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-   -   ball goes exactly where i want if...... (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=485587)

mhff34 12-18-2013 02:52 AM

ball goes exactly where i want if......
 
I could just keep my head down through the shot. Totally guessing here, but I would say 80% of the time I hit it just the way I intended if I concentrate on the ball and keep the head still. Unfortunately half the time I pick my head up too soon. When I pick it up, to look, the ball never goes where I want and probably only lands in bounds 30% of the time.

Anybody else have this problem?

JohnMartin 12-18-2013 03:34 AM

the real key is BALANCE.

keeping head still or not - that is secondary.

v-verb 12-18-2013 05:00 AM

OP I agree with you and I have that problem too

mhff34 12-18-2013 05:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JohnMartin (Post 7957290)
the real key is BALANCE.

keeping head still or not - that is secondary.

I respectfully disagree. Some of my biggest flubs are sitters that I am perfectly positioned for but for some reason feel the uncontrollable urge to peak before I finish my swing. Which is, by the way, the reason I gave up golf lol.

SystemicAnomaly 12-18-2013 06:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JohnMartin (Post 7957290)
the real key is BALANCE.

keeping head still or not - that is secondary.

Disagree. Keeping the head still is of paramount importance for most players. This is why Nadal appears to have copied Federer's technique on this prior to his (Rafa's) ascent to #1. Yes, balance is important as well.

The main problem with moving the head during the forward swing is that this action tends to alter the swing path of the racket -- pulling the head up also tends to pull the racket up a bit as it is moving forward. The concept is referred to as the "Quiet Eye" by gaze expert, Joan Vickers.

anubis 12-18-2013 06:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mhff34 (Post 7957242)
I could just keep my head down through the shot. Totally guessing here, but I would say 80% of the time I hit it just the way I intended if I concentrate on the ball and keep the head still. Unfortunately half the time I pick my head up too soon. When I pick it up, to look, the ball never goes where I want and probably only lands in bounds 30% of the time.

Anybody else have this problem?

Picking your head up is a byproduct of some other flaw in your form. You'll see a much greater return on your investment if you learn how to properly transfer your weight from your back foot to front foot as you connect with the ball.

Arabi_Tesla 12-18-2013 09:23 AM

I always get the ball right where I want if I make contact at the perfect contact point,
and to achieve that I have to keep my eyes on the ball untill its out of the strings.
I too have extreme urge to tke my eyes of the balls before I hit it (even when I'm serving) which screws my game alot .
the solution that I use to get rid of this is practicing hitting the ball without ever looking at the court .. like even after i hit it i keep looking at the contact point ... I do that for while then I switch to hitting the ball without giving attention to where it's headed .. just focus on the contact, then after a few balls of that i try to hit a normal long rally.. hitting half volleys against the wall in my house helped me slightly develop eye-hand coordination too.
hope this help

gmatheis 12-18-2013 09:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mhff34 (Post 7957242)
I could just keep my head down through the shot. Totally guessing here, but I would say 80% of the time I hit it just the way I intended if I concentrate on the ball and keep the head still. Unfortunately half the time I pick my head up too soon. When I pick it up, to look, the ball never goes where I want and probably only lands in bounds 30% of the time.

Anybody else have this problem?

Quote:

Originally Posted by mhff34 (Post 7957469)
I respectfully disagree. Some of my biggest flubs are sitters that I am perfectly positioned for but for some reason feel the uncontrollable urge to peak before I finish my swing. Which is, by the way, the reason I gave up golf lol.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Arabi_Tesla (Post 7957929)
I always get the ball right where I want if I make contact at the perfect contact point,
and to achieve that I have to keep my eyes on the ball untill its out of the strings.
I too have extreme urge to tke my eyes of the balls before I hit it (even when I'm serving) which screws my game alot .
the solution that I use to get rid of this is practicing hitting the ball without ever looking at the court .. like even after i hit it i keep looking at the contact point ... I do that for while then I switch to hitting the ball without giving attention to where it's headed .. just focus on the contact, then after a few balls of that i try to hit a normal long rally.. hitting half volleys against the wall in my house helped me slightly develop eye-hand coordination too.
hope this help

mhff - I have this same problem, and I agree that if I just keep my eyes on the ball and focus throughout my stroke I almost always hit a good shot. My theory is that I took up tennis later in life and didn't have it drilled into me over and over as a junior to watch the ball.

Arabi - Sounds like good advice .. thanks.

mhff34 12-18-2013 09:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by anubis (Post 7957593)
Picking your head up is a byproduct of some other flaw in your form. You'll see a much greater return on your investment if you learn how to properly transfer your weight from your back foot to front foot as you connect with the ball.

Interesting. I just started taking lessons once a week and the most frequent comment the instructor makes is "you need to step into the ball more". I hit with a lot of power, so stepping into the ball is a little scary, but definitely paying dividends.

I still think though picking up my head too soon is causing a lot of errors. The reasons I believe this is, one when I remind myself on a return, for instance, to just really focus on the ball without any change in form I usually hit it well. The other reason is I hit much worse indoors especially when I play at night and feel like its hard to see the ball.

Topspin Shot 12-18-2013 09:44 AM

Keeping your head still through the contact zone is very important to improve the quality of the shot, but failing to do so should not automatically result in an error. If you're missing most of the time you pick your head up, you almost certainly are having other issues with your technique. You also might be aiming too low over the net and too close to the lines.

mhff34 12-18-2013 09:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Arabi_Tesla (Post 7957929)
I always get the ball right where I want if I make contact at the perfect contact point,
and to achieve that I have to keep my eyes on the ball untill its out of the strings.
I too have extreme urge to tke my eyes of the balls before I hit it (even when I'm serving) which screws my game alot .
the solution that I use to get rid of this is practicing hitting the ball without ever looking at the court .. like even after i hit it i keep looking at the contact point ... I do that for while then I switch to hitting the ball without giving attention to where it's headed .. just focus on the contact, then after a few balls of that i try to hit a normal long rally.. hitting half volleys against the wall in my house helped me slightly develop eye-hand coordination too.
hope this help

Great advise. I will try this. Thanks

mhff34 12-18-2013 09:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Topspin Shot (Post 7957969)
Keeping your head still through the contact zone is very important to improve the quality of the shot, but failing to do so should not automatically result in an error. If you're missing most of the time you pick your head up, you almost certainly are having other issues with your technique. You also might be aiming too low over the net and too close to the lines.

Agree. I am a beginner and experimenting a little with different ball flights. For awhile I hit a really loopy ball then too flat trying to find the right mixture of pace and topspin. I also have a bad habit of going for winners all the time.

forthegame 12-18-2013 09:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mhff34 (Post 7957242)
I could just keep my head down through the shot. Totally guessing here, but I would say 80% of the time I hit it just the way I intended if I concentrate on the ball and keep the head still. Unfortunately half the time I pick my head up too soon. When I pick it up, to look, the ball never goes where I want and probably only lands in bounds 30% of the time.

Anybody else have this problem?

This is EXACTLY what I was told by a coach who watched me hitting. Apparently I lift my head prematurely to watch the shot and it ends up all wrong.

mhff34 12-18-2013 10:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by forthegame (Post 7958001)
This is EXACTLY what I was told by a coach who watched me hitting. Apparently I lift my head prematurely to watch the shot and it ends up all wrong.

What did you do to rectify?

Egoista 12-18-2013 10:11 AM

keep your eye on the ball always!

SystemicAnomaly 12-18-2013 12:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Egoista (Post 7958035)
keep your eye on the ball always!

Not really. Impossible to see the ball all the way into the strings on most incoming balls. Players, like Federer, actually stop watching the ball shortly before contact. Instead he fixates on the expected contact point. His eyes do not follow the ball off his strings either. He stays fixated on the cp, head & eyes not moving, for (nearly) all of his forward swing/follow-thru.

The best way to make this a habit is to perform hundreds, if not thousands, of shadow swings -- keeping the head still and eyes fixated on (or near) the contact point until the follow-thru is complete (or nearly complete). Can also practice this with simple self-feeds of the ball. Practice the skill on the wall, with a ball machine, during mini-tennis, etc.

torpantennis 12-18-2013 12:54 PM

Yet another (typical?) mistake I've had but was never aware of. I just implemented this idea of a stable head in today's practices. Oh boy, I was able to grind almost everything back! I've never played this well defensively. My hitting partner got frustrated by my improved defense. I cannot wait to try this out in matches. :)

TTW is better than any coach I've ever had! :)

SystemicAnomaly 12-18-2013 01:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by torpantennis (Post 7958302)
... TTW is better than any coach I've ever had! :)

Gratified to hear that you got something out of this thread. There a a lot of gems hidden amongst the lumps of coal in these threads. The trick is to try to understand the advice and figure out which ideas work for YOU. Not everything that I say -- or Chas, T Shot, Arabi or anyone else says -- will work for everyone.

Arabi_Tesla 12-18-2013 01:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SystemicAnomaly (Post 7958289)
Can also practice this with simple self-feeds of the ball. Practice the skill on the wall, with a ball machine, during mini-tennis, etc.

I agree,
Practicing with self feed is also a great advice for solving this problem.

user92626 12-18-2013 01:42 PM

This topic (the head stillness, ball watching) pops up quite frequently and it's impossible to settle one way or another.

To me, the OP isn't very clear either. Is he talking about mis hitting, framing or launching the ball out of bound? If it's the latter, who the heck knows what else is wrong with his technique.

Back to the topic - the one that SA discusses -- I'm not entirely sure if my mishitting, ie severely off, is a result of unbalance or not watching the ball. All I know is when I intensely look at the ball, refrain from being the most violent with my swinging, I hit the ball very well.


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