Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Bertchel Banks, Sep 16, 2004.
Does anyone have tips on how to improve your timing of the ball.
The more balls you hit, the better your timing becomes.. Rent a ball machine and hit as many balls as you can.. then go practice some more in the group and private lessons if you can.
It's as simple as that....
This is one for the backboard, if you have a garage, or have access to any type of backboard, take advantage of it.
Also, if you warm up with mini-tennis that will help improve your timing as well.
Well, coaches sometimes tell you to say "bounce, step, hit" in your head prior to swinging. I often do not find that mantra helpful but you might....timing depends on the pace of the ball and the opponent, so it really is a matter or practice. I like the suggestion of hitting from a ball machine...just really concentrate on WHEN you want to hit the ball and your anticipation will improve. Good luck!
I don't know about "Bounce, step, hit" (it seems like "step" is making the drill into a practice in being overly mechanical to me)....
BUT, calling out "bounce, hit" when the ball bounces and when it should be hit (on my side or both players' sides) helped me a lot when I was starting and it helps me get focused, which helps my timing. "Bounce, Hit" helped me to get a feel for various timing on the ball, focus on the ball, and doing it for both sides of the court really helped me to focus on the timing of the ball on the other side of the court--which later helped me time my split steps for better reaction/anticipation of the ball that'll come back to my side of the court. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND TRYING THE DRILL. Saying it out loud doesn't bother me at all, because most people can't hear it from across the court anyways.
Keeping the head steady and eyes focused on the point of contact during and after the stroke helps me to make sure I don't throw my technique off balance on accident either. Which I think helps me ensure that I'm making good use of good timing when it's happening.
If you are serious about tennis, or want to be serious about tennis. I would also suggest that you should work on footwork. With good footwork comes better preparation, better balance, and eventually better timing. That's what I believe anyways, but certainly, it's hard to have good timing with poor footwork. It's hard to have good timing with poor balance too.
And of course... as it was mentioned before... keep practicing. You have to put in the time to develop. You just have to keep hitting the ball, but also exercise good health--if your forearm/wrist/arm/shoulder is tired, you need to take a break. But keep practicing as much as life and passion allow you to.
"Bounce, Hit" helped me to get a feel for various timing on the ball, focus on the ball, and doing it for both sides of the court ....."
Although I agree with everything else you wrote I'm not sure watching the ball after you hit is advisable - assume that you have to do this.
i feel focusing on the ball all the way UP TO the contact point helped my mishits with my ps85 tremendously.
It does seem overly mechanical to shout bounce, step, hit and probably does not prove helpful to most players. But when first starting out, this is how I learned to play.
I agree with Chanchai that repeating this phrase may improve concentration and focus more than anything else.
I don't like the idea of watching the ball after its hit either. It definitely is important to zone in on the ball as it approaches (keep your eye on the ball) and while you are making contact.
I also find it very helpful to anticipate where I am going to place the shot by first surveying where my opponent is located and making a quick decision to put the ball in a specific location...but careful not to AIM for that spot. Merely waiting for the ball to bounce, hitting it and watching it land relative to the desired location is not effective if you don't first anticipate the shots and prepare yourself though...so you can repeat phrases all you want and it may still not work.
Well, I guess we're all saying the same thing here. Watching your own return is non productive and one would be better advised to keep their eyes on the opponent and their racquet. However, I must tell you I do see people who want to "admire" their shots and are constantly caught out of position or basically unprepared for their next shot.
Just to be clear when I was talking about "Bounce, Hit" on both sides of the net... My eyes aren't locked on the ball. When I hit, my eyes are locked on that contact zone before/during/after the shot. I'm not following the ball after I hit.
No matter where I'm looking on the court, I can tell when the ball is bouncing on the opponent's side of the court. If anything, I catch the bounce in my peripheral vision, maybe I then focus on the opponent hitting the ball, but I get a sense for when the ball will be hit--thus when to react to where the ball's going.
Anyways, that's how "Bounce, Hit" on both sides works for me. I do it mostly on myself for awhile, and once I'm happy with that, will do it on both sides. In my case, this aspect of both sides just helps me get a feel for the rhythm of the rallies and well... work on reaction time and timing
When doing "bounce, hit" for the opponent's ball, I'm not saying you have to be zoned eclusively on it. If anything, you can be a bit more passive with it and just use it as a timing/rhythm training technique. In my case, I just do it with peripheral vision or court sense.
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