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oray777
09-05-2006, 09:06 AM
Is there any best practices on how to see the ball better? I seem to mishit the ball alot. Also i heard it's better to keep the head still as much as possible so does that mean to track the ball with the eyes and keep your head still?

ceejay
09-05-2006, 09:28 AM
I haven't heard about keeping your head still, but I expect it contributes to your balance. If you think you've got a problem with your vision, have you been to see an optician recently?

LuckyR
09-05-2006, 09:29 AM
No, it means tracking the ball smoothly with your head and eyes, but not jerking your head to see where the ball is going after hitting it. So, pausing to stare at where the ball was at impact, before moving to look at the opposite court.

remyb2
09-05-2006, 09:57 AM
Each time the ball hits the ground or your racquet say (to yourself) "hit"... this will make you focus more on the ball.

So when the opponent hits the ball say "hit"
When the ball bounces in your court say "hit"
When you hit the ball say "hit"

etc...

oray777
09-05-2006, 03:51 PM
Thanks for the advice. I'll work on it.

POGforEver
09-05-2006, 04:07 PM
I always like a little bit of mini-tennis before I start my full session, same strokes just more spin. It tends to help me focus more on the ball when you don't have to concentrate on beating the crap out of it. And then just go all the way back to the base line and start hitting smooth strokes, you most likely will be seeing the ball better. Good luck!

Bagumbawalla
09-05-2006, 05:50 PM
Practice juggling with three balls. It forces you to watch the ball. Really.

Stand 6 or 8 feet from a practice wall and hit volleys back and forth. Don't let the ball touch the court. See how long you can go. Don't just slap at a blur. Watch it. Follow it to your strings.

Practice your groundstrokes against the wall. Consciously watch the ball. Try to hit it at the top of its bounce. Watch it so that it seems to almost stop and hang in the air for a moment (the moment you hit). Hit at a medium pace so you can really follow the ball. When you get good, move in closer...

Good luck

B

drakulie
09-05-2006, 06:09 PM
Is there any best practices on how to see the ball better? I seem to mishit the ball alot. Also i heard it's better to keep the head still as much as possible so does that mean to track the ball with the eyes and keep your head still?

Yes and no. Obviously you want to move your head as you track the ball with your eyes. However, once the balls is in your "line of fire", and you are swinging, you should not move your head or take your eyes off the ball until the ball has clearly left your racquet. The last few feet the ball is coming into your strkie zone, your head and eyes should be moving together.

One problem many people have is they immediately move their head/eyes off the ball before contact. Hence, "keep your eye on the ball" actually means before, and during impact and your head and eyes should still be looking at the spot where impact was made even a few milliseconds after impact.

Look at this picture. Notice how his head and eyes are simultaneously looking at the spot where impact has been made.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v736/drakulie/federer.jpg

This one, although impact has been made and the ball is on its way, his head has not moved.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v736/drakulie/federer2.jpg

Hope this helps. Good luck.

oray777
09-05-2006, 06:47 PM
Yeah, maybe i'm taking my eyes off the ball just before i hit it because i'm thinking of my opponents position across the court. I'm going to work on that and see if it helps cure my mishits. Thanks.

Hot Sauce
09-05-2006, 07:00 PM
Maybe you should practice your hand-eye coordination. Studies have shown video games improve hand-eye.

Midlife crisis
09-05-2006, 09:25 PM
Yeah, maybe i'm taking my eyes off the ball just before i hit it because i'm thinking of my opponents position across the court. I'm going to work on that and see if it helps cure my mishits. Thanks.

There have been a number of threads about seeing the ball, and there have been citations of studies that show it is physically impossible to see the ball all the way to the point of contact for a ball moving at speeds that better players hit the ball at. That some players look at the point of impact is a given. Whether or not they can actually see the ball at that time is debateable, and even if they could see it, a human's reaction time is such that once a normally hit shot is within 6-10 feet of you, there is no way you can react to alter your swing path. This why even those who look at the ball all the way to impact, like Federer tries to, can't react and make a volley on a groundstroke that tips the net.

There are some other considerations. The major one is that when your eyes are actively moving as when trying to track a ball, known as a saccade, your vision is so poor during the time that the eye is moving that you would be classified as visually blind. You can easily demonstrate this by holding a book in front of your face and moving it back and forth rapidly. Your visual acuity is so poor that reading is extremely difficult.

Also, human reaction time varies little among individuals until you are fairly advanced in age, like your later 60's and beyond. Your actual reaction time is probably no worse and no better than someone like Federer.

Good tennis players do several things. They get information from visual clues prior to the ball being hit, that help determine where the ball might go, at what speed, and with what type of spin. This, combined with the first visual sighting of the ball after the impact, allows them to react immediately to get themselves into the proper position to hit the shot. This is where a good tennis player greatly surpasses an average tennis player - recognition of where the ball is going, knowing how to get there in a way to be ready to hit the ball back, and then immediately acting upon that information. During the preparation to hit the ball, the eyes track the ball continuously when the movement in the visual field is slow. As the movement within your visual field speeds up, the eyes perform a saccade, looking towards where you expect to see the ball. This happens a few to several times, and each of these glimpses you get gives you information that can be used to adjust your swing. Knowing what to do to fix your mis-hits depends on whether or not you are correctly estimating where and when the ball will be at your contact point, or if it is a matter of estimating properly but that you have swing inaccuracies.