Accurate aim – can we borrow a trick from golf and apply it to tennis?

Tight Lines

Professional
When hitting a golf ball, I like most people line up the shot, pick a spot near the ball which is in line with the ball direction, and aim toward that spot/marker. In other words, I never aim directly at the point where I want the ball to go.

Can we use that same trick in tennis for a more accurate aim? The markers can be the sideline, the T (your side) or the center strap as a reference aiming point.

For example, to hit CC from the ad side, aim over the T or center strap. To hit a DTL from the deuce side, aim 2 feet inside the right side line.

I actually have tried this on several out wide on-the-run buggy whip type forehand by aiming at the center strap and it seems to work reasonably well. Does anyone do this?

Harry
 

user92626

G.O.A.T.
I was lucky that I stumbled on RevolutionaryTennis site early and learned and more or less set my basics. Among many things, RT taught me to first aim for a spot over the net and work out the angle for the eventual placement spot. It works very well for me.

So yes, to hit CC from the ad side, aim over center strap. Vary the net clearance amount for depth. I could rally all day, it feels very easy for me because I basically only need to control the ball in a half court area.
 
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HunterST

Hall of Fame
When hitting a golf ball, I like most people line up the shot, pick a spot near the ball which is in line with the ball direction, and aim toward that spot/marker. In other words, I never aim directly at the point where I want the ball to go.

Can we use that same trick in tennis for a more accurate aim? The markers can be the sideline, the T (your side) or the center strap as a reference aiming point.

For example, to hit CC from the ad side, aim over the T or center strap. To hit a DTL from the deuce side, aim 2 feet inside the right side line.

I actually have tried this on several out wide on-the-run buggy whip type forehand by aiming at the center strap and it seems to work reasonably well. Does anyone do this?

Harry

Does seem to make sense. The hard part would be working out where those markers are.
 

ProgressoR

Hall of Fame
I dont think I do this at all, I imagine where I want the ball to land and try to hit it there.....i dont look at intermediate markers like x height over the net. Each to their own I guess.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
In golf, the lining up is extremely important due to the range of the ball. A small initial error can result in huge end differences. In tennis, margins are much higher and you can get away by just going in the general direction. Of course, for more accuracy there are targets you need to keep in mind and practice.
 

5263

G.O.A.T.
I was lucky that I stumbled on RevolutionaryTennis site early and learned and more or less set my basics. Among many things, RT taught me to first aim for a spot over the net and work out the angle for the eventual placement spot. It works very well for me.

So yes, to hit CC from the ad side, aim over center strap. Vary the net clearance amount for depth. I could rally all day, it feels very easy for me because I basically only need to control the ball in a half court area.

I like this and refer to it as windows over the net. I know if I hit for a certain
window, with a certain spin and trajectory, that the ball will bounce near my
target and, more importantly.... on my shot line.
 

GoudX

Professional
It certainly helps a lot when your serve breaks down. By aiming at fixed points, fixed distances above the net for each type of serve you will quickly get the feeling back for varying depths and angles. The same is true when drilling a particular shot.

In a rally situation the idea will not work very well as you will never have time to work out the 'exact point' to aim for, as you will not have time to:

-Work out where the ball is
-Pick a target and set up in the vague direction
-Work out how far the target is, to adjust spin and power and approximate height
-Calculate an inbetween point along the path of the ball
-Re-aim your shot.

In reality you will need to learn how to 'feel' different shot depths and angles, as there is far too little time to think about technical specifics mid-rally. Maybe this can work on put away shots, where you have more time, and the margins are smaller. A similar, and more useful idea is to pay attention to shot height over the net for a set amount of spin/power in order to control the shot depth, however you rarely aim for an exact point. You aim for zones in tennis rather than trying to work out the exact point to aim for a 'perfect shot' as you would in golf, because you do not have the time to calculate the angles, and there are far more unknown variables at contact in tennis.
 
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5263

G.O.A.T.
In a rally situation the idea will not work very well as you will never have time to work out the 'exact point' to aim for, as you will not have time to:

-Work out where the ball is
-Pick a target and set up in the vague direction
-Work out how far the target is, to adjust spin and power and approximate height
-Calculate an inbetween point along the path of the ball
-Re-aim your shot.

You have some interesting perspectives to share and guess that is good for the
net, but It's pretty clear why it doesn't work for you if you try to go thru all
that to hit a simple window.
Windows over the net make it easier really.
Many good players use this and it is quite automatic
with just a small bit of practice. You just do pretty much the same decisions
as always. You have to always decide type of shot and shot line.
Type of shot relates to a certain window automatically. It's all in a flash!
 
When hitting a golf ball, I like most people line up the shot, pick a spot near the ball which is in line with the ball direction, and aim toward that spot/marker. In other words, I never aim directly at the point where I want the ball to go.

Can we use that same trick in tennis for a more accurate aim? The markers can be the sideline, the T (your side) or the center strap as a reference aiming point.

For example, to hit CC from the ad side, aim over the T or center strap. To hit a DTL from the deuce side, aim 2 feet inside the right side line.

I actually have tried this on several out wide on-the-run buggy whip type forehand by aiming at the center strap and it seems to work reasonably well. Does anyone do this?

Harry

Golf is a different animal.. First you are playing against the course and not just one person. The ball in golf isn't moving and you also have time to pick the club and the shot you would like. In tennis you have someone on the other side of the net hitting different shots at you while moving you around the court.
 

NLBwell

Legend
I learned by hitting the backboard a lot. To me, everything is hitting spots over the net. Controlling depth was something I learned later.
 

Fuji

Legend
I just think of where I want to hit the ball in the court, and then I hit it there. My body figures out the rest when dealing with spin/height/placement/body positioning. :razz:

-Fuji
 

TennisCJC

Legend
I sometimes use targets over the net when returning such as I am going 2 feet over the net and just to the right of the center strap on this return if it is to my BH. But, once the ball is in play, I just think where I want to hit it and hit it there. Also, sometimes on my serve, I use windows such as as I am going to hit this 2nd serve about 2 feet over the net and a foot to the L of the center strap. But, other than serve and return where I have time to plan, I don't use targets.
 
This concept works well on the serve, aim for an imaginary window above the net. On the serve, you have time to set up, visualize, calculate, etc.
 

LuckyR

Legend
When hitting a golf ball, I like most people line up the shot, pick a spot near the ball which is in line with the ball direction, and aim toward that spot/marker. In other words, I never aim directly at the point where I want the ball to go.

Can we use that same trick in tennis for a more accurate aim? The markers can be the sideline, the T (your side) or the center strap as a reference aiming point.

For example, to hit CC from the ad side, aim over the T or center strap. To hit a DTL from the deuce side, aim 2 feet inside the right side line.

I actually have tried this on several out wide on-the-run buggy whip type forehand by aiming at the center strap and it seems to work reasonably well. Does anyone do this?

Harry


I would not use golf (where you can take as much time and practice swings as you like) as my template for aiming shots, in a game where you could be running top speed in any direction to hit a moving ball.

I would use quick draw shooting (often at moving targets) as my template. In this discipline you do not aim down the barrel (like static target practice) you just "know" where the target is and where you are pointing the barrel and through repetition you get to the point where you hit the target.

Sort of a more complicated way of hitting a receiver with a pass while running yourself.
 

HunterST

Hall of Fame
I think this applies to the serve very well.

I was practicing serving out wide today. I realized I was aiming way to sharp. To hit the out wide corner, the ball only has to travel over the net about mid way between the center strap and singles sideline.

It's a much less extreme target that actually aiming for the corner.
 

martini1

Hall of Fame
There are many youtube vids talking about the 3 balls swing path. What that means is you need to swing thru at least 3 tennis ball's length as if they are lined up one after another. That gives you the habbit of staying in the shot more and hit thru the ball. Some people like to jerk their swing after the impact (or even too soon), that kills your aim.
 
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