Tricks to Hitting on the Rise?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Roy125, Dec 18, 2009.

  1. Roy125

    Roy125 Professional

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    Hitting on the rise was not as easy as I thought. So far, I have just managed to do kind of a block thing on high topspin balls. My coach says that the key is to concentrate on the ball, but it still doesn't help me much?

    Help me by providing drills/tricks to practice hitting on the rise? I just frame most shots when I attempt to hit on the rise.
     
    #1
  2. SuperDuy

    SuperDuy Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, what you want to do is practice hitting ball up very very high then after it bounces hit it straight away :)
     
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  3. Roy125

    Roy125 Professional

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    But that leads to a lot of framing though.:-?
     
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  4. lidoazndiabloboi

    lidoazndiabloboi Semi-Pro

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    Make sure you keep your eyes on the ball, dont hesitate on your swing. If you hesitate, your swing will slow down, resulting in framing. So be sure to swing full speed into the shot.
     
    #4
  5. AlpineCadet

    AlpineCadet Hall of Fame

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    You should email momentumgt, he has really good on-the-rise shots.
     
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  6. aphex

    aphex Banned

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    yes, good thread---i'm very interested too...
     
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  7. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Turn shoulders and shorten backswing.
    Move feet to position yourself in your ideal strikezone, depending on your grip and preferences.
    Stroke thru the ball with confidence. Don't flinch, backoff, lean back, or tilt your body back.
    You can swing slower as the upward bouncing ball imparts more energy than a downward moving ball.
    Practice. Have you partner hit you deep balls that land right near the baseline, you standing in and finding your ideal strikezone.
     
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  8. Andres

    Andres G.O.A.T.

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    The simplest advice I can give you, and in a lot of cases gets underestimated is:

    Watch the freaking ball. At all times.

    May sound dumb, may sound obvious, but it's the most important thing in tennis, and we all find ourselves looking at the court, the racquet, the ground, the lines, whatever.

    No.

    Watch the ball. Keep your eyes on the ball.

    And if we get technical, well, of course you'll need a certain depth, and naturally, anticipation skills.
     
    #8
  9. Blake0

    Blake0 Hall of Fame

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    Watch the ball, shorter more compact swing, early preperation, early ball recognization, good timing, good footwork, and get your weight into the ball are key parts for hitting on the rise.

    Watching the ball should be obvious why. Shorter more compact swing is to keep your backswing shorter, that's why agassi was a great on the rise hitter. Early preparation and good footwork go hand in hand, you need to be able to see where the ball is going and get to the ball as soon as possible you you have more time to set up. Good timing is to make sure you hit the ball in front of you. Get your weight into the ball by closing off your stance more, preferably a neutral stance, because it's easier to hit on the rise when your weight is moving into the ball.

    As you get better hitting on the rise you could change a couple of these a bit when the situation allows..you caan make your stroke a bit longer, and you can hit more open stanced forehands on the rise.
     
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  10. shwetty[tennis]balls

    shwetty[tennis]balls Rookie

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    A great practice exercise for this (which is what Agassi would do during much of his matchplay) is to step into the baseline about 4-6 inches so that most of the shots that you hit will be on the rise shots. Just ask your opponent to aim the balls fairly deep so that you can practice them. If your opponent could add a little top spin too, that would also help. This will help you to adjust your swing and timing in those crunch situations. What is also nice about hitting on the rise is it redirects the momentum of your opponent's shot back to your opponent after you hit it on the rise. This is why Agassi was such an amazing groundie player. Remember to keep that head down and shorten your backswing. Any time your timing is compromised (by either hitting on the rise or during windy conditions, etc.) be sure to shorten your backswing for control. By the way, keep those knees bent so that you can see the ball better and react better to it. A lot of sloppy players will hit this shot standing practically erect and will never hit it well.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2009
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  11. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    It's not easy at all... it just requires lots of practice... and an aggressive mindset.
     
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  12. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation Legend

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    Our friend BlakeO already pointed out the issue of early preparation and I think that it's essential to quickly recognize the opportunity to take an incoming ball on the rise so that you can move to it as soon as possible. Instead of setting up somewhere behind a typical incoming ball, you need to move almost right on top of the spot where the ball is going to bounce so that you can catch it as it's popping up off the court. Your swing must be set up earlier than usual and you also can't delay moving to get yourself in position or it simply won't happen.

    Your forward swing needs to be starting before the ball bounces on the court because you're looking to hit it right after that bounce, almost like a half-volley, but with an actual stroke. When I hit the ball on the rise, it feels like I'm using a swing path that would normally drive the ball into the top of the net. The thing is that the ball is already rising off the court and you don't need much additional low-to-high lift to get it over the net. You might want to experiment with a slightly more closed racquet face, too.

    This style of hitting can make trouble for lots of opponents, but two types where it can be great to have this shot against are moonballers and pushers. Even if the ball isn't coming with much pace, you might find that you can be more aggressive and control the ball if you can hit it on the rise than you can if you wait for it to top out and turn into a marshmallow. Those can be easy to spray too often unless you throttle down a bit.
     
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  13. Bagumbawalla

    Bagumbawalla Hall of Fame

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    As others have mentioned, there is really no "trick" to it. Basically, you hit the ball and stroke through it pretty much as you would normally- you just have to get set up much sooner, be in position and get the timing down. In hitting the ball, you have to be confident and smooth watching the ball intently and anticipating its bounce.

    Many people not only do not hiton the rise, but they do not hit at the top of the bonce, either. They wait for the ball to rise, then fall back down into their comfort zone- so not only do they loose time, but end up hitting farther back behind the baseline.

    I would suggest as a first step-- just try to catch the ball at the top of the bounce (obviously you will need to find someone who can keep the balls low in your strike zone to practice with). As you become adept with those, start hitting them sooner, then, presto, you will be taking them on the rise.
     
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  14. Kick_It

    Kick_It Semi-Pro

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    It really boils down to timing and lots of practice; _early_ preparation and footwork.

    Simple to write and say, harder to do, you've just got to bite the bullet and practice it lots.

    There is no magical silver-bullet of wisdom you'll read on the internet that is a substitute for putting in the requisite time and practice.

    Good Luck! K_I
     
    #14
  15. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Roy, make sure you are using a cadence to help you with your timing such as HIT-BOUNCE-HIT.

    Keep those knees bent.
     
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  16. Roy125

    Roy125 Professional

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    Thanks everyone. I'm practicing hitting on the rise now and it only results in half-volleys but I'm sure they'll be more direct with more time on it.

    I'm just tossing the ball up high then hitting it on the rise. This is a good way to practice it right?
     
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  17. Blake0

    Blake0 Hall of Fame

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    I guess you could start that way, but it's much more effective to use a ball machine or let someone feed you balls.
     
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  18. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    I would not recommend practicing hitting on the rise by tossing the ball up and then hitting it as it rises up from the bounce.

    Hitting on the rise needs to be practiced with a ball coming towards you. It needs to have some spin on it (like topspin) and then ball difficulty needs to pick up as you get better.

    You need to work on your timing with your footwork and your swing. Preparation is also important hitting on the rise and court positioning.
     
    #18
  19. shwetty[tennis]balls

    shwetty[tennis]balls Rookie

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    NO! You either need a partner to feed you balls or a ball machine! period!
     
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  20. Roy125

    Roy125 Professional

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    Well there goes my plan then. I guess there isn't much I can do by myself and a wall.:(
     
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  21. salsainglesa

    salsainglesa Semi-Pro

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    no no
    the wall is your friend...

    you can feed yourself any kind of ball you are having trouble with, specially the soft floaters or balls on the rise!!!
    Experiment, i use the wall whenever my timing is off on the rising ball... just dont be lazy, and move to the ball!!
    dont hit to the wall over and over and over...
    feed yourself the ball you want to work with, hit it with proper technique, and then grab the ball, and feed it again to yourself...
    its like if someone else sends you those balls...

    in the case of hiting on the rise, the ball has force going upward, if you hit it with the raquet face perpendicular to the ground the ball will rise to the same height it would have rised if you didnt hit it... so you have to close the raquetface and feel the angle the ball leaves your raquet. also, its good to differentiate between balls below net level, and above net level, when hitting on the rise, the balls above this level dont need to have a loopy trajectory up, they will pass the net if the trajectory is almost level to the ground, there is no need to hit up, but FORWARD and let gravity do the work, and since you are hitting forward, there will be top spin on the ball since you will be hitting from above and with top spin relative to the flying path of the ball...
     
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  22. Roy125

    Roy125 Professional

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    Thanks for such an amazing post.
     
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  23. salsainglesa

    salsainglesa Semi-Pro

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    no problemo...

    I made an image

    [​IMG]
     
    #23
  24. Bagumbawalla

    Bagumbawalla Hall of Fame

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    The wall is actually very good, if you can learn to control the ball enough so you can get a regular rhythm going. There are at least a couple ways so start out.

    1, If you are just starting and want to get the feel of taking the ballon the rise with minimum stress, stand back behind the basline, just a bit, hit 5 or 6 feet over the net line, wait for the second bounce- start by hitting at the top of the bounce, gradually take it earlier.

    2, Get a ball about a week ot two old, so it is not overly bouncy, start from just behind the service line. Hit the ball about 2 feet over the netline, or less, and (as above) start hitting at the top of the bounce- as you gain timing, step forward just a bit and catch it on the rise.

    Note: because you are taking the ball sooner and therefore must get into position sooner/faster, you may want to simplify/shorten your stroke somewhat- however it should still be basically your normal stroke- smooth, without hitches.
     
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  25. Roy125

    Roy125 Professional

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    Ok so I tried to stand closer to the baseline today to practice hitting on the rise on high topspin balls. Most of my attempts ended in framing the balls 90% of the time. Sometimes when I am able to hit clean contact, I hit sharp angles that go out...
     
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  26. paulfreda

    paulfreda Hall of Fame

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    I have 2 questions about technique for those who feel they own this shot.

    First ..............
    Do you feel you hold the face closed hitting thru the ball ?
    OR
    Do you close it as you go thru the ball .... i.e. you "come over the ball" ?
    OR
    Do you do something else ?

    2nd ..............
    Do you like to take the ball at knee height,
    OR at waist height
    OR between the knees and waist ?

    Why do you feel this is the best height to take it ?

    Thanks
     
    #26
  27. Mansewerz

    Mansewerz Legend

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    Agree with this. And just step in and hit the damn thing. Don't think about framing, don't think about how much topspin, don't think!!! Just do!

    I know, very simplistic (not gonna lie, I frame often when hitting off the rise), but my best backhands have been when not thinking. I think I do this better off my backhand side (surprise surprise: shortened backswing thanks to the 2hander!)
     
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  28. In D Zone

    In D Zone Hall of Fame

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    Try this drills:

    - use FH open stance
    - always be ready to move forward and to the ball
    - keep racquet up front and facing vertical
    - track the ball with your eye ; while feet , shoulder and hip are moving towards. This must all function as one unit.
    - be ready to make contact with the ball up front (do not to go a back swing; but rather go for a short compact swing). Don't worry as you get more comfortable, racquet speed will take care of the pace.
    - do not worry about seeing /knowing where is your opponent (focus just on the ball)
    - head still / eye fixed at the ball as you make ball contact
    - make sure you complete your follow thru with your swing. Using topspin shot (low to high).

    Start with a mini tennis drill with your partner - do it nice and slow. Goal is to get comfortable with the entire movement and technique. Then gradually stepping back each shot until you reach the baseline. Do not go for winners but focus on hitting the ball on the rise with each shot. Yes, it requires discipline from both partners; best to get a partner who is better than you inorder to maintain a good rally (not with someone who is just going to hit each shot all over the court).

    Best to rally crosscourt (deuce to deuce) side; its similar drill used to table tennis.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2009
    #28
  29. martini1

    martini1 Hall of Fame

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    My 2 cents would be
    - Start with slow feed off a friend or machine.
    - You don't need a huge back swing, for now (half volley).
    - Once you are good with the half volley you can take it with a little bit more pace and with bigger swings.

    Don't expect u can do it like a pro. It will take years if you can reach that 5.0+ at all.
     
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  30. Roy125

    Roy125 Professional

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    I think that my biggest problem with the technique is anticipating too much. It's like the ball rises up and I'm afraid of it.:shock: Especially on my 1 handed backhand side.
     
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  31. salsainglesa

    salsainglesa Semi-Pro

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    it seems to me that you are swinging your raquet low to high as in your previous swing, the thing is that tohit on the rise, its easier to swing forward, without taking the raquet head down.
    The swing should be across your body, and the raquet head changes subtlety in height, but not very much... mostly it stays in the same level you are hiting the ball...
    its a different stroke altogether, you have to takeyour time to learn it...
    after you have learned it, you must learn one more thing, when to use the forward/across swing, and when to use the upwards swing...

    see you!
     
    #31
  32. salsainglesa

    salsainglesa Semi-Pro

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    Taking into account that a ball coming up will be more dificult than a ball going down, i usually think that my raquet preparation should encourage the closed raquet face with wich i hit the rising ball forehand, because i have less time to prepare for it.
    So to answear your question, i have the raquet head closed to begin with, and i wont focus much on the angle of the raquet, but into wich part of the ball i want to hit it, slightly above it.

    Also, you can hit the rising ball at any height, from knee height on an emergency situation, like on a deep return of serve, or at head height maximizing your angles in middle court...

    every ball is diferent...

    A higher ball will have more force after bouncing on the ground, therefore you must close the raquet face more.

    The more topspin, the more force after the bounce, same case....
     
    #32
  33. salsainglesa

    salsainglesa Semi-Pro

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    #33
  34. Kaz00

    Kaz00 Semi-Pro

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    wouldnt it be eaiser to learn how to hit on the rise by hitting in a racquet ball court?? take the ball super on the rise!!
     
    #34
  35. salsainglesa

    salsainglesa Semi-Pro

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    i couldnt agree more withyou kaz00
     
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  36. Z-Man

    Z-Man Professional

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    Some good suggestions here--compact stroke, bend your knees, turn shoulders, etc. I'd like to add that once you get the mechanics down, you should start moving more in a V pattern. By that, I mean don't just go side to side along the baseline. As you move right or left, also move forward to cut the ball off. This will cause you to hit more on the rise, you won't have to travel as far, and it takes time away from your opponent.
     
    #36
  37. Roy125

    Roy125 Professional

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    #37
  38. salsainglesa

    salsainglesa Semi-Pro

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    no, it really isnt its the bread and butter of a professional player, hitting at that height is normal when facing heavy topspin.... specially on the rise... there are looooots of ball hit at chest and shoulder level... and the advantage is, that the ball is above net level and it doesnt need to travel upwards, but forward.

    the idea is to hit as further to the body as possible... and it gets confortable there...

    the one thing you will experience, is akwardness at first, but whenever you are learning a new thing, you will feel it unnatural and not confortable... any new ability is this way... its normal

    what is useful is to know that anything new will become natural as you practice it, and you will get the feel of this new movement... isthe same with any skill...
    being open to a new experience and loosing fear of failing is the key to succesful learning experiences, we learn through our own mistakes... if you dont miss, then you wont learn.
     
    #38
  39. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    How high up you hit the ball is dependent mainly on your personal preference, usually somewhat based on your exact grip.
    Conti guys hit the ball lower.
    Eastern guys hit about hip high.
    SW sweetspot around mid torso.
    W hitters need higher balls, around chest.
    So where you prefer to half volley your groundies depends on your grip, as well as your preferences based on consistency, power, placement, and ease of use.
     
    #39
  40. Roy125

    Roy125 Professional

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    Oh if only I used a more extreme grip. I was using an eastern grip and hitting at chest level all this time which really felt awkward for me. I'll have to get better timing and confidence to hit the ball at a more comfortable height.

    Btw, if I use an eastern backhand grip, the comfort zone is the same as the eastern forehand grip right? :confused:
     
    #40
  41. nyc

    nyc Hall of Fame

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    I practice these shots with a ballmachine. Set it to highest spin and aim deep and about 3-4" above net - that should produce some nasty balls to practice with.

    certainly don't throw the ball straight up in the air as someone suggested. that has nothing to do with the dynamics you realistically will encounter.

    Nothing beats hitting hundreds of balls to get the timing and confidence right. There is no shortcut - just hard work.
     
    #41
  42. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Surprisingly, not always!
    EBH is very comfortable hitting topspinners from around mid thigh heights, usually slightly lower than is comfy for EFH topspinners.
     
    #42
  43. salsainglesa

    salsainglesa Semi-Pro

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    you can hit a high ball at shoulder height with an eastern forehand, all you have to adjust is how in front you hit it... as thecontact poit goes further, the closer the raquet is...

    the high contact point for a ball on the rise is further in front with an Eastern forehand than a waist height ball.
    that is the reason why i prefer to think of the part of the ball where i want to hit it, and not the raquet angle, this angle adjusts to the part of the ball you want to hit.
     
    #43
  44. Bagumbawalla

    Bagumbawalla Hall of Fame

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    From your explaination of what is happening, I believe you are pulling up on your racket- in effect trying to duplicate and compensate for the upward bound of the ball. Don't do that.

    Hit with (basically) your normal stroke. Hit THROUGH the ball. If you do not frame or skyball with your normal hitting there is no reason to do so while hitting on the rise (other than utterly bad timing- which you would also have hitting normally).

    I suspect you are tense and forcing the racket. Relax, keep loose, focus on timing and smoothness of stroke. Pick a spot above the netline on the wall and follow through toward that spot every time.
     
    #44
  45. ManuGinobili

    ManuGinobili Hall of Fame

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    Simplify! When you hit a good on-the-rise shot you'll definitely feel the following:
    - you know WHERE you're going to contact the ball
    - you know WHEN the ball is going to get there

    watch agassi during match play and you'll realize that essence.

    Don't worry about wheter to hit at waist level or knee level, it's a personal preference you will discover.
    Don't worry about technique, a compact swing is good enough to get the ball deep.
    Basically, dont let things distract you, and focus on the heart of the shot - good contact.
     
    #45
  46. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Man, I wish it was that easy.

    The truth is many players are still developing their ball judgement, footwork, court positioning skills, and being able to handle balls hit with different paces, spins, and other things. The other portion of this is many players don't nearly spend enough time to develop their skills well enough.

    Timing is what people are working for and not "feel".

    Worrying is not what a player should do as well, that is a bit farfetched to say when a player simply asks a how-to questions. However, in order to develop one's timing it takes determined practice and being able to read the incoming ball better and better. It also needs confidence that helps a player make the effort to become consistent.

    What players should not do is become mindless "tree huggers" that only think tennis is just a feel sport. It is anything but that and involves a person's mind to help overcome situation they need to overcome whether internally or externally.
     
    #46
  47. VaBeachTennis

    VaBeachTennis Semi-Pro

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    You can also practice hitting on the rise against a wall. If you want a "topsin" feel to the ball when it come off of the wall, feed a high or medium backhand slice to the wall and the ball will return to you with some topspin. You can also just hit a regular stroke to the wall and the ball will return with forward momentum and take it on the rise. Just start out at half speed and get your timing down and grove your stroke.
    As previously stated by other posters, a hitting partner or ball machine is the preferred way to practice hitting on the rise. Besides timing, having a good posture, good footwork, a compact stroke, and keeping your head still through the shot, will usually yield good results.
     
    #47
  48. VaBeachTennis

    VaBeachTennis Semi-Pro

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    Excellent points. I guess i should scan the thread before i reply.......... :)
     
    #48
  49. ilikephobo

    ilikephobo Semi-Pro

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    what i do against weak players is stand in no mans land about 2 ft into it and i work on taking balls early. and yes watch the ball, very important for every stroke you make.
     
    #49
  50. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Do you realize that it is easier to hit on the rise off a flatter trajectory ball coming to you? And that the more vertical the bounce, the harder to hit on the rise, along with less need to hit on the rise? Back when I was learning to hit on the rise better, this info was valuable to me, so thought it might help you.
     
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