I keep on hitting the wrong parts of my racket

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Roy125, Jan 14, 2012.

  1. Roy125

    Roy125 Professional

    Jul 8, 2009
    San Diego, California
    I'm a few days back from my break in tennis and I'm realizing that my ball sense and my coordination is off. I hit the ball in the outside of my racket's sweet spot and that creates a loss of control. And I'm watching the ball too.

    Also, I find it annoying that the ball sometimes bounces weirdly and I hit a waist-high stroke at shoulder level. I'm like "Omg, omg, I can totally hit this ball, " and then it just bounces abnormally and causes me great loss (of points).

    Also, can anyone provide tips for hitting a slice at shoulder-level? I try to hit it down and not make it float...but then it hits the net tape. How does Federer do it?
  2. InspectorRacquet

    InspectorRacquet Semi-Pro

    Jul 27, 2011
    As far as hitting only the expensive part of the racquet instead of the sweetspot, what helped me after a break was slowing down the stroke. Many times your situation can come from actually swinging too fast for what you are trying to do. Slow down your stroke, focus on hitting the sweetspot, and gradually increase your speed to a comfortable level (this can be done in one day of practice). Eventually you'll get your coordination back.
  3. Fearsome Forehand

    Fearsome Forehand Professional

    Aug 23, 2007
  4. thug the bunny

    thug the bunny Professional

    Jan 7, 2011
    Out of the comfort zone
    You may think you're watching the ball, but in my experience there are something like 5 levels of ball watching, and not seeing the ball is for me almost always the culprit of mishits.

    Level 5 is how the pros see the ball, and you know when you are at or near this level because the ball slows down, looks as big as a basketball, and sometimes just seems to hang in the air waiting for your hit. Time just suspends, and you can execute pretty much any shot you desire.

    At the other end, you know when you're at levels 1 or 2 because you can plainly perceive your eyes looking away or up from the ball, can feel your head and body move off the ball, and you execute all manner of fugly frame shots and off center hits.

    It's levels 3 and 4 that are tricky. Tricky of detect, and tricky to correct. You are trying to concentrate on the ball, and for the most part you are, but not quite well enough and not quite consistently. The results are shots that come up short, don't quite go exactly where you planned, or don't have enough spin and sail deep. I have progressed enough that I can detect when I'm at this level. I think I'm watching the ball, but I can detect that at just the last milliseconds my eyes move off the ball. It's at this time that I have to buckle down and, as I like to put it, 'watch the ball so intently that it bursts into flames'.
  5. mxmx

    mxmx Professional

    Feb 14, 2011
    Most of the times footwork is the cause of something like this.

    Here are some things to consider as a ball approaches:

    1) split step more or less as your opponent makes contact with the ball. This will help you to change direction as downward energy is placed towards your legs...

    2) the harder the ball comes at you, the less of a backswing you need. The better your timing, the more you can get away with larger backswings. But in the same breath, the better timing you have, the less of a large backswing you will need. Take note to have arms away from body to prevent cramped position

    3) use your feet. When a ball comes with loop and spin, and sometimes change direction, smaller adjustment steps needs to be taken to quickly maintain the correct uncramped position of the arms so that you are not caught in cramped position. The same goes for a ball that jumps away from you. Ajustment steps will help you to have consistent distance with your swing on the ball. So the problem is more than likelly not your swing, but most likely your footwork.
    1) continental grip
    2) try to contact the ball in front
    3) many similarities between a voley and a slice
    4) do not drop the racket. Always have the racket in almost a L shape in your hand. So for lower balls you receive, you will need to bend the legs more. As soon as you break the L shape or firm wrist, you will lose control.
    5) when receiving a higher ball: you can either hit it on the rise. Wait for it to fall lower (not ideal) or hit with a element of underside spin. The natural flow of your arm at that height is sometimes more ideally suited with underside spin and not pure underspin alone.
    6) on slice, feel is more key than power and wrist action. You almost need to feed and punch the ball as to oppose to fully striking the ball. Your legs do a large portion of the work and not your arm.

    hope this helps
  6. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Dec 28, 2008
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    Maybe try to find a consistent hitter who can actually place the ball and hit the way he wants, so YOU don't have to constantly adapt to weirdo changes in spin, placement, depth, and speed.
  7. mxmx

    mxmx Professional

    Feb 14, 2011
    O yeah...last night, after having thought a bit on what you asked regarding the slice:

    Remember to follow through in the direction you are aiming at. The folllow through is more in a straight line as opposed to what a topspin stroke is like. In other words, the racket does not follow through down or around to the side of the body, but more toward your target. The racket face contacts with a similar face angle as a backhand volley, but end up in a very open face showing skyward.

    Also for me personally it helps having a short backswing, using the legs and stepping with momentum into the ball. You can use the karaoke step if needed to keep the body sideways in contact. Your body momentum is also in the direction of your target if you are approaching the net. So with the slice or almost any shot, there should not be a habit of falling sideways or backwards.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2012
  8. stormholloway

    stormholloway Legend

    Nov 30, 2005
    New York City
    I think the key to overcoming this, as it happens to me often, is to slow everything down, considerably. Generally when you are missing the sweet spot, you'll get frustrated, try to hit harder, and end up even further from the sweet spot. Instead relax, slow down your swing, and try to feel the ball on your strings. Works for me.

    In fact slowing down is now my cure-all for any issues, particularly the serve. I'll slow my swings down to a crawl if I have to.

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