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Old 02-07-2013, 11:36 AM   #8
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,109

Originally Posted by archer View Post

Is it so ingrained in her..."muscle memory." that breaking out of it will be too difficult?
No. Never give up!

Here's a drill we do for beginners. First let me say that even if your daughter is an advanced player, it's ok to treat this problem as if she was a beginner. There is no shame with tearing something bad down and building it up the right way from scratch.

But to the drill - have her stand on the T of the baseline. You're standing in/around the doubles alley of her backhand side (also on the baseline) with a bucket of balls. Yell "go" and have her run/shuffle (however she does her footwork approach) to you and stop where there is enough room between you and her for her to extend the forward swing. When she gets to you and stops, THEN have her start the take back, and have her freeze it right before she would swing forward. Observe how she is holding the racquet, based off what you say the racquet face should be back and close to parallel to the ground. Point this out to her and have her rearrange her wrists/arms so the racquet face is perpendicular to the ground (make sure her grip is right, too). Then just drop a ball (out and away like I was talking about before) and off the bounce have her swing all the way through and make contact from that position, don't have her restart the back swing. Then she goes back to the T and does it again. Every time she gets to you, have her take the racquet back and freeze so you can check/readjust her racquet face angle before dropping the ball. When she gets to the point where you don't need to adjust anything, have her run to you but hit a backhand without stopping anything. Just toss the ball so she can hit it like she would during a match (if you think you need to move out of the way just a little bit, that's fine). Definitely video tape this part since it may be hard to see the exact racquet face angle in real time, but it should be obvious whether it is becoming more perpendicular to the ground or not.

I think I can sum up the drill with:

1. Get in the court positions as described above
2. On your word, have her run to you along the baseline
3. Have her stop before getting to you and THEN take the racquet back
4. Freeze the stroke before there's any forward movement and check out the racquet face
5. Make adjustments (if needed) so the racquet face is perpendicular to the ground.
6. Drop a ball and have her complete the swing (and make contact) from her frozen racquet position
7. She returns to the T and the drill is repeated
"Why should the devil have all the good music?" Kevin Max, formerly of DC Talk

Last edited by TheLambsheadrep; 02-07-2013 at 11:42 AM.
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