Originally Posted by Chas Tennis
My worse problem is not keeping my eye on the ball also, it affects everything.
There are two ways discussed for watching the ball strike:
1) track the ball in and stabilize the head/view on the impact area
2) as the ball is coming in at some point, say, for example when the ball is 6-10? feet away from impact, forget the tracking and switch the view, head stabilized, to the area of impact. See D. Knudson tennis book, Biomechanical Principles of Tennis Technique.
I sometimes watch videos or do stop action on my DVR to see which method the pro's are using most often. I have definitely seen pros track as #1. I believe that they will also break off and switch to the impact area but have not viewed enough for stats. I tried viewing as #2 and liked it.
With the backswing, Elliott describes an angle between 1) the line between the shoulders and 2) the line between the hips as a measure of trunk twist. For the back swing he says to have the shoulders go back farther than the hips as a means of loading, stretching the trunk muscles. Elliott does not describe, I think, the arm forward of the body plane as Macci does. But the main idea seems to be - add power from the trunk. They also both start the forward swing with the upper arm up - elbow raised. ( I think that upper-arm-up is recommended because it gets the lat muscle somehow more involved.) Macci does not discuss muscles and Elliott does. Best book that I have found on stroke technique is Technique Development for Tennis Stroke Production by B. Elliott, M. Reid, & M. Crespo. Available only from the ITF Store for $20.
There's so many theories on tennis strokes, it's not funny. Somehow I never tried to copy any pro. I want to develop my own strokes that work for me taking some modern ideas. These tips are great, makes me realise how many things I do wrong. Sometimes with a small change you can make a milestone. Watching the ball is a big thing for me. I was never a clean hitter. I was always too preoccupied to see what my opponent is up to.