in the peripheral vision too.
If you do contact more in front, it may require a grip adjustment.

This is good advice. I hit two feet in front of my body. Besides the advantages mentioned above you also take time away from your opponent when taking the ball early.

charliefedererer
12-12-2009, 08:24 AM
There is no trick or magic solution to your problem. It is basically a bad habit that has formed over time. The only way to correct that is to practice doing the right things over and over again until that becomes habit. Making a concious effort to stay focused on the ball through contact might feel weird now, but you need to stick with it and eventually it will feel less and less weird.

Also, if you have trouble watching the ball and are prone to mishits you probably shouldn't be using a Prestige Mid.

Great advice. It's not practice that makes perfect, it's perfect practice makes perfect.

Two other tips:
1. Semi-open stance. This lets you take advantage of your binocular vision more than with a closed stance, as you don't have to swivel your head so far to the side to maintain eye contact on the ball. (Plus, you really can get a bigger unit turn and power the ball with your abdominal muscles.)

2. Keep the ball away to the side and in front. Keep moving your feet so the ball is never crowding you. The further away you are from the ball (and yet obviously in your power striking range), the less you have to turn your eyes in quickly at the very end to track the ball.

And MAYBE one more tip if you really want to put a lot of effort into watching the ball the way Federer does by letting his eyes jump to the contact point before the ball gets there: Saccadic eye movement in tennis? Federer does it? What is this? http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=270507

plumcrazy
12-12-2009, 09:07 AM
THANK YOU FOR ALL OF YOUR POST! I have read all of them and they all have helped me realize some things I am doing wrong. Haven't been able to play since I started this thread but I am playing Monday. Probably will post some more questions after Monday. This will definitely take some time to figure out but I enjoy practicing and improving the game that I love.

plumcrazy
12-24-2009, 08:50 AM
Finally got to play yesterday. After I keep my head from moving during my stroke I started hitting the ball better BUT I found out what the real problem is and I need some help. I hit with a semi western grip. Right before the contact point, my wrist (for some reason) pronates and it causes my racquet to be WAY to closed. My palm faces down when it should be facing the net. Does anybody have any tips on what I should do. Thanks!

user92626
12-24-2009, 10:08 AM
Finally got to play yesterday. After I keep my head from moving during my stroke I started hitting the ball better BUT I found out what the real problem is and I need some help. I hit with a semi western grip. Right before the contact point, my wrist (for some reason) pronates and it causes my racquet to be WAY to closed. My palm faces down when it should be facing the net. Does anybody have any tips on what I should do. Thanks!

Visualization and having a mental concept is maybe necessary in this case. Assuming you already physically can swing, always visualize meeting the ball with a relatively squared racket face. What that does is give your mind a solid how-to to go from.

Ripper014
12-24-2009, 10:58 AM
I have always had a problem watching the ball all the way up to when I hit it. I find myself wanting to watch were I want to hit it. This causes me to hit a lot of mishits. When I do try and see the ball up to contact I feel a little disoriented. It's like I don't trust my stroke unless I'm looking at my target. Hope that makes sense. Just wanted to know if you guys have any suggestions on how I can practice this on my ball machine or practicing with other players. I know I'll never be able to do it like Federrer but I need to get better at this.

I would love to know a solution to this... the better I have gotten with the sport the worse I have become. But I agree... it is all about training yourself to watch the ball better... and making it a habit. Just like working on a certain technique in hitting a ball... you need to train your mind to watch it for as long as you can.

I can do it in practice for short spurts... but once in a competitive situation... it seems my mind wanders... I guess being a man I can only process so many things at one time. (That blonde on the second court with the short tennis skirt and ponytail is really cute!!!)