i need some help on a couple of things

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by andyroddick's mojo, Sep 13, 2006.

  1. andyroddick's mojo

    andyroddick's mojo Professional

    Jan 2, 2006
    First off I have some trouble when returning serve. I can't seem to make up my mind whether its a backhand i should hit or a forehand, when it comes to fast serves. Are there any tips to help me decide faster? This half second that it takes me, makes me late to the ball and I miss more shots.

    My second question is what are the different kinetic motions when hitting a shot cross court and down the line? is it just turning your body more? but then wouldn't it be too apparent?

    Third, does anyone have any foot drills i could do as a warmup before i hit the court? Just something to get my feet moving, because during play my feet always feel heavy so I don't move them as much.
  2. Bagumbawalla

    Bagumbawalla Hall of Fame

    Jun 24, 2006
    You may be overthinking this just a bit.

    If someone is serving to you hard and fast (i assume), you don't really have time for a conventional thought process.

    You need to limit you basic options, slice, block, topspin drive.

    Experience will make you more sensitive to visual clues, opponets grip, racket motion, body mechanics, ball leaving racket head, etc. Watch the ball.

    Your choices, generally, are turn left or turn right. With experience you will do this without even thinking-- racket poised to hit the return.

    Practice with someone who has a good serve. Have him mix up his shots to keep you guessing. Evenyually, it won't be a guess. You will know.

    Good luck,

  3. Geezer Guy

    Geezer Guy Hall of Fame

    Feb 17, 2005
    Big Canoe, GA
    1) If your opponent has a hard first serve, hold the racquet with your volley grip and just block the ball back whether it comes to your forehand or backhand. On a slower serve that you have a bit more time on, you can take more of a regular swing (but you still may need to shorten your takeback). Before the serve, quickly "see" yourself hitting a good return off of a serve to each side.

    2) For me, my cross-court, down-the-line, and inside-out shots are all pretty much the same, except for my footwork. However, if I'm hitting down the line I'll give the ball a bit more topspin and hit higher over the net. If I'm going cross-court or inside-out, and flatten it out a bit.

    3) Start in the doubles alley at the net, facing the net. Run backwords in the doubles alley until you get to the baseline. Side-step along the baseline until you get to the other doubles alley. Run forward in the doubles alley to the net. Then side-step along the net returning to your original spot. Repeat. (So, you're always facing the net, running in four different directions. - Note: try not to fall down.)
  4. brucie

    brucie Professional

    Feb 22, 2006
    To answer your serveice return question. You are thinking way too much play whichever side it goes to unless you have a preference, but be ready to play either, and comfortable with this idea.
  5. tarheels2323

    tarheels2323 Semi-Pro

    May 21, 2006
    For the first one... make sure you split step. Other than that, do drills where every time the ball comes over the net, you have to yell out "forehand" or "backhand;" otherwise you lose the point. Do this from the serve all the way until the end of the point. If you call either one late, you lose the point.

    I'm not too familiar with kenetic motions. It just comes natural to me, or at least as a muscle memory from alot of shots hit, so I can't really help on that one.

    For the third one... have you ever played soccer? If so, warm up like you do for soccer (jogging, high knees, shuffle both ways, etc.). If you haven't, then do the things I just said but use the baseline and the doubles line.
  6. kevhen

    kevhen Hall of Fame

    Feb 20, 2004
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Just watch the ball and try to pick up as soon as possible which way the ball is going and start moving your feet to get them out of the way and in the right position while taking the racquet back. Back up a little farther behind the baseline if your opponent's serving pace is jamming you and not giving you enough time to react. Try to read from the toss and motion where he might be serving too. Being able to anticipate your opponent is very important in improving your game.
  7. GhostLigre

    GhostLigre New User

    Jun 23, 2006
    I am just like you, I have a lot of trouble returning fast serves. I just have a really late reaction to the serves. But I am still working on it. Have your coach feed serves from inside the service box. Be sure his feeds skid low and don't bounce high. We want to make this drill as realistic as possible. Even let the feeds skid out and past the service box. This will help you react better. Be sure to take the ball early (meaning at the height of its arc), split step, and just push it back. Occasionally throw in a lob return. You'll learn to react more quickly to fast serves if you do this a lot. If you're out of position for a wide serve, shift over, but you probably won't have time to lift your legs for a closed or squared stance so just hit with an open stance. Remember to stay near the baseline when returning (during practice). You may be hitting returns out a lot, but you'll learn to take the ball earleir and react more quickly than if you just camp back 5 feet behind the baseline to return. Don't give the server too much credit. ;)
  8. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

    Jun 2, 2006
    The Great NW
    Decide where to hit the ball before the guy even serves the ball. One choice for forehands and one for backhands.
  9. tennisfanatic

    tennisfanatic Rookie

    Aug 5, 2006
    at tennis courts!
    1. Don't Think Too MUCH!!! Let your instinct guide you. It is my experience that when i think too much that i lose my concentration and anticipation of the hard flat serve.

    2. The secret is the palm of your hand. See this helpful link: http://www.tomavery.com/video_clips/52879.mov

    3. Do a little stationary jogging before play.

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